As the House prepared to vote on a measure this week that would remove Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) from his committee assignments and censure him for a violent video that he posted targeting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the New York Congresswoman herself has once more spoken out to condemn Gosar for his antics. The original, partly animated video in question was edited to depict Gosar murdering Ocasio-Cortez, in addition to swinging swords at President Joe Biden. Ocasio-Cortez raised the prospect of expelling Gosar from the House in some of her latest comments on the matter.
Unfortunately, expelling a member from the House requires the agreement of two-thirds of the chamber, and Republicans — particularly those firmly within the Trump wing of the party (which encompasses almost all of it) — are far too numerous within the House for Democrats to be able to easily obtain such a super-majority in support of expulsion. Ocasio-Cortez commented as follows:
‘Threatening the life of a colleague is grounds for expulsion. But given the Republican Party — especially the leader — is too cowardly to really enforce any standard of conduct … censure and committee removal is the next most appropriate step.’
.@AOC: "Threatening the life of a colleague is grounds for expulsion. But given the Republican Party — especially the leader — is too cowardly to really enforce any standard of conduct … censure and committee removal is the next most appropriate step." https://t.co/W4JwbncZb8
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 17, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez noted the depth to which violence has apparently become embedded within the GOP — as she put it, Gosar and fellow Republicans “are essentially using a national platform to legitimize threats of violence on lower levels, and on the local levels, to intimidate people from participating in our democracy.” She added that she believes “this is part of a concerted strategy.”
Rep. AOC to Punchbowl: Gosar and other Republicans "are essentially using a national platform to legitimize threats of violence on lower levels, and on the local levels, to intimidate people from participating in our democracy. I believe this is part of a concerted strategy."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 16, 2021
The observation about GOP cowardice is true, of course — for awhile, House GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) didn’t publicly comment at all about the controversy surrounding the video that Gosar posted. Now, he’s revealed that he spoke with the Congressman in private about the matter, and he’s come to Gosar’s defense, claiming on Tuesday that he apologized — although Gosar did not actually do so. Instead, Gosar simply insisted that he does “not espouse violence or harm towards any Member of Congress or Mr. Biden” — although such violence is literally what the original video in question depicted.