18 November 2021
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
The House of Representatives voted yesterday to censure Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ, Qanon) for a video he posted on the internet in which a cartoon version of him murdered a cartoon version of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and President Biden. The vote was 223-207, with one member voting present. Of the majority, all but two were Democrats. Of the minority, all were Republicans. Apparently, the House GOP is content with House members making lethal threats against other elected officials. The Republic, such as it is, has reached a new low.
Violence in Republics of any kind tends to erode the rules by which the polity governs itself. A Republic is preferable to a monarchy or other form of dictatorship because it has mechanisms to maintain the peace with the polity. Republics die when those mechanisms fail or are ignored. The American Civil War is an extreme example of what happens when one side chooses violence over accepting the results of the constitutional system. The Southern betrayal of the Constitution and the rebel attack on federal forces at Fort Sumter was an attempt to set aside the election of Abraham Lincoln.
The threats made against Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and President Biden are threats against the constitutional system of the US. When a bullet or a knife or a bomb voids the results of an election, the Republic's foundations are at risk. The threat to murder is a threat to destroy the system by which America has been governed.
The Republicans in the House made numerous fallacious arguments to justify their votes not to censure. One was that there was supposed to be an investigation by the ethics committee and a debate on the findings. The process, in the House, however, is whatever the majority says the process is. Another is that the whole thing is a joke. Apparently, one can joke about killing a fellow legislator. Yet somehow, one gets the feeling that any "joke" about murdering a GOP member of Congress would be met with wailing and gnashing of teeth.
What they failed to do was condemn the threat. Only Liz Cheney (R-WY, real conservative) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL, veteran and patriot) voted to censure Mr. Gosar. No fewer than a dozen GOP congressmen stood in the well with Mr. Gosar as the resolution of censure was read. They associated themselves with his actions.
This is not about Mr. Gosar really. His siblings have called him guano crazy and have said he should be expelled from Congress. He is not a serious person. It is the institutional failure of the Republican Party to discipline him that is worrisome. Instead, the GOP caucus in the House is thinking about punishing the 13 Republicans in the House who voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal that 19 GOP Senators voted for. Their crime was working with the Democrats to get their bridges and roads fixed rather than obstructing whatever the Democrats do. In other words, those staying with the party will receive protection regardless of the sin. Vote with the Democrats, and one faces retribution from one's own side.
That is the very definition of corruption.
© Copyright 2021 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.