No Guardrails

Today I’m approaching the Republicans’ assault on the First Amendment from a different angle. The right to free speech comes with responsibilities and guardrails. The current House GOP caucus either doesn’t understand that and/or is too cowardly to stand up for it (and by extension America).

On Wednesday, November 17, 2021 the House censured Paul Gosar of Arizona and stripped him of his committee assignments. The vote was 223-207-1-3. Two Republicans joined all 221 Democrats in voting aye. All the nays came from the Republican side. One, David Joyce of Ohio, voted present on the weak excuse that he is on the House Ethics Committee and didn’t feel taking a position was proper. Three Republicans didn’t even bother to vote (under the current rules of the House you can basically phone or email a vote in).

A few days earlier Gosar had sent out a doctored video in which he depicts himself killing fellow Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden. Given multiple opportunities he refused to apologize. Especially in this politically polarized atmosphere endorsing physical harm against an elected official is a bridge too far. Both Gabby Giffords and Steve Scalise have been the victims of shootings in the recent past. (Scalise voted against the censure.)

This is a perfect illustration of violating the constraints of free speech. I held a lot of roles with several different organization in my lifetime. I liked many of the people I worked with, didn’t care for some and was indifferent about the majority. Had I advocated death or injury to any of those I disliked I would have been out on my ear pronto and rightfully so. I think Gosar got off light!

As part of’s “voter guide function” here are the 207 idiots/cowards/un-Americans: Robert Aderholt, Mo Brooks, Jerry Carl, Barry Moore, Gary Palmer and Mike Rogers of Alabama, Rick Allen, Buddy Carter, Andrew Clyde, Drew Ferguson, Marjorie Taylor Greene (of the no committees), Jody Hice, Barry Luetkemeyer and Austin Scott of Georgia, Mark Amodei of Nevada, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, Jodey Arrington, Brian Babin, Kevin Brady, Michael Burgess, John Carter, Michael Cloud, Dan Crenshaw, Jake Ellzey, Pat Fallon, Louie Gohmert, Tony Gonzales, Lance Gooden, Kay Granger, Ronny Jackson, Michael McCaul, Troy Nehls, August Pfluger, Chip Roy, Pete Sessions, Van Taylor, Beth Van Duyne, Michael Waltz, Randy Weber and Roger Williams of Texas, Don Bacon, Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith of Nebraska, James Baird, Jim Banks, Larry Bucshon, Tim Burchett, Trey Hollingsworth, Greg Pence, Victoria Spartz and Jackie Walorski of Indiana, Troy Balderson, Mike Carey, Steve Chabot, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs, Tony Gonzalez, Bill Johnson, Jim Jordan, Robert Latta, Michael Turner and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, Andy Barr, James Comer, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie and Harold Rogers of Kentucky, Cliff Bentz of Oregon, Jack Bergman, Lisa McClain, Peter Meijer, John Moolenaar, Fred Upton and Tim Walberg of Michigan, Stephanie Bice, Tom Cole, Kevin Hern, Frank Lucas and Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko, David Schweikert and Bruce Westerman of Arizona, Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Mario Diaz-Balart, Kat Cammack, Brian Donalds, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Carlos Gimenez, Brain Mast, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Maria Salazar, Gregory Steube and Daniel Webster of Florida, Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Patrick McHenry, Greg Murphy and David Rouzer of North Carolina, Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, Darin LaHood and Mary Miller of Illinois, Ken Calvert, Mike Garcia, Jarred Huizenga, Darrell Issa, Young Kim, Doug LaMalfa, Kevin McCarthy, Tom McClintock, Devin Nunes, Jay Obernolte, Michelle Steel and David Valadao of California, Ben Cline, Bob Good and Robert Wittman of Virginia, Rick Crawford, French Hill and Steve Womack of Arkansas, John Curtis, David Kustoff, Blake Moore, Burgess Owens and Chris Stewart of Utah, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, Mark Green and Diane Harshbarger of Tennessee, Jeff Duncan, Nancy Mace, Ralph Norman, Tom Rice, John Rose, William Timmons and Joe Wilson of South Carolina, Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach, Jim Hagerdorn and Jeff Stauber of Minnesota, Ron Estes, Jake LaTurner and Tracey Mann of Kansas, Randy Feenstra, Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, Scott Fitzgerald, Mike Gallagher, Glenn Grothman, Bryan Steil and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin, Brian Fitzpatrick, John Joyce, Fred Keller, Mike Kelly, Daniel Meuser, Guy Reschenthaler, Lloyd Smucker and Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania, Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson of Idaho, Andrew Garbarino, Chris Jacobs, John Katko, Nicole Malliotakis, Tom Reed, Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney and Lee Zeldin of New York, Garrett Graves, Clay Higgins, Mike Johnson, Julia Letlow and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Jason Smith and Ann Wagner of Missouri, Andy Harris of Maryland, Michael Guest, Trent Kelly and Steven Palazzo of Mississippi, Yvette Herrell of New Mexico, Jamie Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, David McKinley, Carol Miller and Alex Mooney of West Virginia, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Chris Smith and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey along with Don Young of Alaska.

I can only conclude that these 207 think it is fine to advocate the murder of someone they work with and a violent attack against the President. With rights come responsibilities. Apparently, that is too complex of a concept for all but two of today’s House Republicans to grasp.

The day after the vote Donald Trump, the current de facto leader of the GOP, endorsed Gosar for reelection.

One of the wonderful parts of American democracy is that we are allowed to disagree; I just think we should be civil in how we do it and so does the Constitution.

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One thought on “No Guardrails”

  1. Immediately (almost) after the censure vote, Gosar put the anime back up. And McCarthy says he’ll reinstate the committee assignments for Gosar and Marjory Taylor Greene if the Republicans take back the House next year. C’mon Democrats! Bounce McCarthy out of his seat next year!

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