The Memo: Experts Warn of New Violence Amid Gosar Storm

Experts warn of more political violence amid the furor over the Rep. Paul gosarPaul Anthony Gosar Rep. Gosar posts anime video showing him beating Biden, Ocasio-Cortez Greene received permission to enter the ‘patriot wing’ of DC jail to visit the January 6 defendants Summons are a real concern for lawmakers facing questions from Jan.6 MOREThe animated video of (R-Ariz.) That showed him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez Rep. Gosar Releases Anime Video Showing Him Hitting Biden, Ocasio-Cortez Former Clinton Strategist: Virginia Results Show Democrats’ Left Too Much Left On Key Issues For Voters Educated Suburban ‘Pediatrician Reveals Challenge to South Carolina Republican Party Mace MORE (DN.Y.) and attacking President BidenJoe Biden Nicaragua Ortega Prepares to Win Election Amid International Criticism Representative Gosar Releases Anime Video Showing Him Hitting Biden, Ocasio-Cortez Overnight Energy & Environment – Presented By ExxonMobil – Activists Cry Over COP26 Draft MORE with two swords.

The firestorm over the video, which was shared via Gosar’s official Twitter and Instagram accounts, dominated much of Washington on Tuesday.

But the uproar was almost entirely on the Democratic side, with a surprising lack of condemnation from Republican congressmen.

The unilateral response leaves those who study extremism and violence more concerned than ever.

“The problem now is particularly on the Republican side. They are not willing to marginalize and punish their own extremists, “said Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and an expert on the dangers to democracy.

Diamond made it clear that he believed there was a growing general problem with heated political rhetoric. But, he added, it is simply wrong to suggest that contagion has spread evenly between the two parties.

“I am not going to say that the problems or our political polarization are only on one side of the political spectrum. I am concerned about the growing stridency coming from the progressive left. But there is nothing like this [the Gosar video] coming from the progressive left that I have seen: the encouragement of political violence against incumbent officials. Wow. That is a very dangerous development. “

Gosar has long been a quirky and controversial figure. His own brothers recorded a campaign ad against him in 2018. In June this year, he denied that he planned to attend a fundraiser with Nick Fuentes, a far-right operative, even though an invitation to such an event included a photo of both. mens.

The Washington Post noted at the time that the original invitation included contact information for Gosar’s campaign and said it was authorized by his campaign committee.

Monday’s video of animated figures altered to look like Gosar, Ocasio-Cortez and Biden is part of a larger pattern of Republican militant figures fomenting violence.

The most famous example is clearly the above President TrumpDonald Trump Meat industry groups pledge to meet Paris Agreement emissions targets by 2030 Judge dismisses part of DC AG’s lawsuit against Trump’s inaugural committee Representative Gosar publishes anime video showing him hitting Biden, Ocasio-Cortez MORE. He came to office after a 2016 campaign in which he encouraged his supporters to beat up protesters at their rallies and stepped down as the only president to be indicted twice, the second time for inciting the January 6 insurrection.

But the trend is not limited to the former president.

The video emerged on the weekend of Rep. Clay HigginsGlen (Clay) Clay Higgins Rep. Tim Ryan Becomes Latest Revolutionary COVID-19 Case in Congress New York Democrat Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Latest Revolutionary House Case Florida Democrat Becomes the latest groundbreaking COVID-19 case in the House MORE (R-La.) Protesting COVID-related mandates and those who defend them:

“Be prepared to defend your position … We would rather die standing than live on our knees … Some of us are prepared to carry that fight with every drop of our blood,” he said.

As a candidate for office, Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP’s Efforts to Minimize the Danger of Capitol Riots Increase Memorandum: Now What for Anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Says She Will Meet With Trump ‘Soon’ In Florida MORE (R-Ga.) Juxtaposed an image of her holding a gun alongside photos of Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan omarIlhan Omar Legislators who opposed their parties on the infrastructure bill T Progressives leave the leader of the Black Caucus waiting outside to meet Democrats unite to send the infrastructure bill to Biden’s desk MORE (D-Minn.) And Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi Tlaib Lawmakers Who Opposed Their Parties On Infrastructure Bill T Ocasio-Cortez Defends Climate Provisions In Spending Bill: ‘I Have To Live In This Future’ Memo: Democrats Stagnant on Brink of victory MORE (D-Mich.). In May, Greene verbally tackled Ocasio-Cortez outside the House chamber.

