Predictably, a selection of far-right members of the U.S. House reacted repulsively to the “not guilty” verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case. Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), and Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) have all, at this point, made a public show of offering an internship to Rittenhouse, who had been on trial over homicide charges connected to his killing of two people amid protests last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse claimed self-defense, but neither of the people who he killed even had a gun — and he was the one wandering through crowds while holding an AR-15.
This actually happened:
Paul Gosar says he will arm wrestle Matt Gaetz to decide who gets Kyle Rittenhouse as an intern.
Who else thinks the GOP needs to conduct mental exams on its members? ✋
— Chip Franklin.com (@chipfranklin) November 19, 2021
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) has now called for the expulsion from Congress of Gaetz, Gosar, and Cawthorn over their offerings of internships to Rittenhouse. As Bush put it:
‘Just being real: every day it feels more and more dangerous coming to work. Not only do these members fuel violence. Now they’re actively recruiting someone whose sole qualification is killing people standing up for Black lives and getting away with it. They must be expelled.’
Just being real: every day it feels more and more dangerous coming to work.
Not only do these members fuel violence. Now they’re actively recruiting someone whose sole qualification is killing people standing up for Black lives and getting away with it.
They must be expelled. https://t.co/ww7JFEWfXS
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) November 20, 2021
Unfortunately, expelling members from the House, no matter the horrendous nature of their rhetoric and actions, requires the agreement of two-thirds of the chamber. With the current party breakdown in place, expulsion would therefore require the support of far more Republicans than could be expected to come to their senses on issues of integrity — and safety — such as these. It’s not the first recent occasion, though, when one of the Congressmen singled out by Bush has faced calls for their expulsion. After Gosar posted an edited, partly animated video depicting him murdering Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), individuals including Rep. James Clyburn (R-S.C.), Ocasio-Cortez herself, and even the Congressman’s brother, Tim, raised the possibility of expulsion. What the House settled on was censuring Gosar and removing him from his committee assignments in the chamber.
NH GOP Gov. Sununu says on CNN that it was right for Gosar to be censured and removed from committees — and that “of course” it was ok for the 13 House Republicans to vote for a BIF.
“We have our priorities wrong.”
— Ursula Perano (@UrsulaPerano) November 21, 2021
The embrace of violence extends to the highest levels of the GOP, of course. Repeatedly, Trump has excused the actions of those who participated in the storming of the Capitol in January, even though that incident included elements like mass physical assaults on police officers, some of whom were left with serious injuries.
“From all the information we’ve learned, I believe my brother to be a co-conspirator in a coup attempt against the United States government. So I think expulsion is actually the most appropriate next step,” says Jennifer Gosar, younger sister of Rep. Gosar https://t.co/oZosn0QC5V
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 21, 2021