The House of Representatives voted to censure Republican Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona for posting an animated video that depicted him killing Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a sword, an extraordinary rebuke that highlighted the political strains testing Washington and the country.
Referring to the video as a clear threat to a politician’s life, Democrats argued Gosar’s conduct would not be tolerated in any other workplace and should not be in Congress. The vote to censure Gosar, and also strip him of his committee assignments, was approved by a vote of 223-207, almost entirely along party lines.
Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called the vote an “abuse of power” by Democrats to distract from national problems. He said of the censure, a “new standard will continue to be applied in the future”, a signal of potential ramifications for Democratic members in future Congresses.
Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida said: “I would just suggest we have better things to do on the floor of the House of Representatives than be the hall monitors for Twitter.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believed that a response was required. “We cannot have members joking about murdering each other,” said Pelosi. “This is both an endangerment of our elected officials and an insult to the institution.”
9Ocasio-Cortez herself said in an emotional speech, “Our work here matters. Our example matters. There is meaning in our service. And as leaders, in this country, when we incite violence with depictions against our colleagues that trickles down to violence in this country. And that is where we must draw the line.”
Gosar rejected what he called the “mischaracterization” that the cartoon was “dangerous or threatening. It was not.”He added, “I do not espouse violence toward anyone. I never have. It was not my purpose to make anyone upset.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ROLLING STONE
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