Photo: Anna Moneymaker November 17, 2021 (Wednesday) Today the House of Representatives voted to censure (not censor) Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and to strip him of his committee assignments. The vote was 223 to 207, with 1 representative, David Joyce (R-OH), voting “present.” Three other representatives—Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Scott Perry (R-PA), and Morgan Griffith (R-VA)—did not vote. Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) joined Democrats to vote in favor of the resolution censuring Gosar.
So I called my Republican senator and went Heather Cox Richardson on the woman who answered. I talked about voting rights, the 14th amendment, the parallels between the Confederacy and the current stance of the Republican Party. After 20 minutes I said, "i hope this makes sense," and she replied, "yes it does and I'm writing it down as fast as I can, my hand actually hurts!" :)
Thank you, Dr. Richardson, for not losing heart. Its hard and scary but there is always hope.
The good news today is that Fair Maps Texas Action Committee with a coalition of civil rights groups including Common Cause, Clean Elections Texas, League of Women Voters of Texas, Our Vote Texas, Texans Against Gerrymandering. and ACLU Texas filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Texas challenging the unconstitutional district maps that give Republicans autocratic power for the next decade at least. The redistricting which added two new Congressional Districts to Texas will give white Republicans a large advantage even though 95% of the population growth in Texas came from people of color. Unless the courts remedy this, Texas is no longer a democracy. It is now an autocracy. Don't Texas the rest of the states! Read David Pepper's new book on "Laboratories of Autocracy".
“Immediately following his censure, Gosar retweeted the video.” WTF??!? No only is he ‘unhinged’ but so, apparently, are 211 of the GOP House Conference. Party of Law & Order my a$$.
I have already contacted my representative, Andy Barr of Kentucky condemning his vote not to censure. Ironically, he spoke on the floor of the House earlier asking for a moment of silence for a former representative from Kentucky, Larry Hopkins, who recently died. Although I did not agree with Mr. Hopkins on many issues, I also felt he was a man of integrity. Today he would probably be called a RINO.
On another note, you may recall the news stories about the Spotsylvania Virginia school board who a few days ago voted to ban "sexually explicit" books from the school libraries and even had two member speak of book burning. At their last meeting on Monday night, it is reported that students and parents and others in the community showed up to protest this vote and the comments. 68 people signed up to speak to the board to condemn the vote and the comments compared to the two who had made the original compliant. One member who made the book burning comment has apologized. The other stated she did not remember making such a comment (the meeting is taped). They are backing down on their original vote. As Dr. Richardson has said in the past, we have to be louder than the loudest voices in the room. Forgive any grammer or spelling mistakes. It is early.
An anime is the lowest of budgets for film. Blood and lust are the cheapest of political candy. No anime has ever solved any great problem or crisis. Tearing things down is so much easier than building things of lasting value and significance. No one can claim this is the best country in the world, while simultaneously behaving like the worst, and still not even realizing that’s what they are doing. Gosar is an embarrassing failure to his family, Arizona, and the country. Lacking any political talent, intellect, or leadership charisma, he’s relying on pure demagoguery.
To build meaningful things takes years or decades of reading, study, diligent practice, good faith collaboration, and time. So what is the opposite of Gosar’s anime? I’m not sure any anime could ever convey the supremacy of love, respect, and kindness that is prerequisite to to leadership in our democracy. I felt a real sense of shame and fear for democracy today as only 2 Republicans could muster enough moral courage and vote for decency over demagoguery. I felt a sense of pride as Representative Cortez spoke about all this today, so eloquently describing why it’s wrong to defend someone promoting violence against women and men, other human beings that we share “only a short moment” that is life. There is no defending those that seek to make political adversaries political enemies for the sole purpose to dominate. that thinking and behavior only breeds more violence, which sews the seeds of war and injustice.
The failure to vote for decency and respect today will go down in history as a major inflection point: Democracy as we know it is officially on notice from the Republican Party.
"Immediately following his censure, Gosar retweeted the video."
The man is beyond "unhinged," he is a despicable archetype of malevolence and obscenity incarnate. Why he is allowed to remain a member of Congress is beyond me!
The other night, our family watched “I Am Not Your Negro.“
What I take away from James Baldwin:
Everything in Heather’s piece tonight supports the premise I’ve been speaking about for over a year now: the old whites-superior and males-superior (and straights-millionaires-Christians-superior) cultural paradigm is being replaced, and has already lost the fight for hegemony in our society. The dominant culture for so many years, the European Invasion culture, is getting replaced. If you look at all their rants and complaints, like Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head going gender neutral, the bathroom door signage wars, trump versus Biden & Harris, and everything in Heather‘s piece, it’s all about maintaining the old antiquated society of yesterday.
