Paul Gosar deserves much more punishment beyond being censured

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, Wiki.


The House of Representatives voted to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, who represents Arizona’s 4th Congressional District, on Nov. 17 due to a controversial video Gosar had tweeted.

The video in question was an edited clip from the anime show, “Attack on Titan” by Hajime Isayama. This clip was graphic in nature as it showed Gosar’s face superimposed over a character killing another character that had Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s face superimposed onto it.

This video was tweeted in response to a major spending bill proposed to the house the week before, with Ocasio-Cortez as one of its main supporters. In a statement made by Gosar he stated, “This video is truly a symbolic portrayal of a fight over immigration policy, ”as the policy in question that sparked this hateful video is President Biden’s latest economic package. According to CNN, the package “included immigration provisions [Gosar] disagrees with.”

The vote in the House resulted in a 223-207 vote in favor of censuring Gosar, as well as his removal from the Natural Resources Committee, which Cortez also serves on.

Gosar’s actions have received backlash, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not only claiming workplace harassment, but “violence against women,” and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer asking “Have you no shame?” in the chamber before the vote took place.

Gosar even received condemnation from his own party, with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy siding with the Democrats this time. “We cannot accept any action of a showing of violence to another member or anything else,” McCarthy said according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. “That’s inappropriate. It cannot stand.”

Gosar has yet to apologize for his actions to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, saying he was just “trying to reach out to newer generations, who like these new cartoons fabricated in Japanese likeness.”

The Arizona Republican is the first house member to be censured since New York Democrat Charlie Rangel in 2009 for spreading misinformation of financial records.

Rangel had been removed from the Ways and Means Committee and almost tarnished four decades of public service. However, in this case, Gosar’s light on his career should have burned out as soon as his video left his drafts and hit millions of viewer timelines.

Censuring Gosar may not be enough, as the congressman is still allowed to tweet and provide content as he pleases. Obviously, censureship is not the easiest punishment to come back from for those in public service.

However, the only acceptable response to Gosar’s video should have been congressional expulsion, and there’s a few major reasons as to why.

As mentioned before, Gosar has not apologized for his actions to Ocasio-Cortez, publicly or privately. Instead, Gosar claimed that “this video had nothing to do with harming anybody.” Also, Gosar had compared himself to Alexander Hamilton during his censuring, who was the first person Congress ever censured. However, Hamilton misused funds authorized to him by Congress, he did not threaten to kill his coworker.

This comparison is interesting, to say the least, but his lack of an apology combined with his cockiness over this situation just proves to me that this censureship was well-deserved, and in my opinion, not punishment enough.

The “I’m sorry” portion — or lack thereof — here isn’t nearly as important as the fact that Gosar committed a federal crime. Though he is a Representative himself, Gosar threatened the life of a government official, which would put a normal, everyday civilian on trial or in federal prison. Is it so absurd to say that this is a borderline act of terrorism? If the Ethics Committee operated justifiably, Gosar would stand trial facing either prison time, or complete expulsion from public service.

It’s not everyday we witness a censure in Congress. When it does happen, it’s only right for Congress to take the necessary steps to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.

Congress did not do enough this time, and Paul Gosar should either be politically excluded for the rest of his days or put behind bars for this violent display.