Momentum Building for Gosar Censure Over Tweeted Video
WASHINGTON — Nearly 30 Democrats have signed on so far to support a resolution to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., for posting an anime-style video that shows him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. and threatening President Joe Biden.
“For that member to post such a video on his official Instagram account and use his official congressional resources in the House of Representatives to further violence against elected officials goes beyond the pale,” the resolution’s sponsors said in a joint statement released Wednesday. “Minority Leader McCarthy’s silence is tacit approval and just as dangerous.”
As reported by The Well News earlier this week, the controversy erupted after Gosar tweeted a photoshopped, Japanese anime-style video that depicts him and two other conservative Republicans, Reps. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., fighting a battle to defend Washington and the nation from Democrats.
The animated scenes are interspersed with footage of migrants approaching the southern U.S. border overlaid with red splatters that look like blood.
Elsewhere in the video, the words “drugs,” “crime,” “poverty,” “money,” “murder,” and “gangs,” flash across the screen.
In one critical sequence in the 1-minute, 32-second video Gosar kills another character, baring the face of Ocasio-Cortez, by cutting her head off from behind.
The video concludes with Gosar, two swords in hand, taking a flying leap toward an image of President Biden.
The headline above it all in the Twitter post: “Any anime fans out there?”
On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, called for ethics and criminal investigations of Gosar, tweeting “threats of violence against members of Congress and the president of the United States must not be tolerated.”
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, is the lead sponsor of the resolution, which is expected to be introduced during Friday’s pro forma session of the House.
Censure is considered the harshest form of punishment in the House after expulsion. It requires a floor vote and a simple majority to pass.
In most circumstances, it is accompanied by the additional requirement that the member stand in the well of the chamber and receive a verbal rebuke and reading of the resolution by the speaker.
About two dozen lawmakers have been censured by the House since 1832. The most recent was former Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., who was censured in 2010 for ethics violations.
Gosar has refused to apologize for posting the video.
“It is a symbolic cartoon. It is not real life. Congressman Gosar cannot fly,” he said in a statement. “The hero of the cartoon goes after the monster, the policy monster of open borders. I will always fight to defend the rule of law, securing our borders, and the America first agenda.”
But Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., saw the video differently. He took to Twitter to call it an indictment of the House Republican leadership.
“There was a time when making light of murdering a colleague would elicit unified outrage,” Schiff tweeted on Wednesday. “But not in [House Republican Leader Kevin] McCarthy’s GOP.
“In McCarthy’s GOP they want to punish members who voted for infrastructure. That’s right, infrastructure. But condoning violence — that’s A-okay. It’s sick,” Schiff wrote.