What is violence? Paul Gosar producing a cartoon? Puh-lease. Violence is “strange fruit.“ Black corpses hanging from trees. Violence is entire towns of whites descending on a Native American encampment and butchering it in its entirety. Violence is white settlers coming up with the idea of scalps so they can collect money, bounties, from the US government for killing Indians without having to tote around an entire body. Yes, it was whites that invented scalps, and as usual, the whites then blamed the Indians for their own racist mortal sins.
Does that sound familiar? Have we seen anybody blaming another group for their own sins?
The violence we are seeing is that lethal racist culture now acting like the cornered animal that it has been for awhile now. The animal catcher is snaring the cornered animal and putting it in a cage, at long last. It has terrorized the neighborhood long enough. I don’t have any sympathy for the animal anymore. Maybe it’s time for euthanizing it. Like a tiger that has lived for decades near an Indian village (the Asian India) and killed people from the village over decades, it’s about time for us to stop showing mercy. This animal is lethal. Tulsa, lynchings by the KKK of blacks and Native Americans and Asians, George Floyd, Wounded Knee, are just the tip of the iceberg. As a nation, we need to relegate that animal, that cultural paradigm, now embodied in the Republican Party, to endangered species status, just like in California, where the Republican Party is now toothless, except for McCarthy who has some power because of his seniority.
Family. “Family” is code for Christian Hallmark Channel 1950s-and-before society of yesteryear, the society that takes ships down to Africa and just brutally kidnaps people at random and brings them back to work on cotton and tobacco plantations, so the whites who own those plantations can get rich. That is the same culture which killed every Native American that got in the way of the whites stealing whatever property they could find in the New World, property that rightfully belongs to the people who were here when the whites arrived.
You could say that James Baldwin and Malcolm X are speaking through me tonight. There might be a little of MLK Jr. in there too, I have a lot of love in me, but while we love individual people, we certainly cannot love or condone their atrocities committed as a group, as a sadistic self-serving culture of whites first and men first, and everyone else under threat of brutal treatment if they don’t comply.
And now, that crowd is attacking the other whites who oppose their atrocities. Joe Biden. Nancy Pelosi. Gabby Giffords. And of course they continue to attack non-whites, women, and non-straights, like they always have.
Is it just a cartoon? No, of course not, just like Gabby Giffords’s face in the crosshairs of a rifle scope had consequences. I’m just writing this post to remind us of the precise and explicit horrors, historically, being a target of the antiquated white European-tradition society truly entails.
I had always wondered why impeachment was for "high crimes and misdemeanors". High? Misdemeanor? It turns out under British law government officials were held to a higher standard for crimes and misdemeanors because of their larger impact on the people. Our Congress also needs to be held to a higher standard where even the misdemeanor threat of violence is not tolerated.
Reading this chronicle of the Republicans "slow-moving coup" is akin to sitting on a hill and watching an unavoidable train wreck.
I watched some of the Gosar censure yesterday. When McCarthy arrogantly rattled off a list of everything he thought Biden had done wrong, I wanted to punch him in the face. I was amazed at AOC’s eloquence. Nancy Pelosi was so strong. The censure vote went the exact way it should have gone. The 1/06 invader with the horns got 3.5 years behind bars. The FBI is going after the people who threaten people on school boards. Good things are happening.
Once again, the Republiscum continue to demonstrate that Harry Truman was right 73 years ago when he observed that "the only 'good Republicans' are pushing up daisies." And that was the Republican Party that - today - we look back on as being a good party, despite at the time they were creating the Red Scare with the HUAC hearings into the Hollywood Ten and Richard Nixon was getting ready to become famous with the HUAC hearings he led with the testimony of Whittaker Chambers and "the pumpkin papers" (so called because Chambers claimed he had hidden them in a hollowed-out pumpkin). And a first-term senator from Wisconsin who had so far achieved nothing wondered whether he should base his 1952 re-election campaign on a call for new financing of housing, or would it be better to play "this commie game" as he termed it in a conversation with a friend.
Let's recall how Richard Hofstadter described them 67 years ago in 1954:
It can most accurately be called pseudo-conservative — I borrow the term from the study of The Authoritarian Personality published five years ago by Theodore W. Adorno and his associates — because its exponents, although they believe themselves to be conservatives and usually employ the rhetoric of conservatism, show signs of a serious and restless dissatisfaction with American life, traditions and institutions. They have little in common with the temperate and compromising spirit of true conservatism in the classical sense of the word, and they are far from pleased with the dominant practical conservatism of the moment as it is represented by the Eisenhower Administration. Their political reactions express rather a profound if largely unconscious hatred of our society and its ways — a hatred which one would hesitate to impute to them if one did not have suggestive clinical evidence.
