Is it really too much to expect that a member of Congress behave in a professional way? If your member of Congress is Paul Gosar (R-AZ) the answer is “yes.” Gosar posted an anime video with the faces of President Joe Biden and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez superimposed over giant monsters, while Gosar himself was the conquering hero using swords to take the monsters down. Gosar’s childish behavior on social media is an embarrassment to his state and the Republican Party.
So, here is a serious question: What is this supposed to accomplish? Does it advance a policy argument? Does it help stop any bad legislation from moving forward? Does it advance good legislation? Does it convince any voters that Republicans should be elected over Democrats? The answer to all of these questions is “no.” There is no political or policy reason to trolling on social media. The stupid anime video accomplishes nothing other than trolling Democrats and generating laughs from “owning the libs.”
Democrats, meanwhile, do themselves no favors by overreacting. After describing the video as an “emergency,” Nancy Pelosi said this:
It’s violence against women, workplace harassment — really, I think, legal matters in terms of threatening a member and the president of the United States.
No, it is not an “emergency.” Obviously, this was stupid, childish and uncivil. It is well below what we should expect of our leaders at any level, especially a Congressman. But it is not a threat against AOC or Biden, nor is it a call to violence against them. It is a stupid video. I have seen memes like this for 25 years. What makes this different is that instead of an anonymous person posting something “for the lulz,” it is a Congressman posting it not on his campaign page, but on his official Congressional account.
This is what Democrats did with President Trump. He would say something childish and stupid, and they would react and blow it out of proportion. But by overreacting, they damage themselves and take the focus away from Gosar’s childishness and stupidity. They look like “snowflakes” who cannot take a joke, and that only encourages more trolling. The best thing to do is reprimand Gosar and move on. Do not embarrass yourself by overreacting. Instead, focus on Gosar’s childish and unprofessional behavior.
As an aside, why all of the hatred for AOC? I disagree with her on many things, and I think her policy agenda is harmful and counterproductive. But she is not a monster or a grave threat to our country. She is one Congresswoman from New York. The rage against her on the Right lacks any sense of proportion. The memes of brutal violence against her are deeply disturbing.
Republicans largely gave up any expectation of professionalism in 2016 when they nominated Donald Trump as the party’s candidate for President. We should not be surprised, then, when other Republicans are every bit as childish and unprofessional as Trump himself. But the Republican Party should not be the party of trolls who put “owning the libs” over serious policy.