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Congressman Paul Gosar has offended many people and contributed to the 22% approval rating of Congress, but his censure over a cartoon on social media no doubt will lead to more rancor and partisanship. He is only the eighth member of the House to be censured since the beginning of the 20th century, and most of the others committed actual crimes.

In a mostly party-line vote, Democrats also took away Gosar’s committee assignments. That is something that until recently was handled by the parties themselves.

Gosar tweeted anime video of himself attacking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Biden. Is he seeking to be more of a social media influencer and less a working congressman? He’s not alone in that regard, just more extreme in the way he showed it.

Now, however, the Democrats have set a precedent that may well swing the other way in a year. Republican control of the House is quite likely after the 2022 election. Be assured that social media accounts will be monitored for such things as anti-Semitic comments, which have come from the Democratic side recently. A censure could soon follow.

Gosar represents a district that includes Florence and northern Pinal County and also has a solid Republican registration. Many people support his far-right stands. The problem is that he often has detracted from the decorum that should exist in Congress.

Districts are being redrawn as we speak, and that will determine Gosar’s political future. He certainly did not help his cause with a cartoon that showed him engaging in violent behavior. But in a political landscape supercharged with partisanship, he has his supporters.

The Wall Street Journal summed up the situation by saying, “Mr. Gosar, who is 63 years old but acts like a teenager on TikTok, deserves ridicule more than censure, which should be reserved for serious offenses.”

Whether or not Paul Gosar is an elected representative in 2023, Congress should do better in many ways.

— Donovan Kramer Jr.

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