From clinical interviews and thematic apperception tests, Adorno and his co-workers found that their pseudo-conservative subjects, although given to a form of political expression that combines a curious mixture of largely conservative with occasional radical notions, succeed in concealing from themselves impulsive tendencies that, if released in action, would be very far from conservative. The pseudo-conservative, Adorno writes, shows “conventionality and authoritarian submissiveness” in his conscious thinking and “violence, anarchic impulses, and chaotic destructiveness in the unconscious sphere. . . . The pseudo conservative is a man who, in the name of upholding traditional American values and institutions and defending them against more or less fictitious dangers, consciously or unconsciously aims at their abolition.”
And they have only gotten worse since. As demonstrated today with their threats to "cancel" Democrats when they return to power next year.
We have to keep these barbarians from the gates.
I receive more information about gerrymandering of American elections from a newspaper published in England than I receive from my own regional American newspapers.
It is small wonder when politicians can pick their voters, rather than voters picking their politicians, why federal politicians now have so little in common with their constituents and so little interest in addressing constituents' needs.
When I logged on and opened LFAA this morning with my first cup of coffee, there were 195 comments. As I write this, there are now 268 and I have just taken the last swallow of cup number three. Todays comments do not disappoint and are reflective of the depth of knowledge and experience that our community here reflects.
Even though I have come to expect the worst from today's Republiscum/Repugnant party, I was still dumbfounded by the fact that 2 brave and 4 cowardly members avoided a strict party line vote. I recall the brouhaha over Al Franken some years back. Really???? I was not expecting the blatant "fuck you" that Gosar did in re-tweeting that same video, but am also not surprised by it. The playground bullyesque response of Kevin McCarthy (Reptile, CA) crying that it was an "abuse of power" with the implied notion of "just you wait until its OUR turn".
For me, this paragraph sums up where we are today very well:
"Republicans have made it clear that they are comfortable with violence, and they are rigging elections to gain power. Unless Congress chooses to protect our votes with the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Republican performance in the House today will become our norm. "
Violence and rigging elections to gain/maintain power should be "so 19th century". It isn't. Our racist, violent history is cycling back again.
1: I intentionally used a vulgarity. I put it in quotes.
2: We are up to 275 comments just as I hit "post"
3: I am debating a 4th cup of coffee
The reason that Republicans are unwilling to censure Gosar is that he's not an outlier. Yes, it's true that Gosar is unhinged, as his family keeps telling us. He's totally unfit for office - a rabid, racist psychopath. The problem for McCarthy and Republican leaders is that their party is full of unhinged fanatics who are unfit for office. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Matt Gaetz. Lauren Boebert. Jim Jordan. Trump. Gohmert. Mo Brooks. Madison Cawthorn. And on and on...
If McCarthy starts applying the "unhinged and unfit for office" filter on his members, he'll have to censure dozens of Republicans at the national and state level. Here's the real problem. Despite his family paying for political ads out of their own pocket to tell Arizona voters that Gosar is a horrible human being and unfit for office, Gosar won with 69% of the vote in the last election. Republican voters love unhinged, unfit candidates. McCarthy, spineless and craven as he is, would never take a principled stance that goes against the deplorable GOP base. The entire party is unhinged, and unfit for office.
one of the big arguments Republicans seem to enjoy saying over and over again is something like: "if you lose the house, we'll start censuring YOU." but as far as I know (and if I'm wrong, I'm glad to be enlightened), this kind of completely unhinged behavior is something you don't see much from Democrats, who tend to get in trouble in ways that seem a lot more "mainstream" to me than the clearly lunatic Gosar's post. the one thing about all this that feels like it's good for an appropriate chuckle is Gosar's pathetic effort to "walk it back" by denying that he "created" it (very possibly true, but irrelevant) or didn't see it before it was posted, etc. his retweet, needless to say, gives the lie to ALL of that bullshit.
The Republicans are becoming increasingly unhinged. It's like watching a kind of malignant dementia take hold of the whole group. What happens next? Are the Republicans going to claim that the expectation that they wear clothes in Congress is "tyranny" and needs to be defied?
It isn't just the nutcases, like Gosar and Greene. It's that 207 Republican members of congress did not vote to censure Gosar over a public act that, at BEST -- under tons of cosmetics buffed to a fine polish -- can be characterized as an impotent act of puerile rage in extreme bad taste. Imagine -- just imagine -- that there really was some kind of tyranny going on, and that the core of the "revolution" against it was pulling this kind of toilet-papering stunt and banding together to "support" it as a valid, necessary patriotic act: dear God, what an embarrassment.