“We’re talking about this video, but we’re really talking about the bigger picture,” Bridget Todd, communications director for the gender justice organization UltraViolet, told this column, referring to Gosar’s tweet. “They have this idea of ​​’Oh, it was a joke, it’s just Twitter.’ But we have to do something to make sure that this type of behavior is not normalized. “

Todd added that the video was “emblematic of a deeper cultural toxicity, and we should call it what it is.”

In fact, Gosar’s office has suggested that the video was intended to be lighthearted.

“Everybody needs to relax,” Digital Director Jessica Lycos said in a statement. On Tuesday, Gosar tweeted another image that suggested critics were disproportionating the video.

But that cuts a bit with the experts on extremism.

“The politicians will say they were joking or that it is a cartoon, which is not serious,” said Jennifer McCoy, a political science professor at Georgia State University who has written extensively on how democracies can fall apart.

“However, by even implying that this is a legitimate treatment of opponents, we are saying that we are willing to completely discredit opponents and even threaten them.”

On Tuesday night, Gosar issued a new statement, saying he does not “advocate violence or harm towards any member of Congress or Mr. Biden.” The video, he insisted, was “a symbolic portrait of a fight for immigration policy.”

But that came only after the original video was met with a chorus of condemnation from Democrats, including a spokeswoman for President Biden.

“There is no place for any kind of violence or that kind of language in the political system,” said the White House Chief Press Secretary. Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-Pierre Overnight Health Care – Presented by Rare Access Action Project – White House Unaffected by On The Money Mandate Ruling – White House Delves into Vaccine Mandate Republican Says Republican Party Should Block government funding on vaccine mandates MORE he told reporters at Tuesday’s press conference. “It shouldn’t be happening and we should condemn it.”

Spokesman Nancy pelosiNancy Pelosi Spending Bill Tackles Senate Christie’s Fight in 2020 Election: ‘No Matter Where You Are, It’s Over’ After a Brutal Election Day, Democrats Make a Wise Return to Downtown MORE (D-Calif.) He called for investigations by Congress and law enforcement, and described the video as “horrible.” Senate Majority Leader Charles schumerChuck SchumerGOP Delves into Blocking Diplomatic Selections by Biden Sununu Says He Will Decide on Senate Run ‘Next Week’ Christie on 2020 Election: ‘No Matter Where You Are, It’s Over’ MORE (DN.Y.) called it “disgusting.”

But various media outlets reported that they had received no response to requests for comment from the House Minority Leader. Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthy Rep. MORE (R-Calif.).

Ocasio-Cortez herself claimed that Gosar’s actions and McCarthy’s inaction were part of a larger picture in which “institutions don’t protect” women of color.

That opinion was amplified by Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Squad’ member, Rep. Ayanna pressleyAyanna PressleyLaws who opposed her parties on Infrastructure Bill T, Michelle Wu elected as Boston’s first mayor Memo: Democrats stall on the brink of victory MORE (D-Mass.), Who called Gosar’s video “appalling.” Pressley said such attacks “perpetuate and normalize violence against women, an all too common reality” for women of color.

Female public figures generally face more intense harassment online, according to experts like McCoy.

“What they face is a combination, often of sexual innuendo and depictions of rape, along with physical violence,” he said. “So yeah, I think women politicians face double standards.”

Seen through the widest lens of all, Gosar’s video is just one more milestone on an increasingly sinister path. The path seems to make more political violence almost inevitable. And there is no sign that the body politic, or the nation in general, can find a more constructive course.

“It is a very extreme version of the degradation of our political culture, and increasing political polarization and intolerance on the one hand, and the willingness to tolerate or even encourage violence on the other,” Diamond said.

The Memo is a column reported by Niall Stanage.

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