Unlike Kathy Griffin, Rep. Paul Gosar gets a pass for his vile anime video

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U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) speaks during the Turning Point Action event at the Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix on July 24, 2021. Former president Donald Trump spoke later during the event. This is Donald Trump's first post-presidency visit to Arizona.
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) speaks during the Turning Point Action event at the Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix on July 24, 2021. Former president Donald Trump spoke later during the event. This is Donald Trump's first post-presidency visit to Arizona.

When comedian Kathy Griffin posted a picture of herself holding the bloody severed head of Donald Trump, the reaction was swift and severe.

Her career crumbled overnight. She was placed on a no-fly list for two months and the Secret Service came knocking at her door.

Meanwhile, condemnations flowed forth from coast to coast, from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Finally, the nation united in something upon which we all could agree. Kathy Griffin had crossed a line.

Imagine if a conservative did this ...

“Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself,” Trump tweeted at the time. “My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”

“It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate,” CNN’s Anderson Cooper wrote, as the network canceled her contract.

“Disgusting but not surprising,” Donald Trump Jr., tweeted. “This is the left today. They consider this acceptable. Imagine a conservative did this to Obama as POTUS?”

Yeah, just imagine.

Four years later, Rep. Paul Gosar posts an anime video of himself, killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and swinging a pair of swords at Joe Biden.

And the condemnation from his fellow Republicans is …

… Virtually non-existent.

While Griffin became an overnight pariah, Gosar gets a pass.

Don't expect any consequences for Gosar

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy apparently doesn’t see a problem. If he did, surely he’d strip Gosar of his committee assignments or kick him out of the caucus and call for his resignation.

Gosar’s fellow Arizona leaders apparently don’t see a problem.

Rep. Andy Biggs hasn’t commented on Gosar as a cartoon assassin, being far more concerned that Big Bird got a COVID-19 vaccination.

Reps. Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert have nothing to say, as is par for the course. Ditto for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

Don’t expect any consequences from the Arizona Republican Party.

“Does this mean Gosar can really fly, too? OMG! I never knew cartoons were real,” state GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward tweeted.

This, from a woman who was so outraged by the Griffin stunt in 2017 that she plastered the gruesome photo smack onto the front of a fundraising mailer for her 2018 Senate campaign, complete with this snappy caption:

“The Left has become dangerously unhinged ...”.

“When 11-year-old Barron Trump first saw the picture of ‘comedienne’ Kathy Griffin holding the fake severed head of his father, he thought someone had really murdered his dad,” Ward wrote, in that plea for funds. “He screamed for his mother, who had to assure him that the president was safe.”

“As a mother, this makes me sick.”

Will anyone challenge him in 2022?

Me, too. And as American, it makes me sick to see people in responsible positions of leadership who would put party before basic human decency and excuse this outrage, either openly or through their silence.

Trump followers sent death threats to Griffin, her octogenarian mother and her sister, who at the time was battling cancer.

Next year, they’ll likely re-elect Gosar, assuming he has the bad taste to run for re-election.

Democrats Delina DeSanto and Judy Stahl plan to challenge him but it’s a heavily Republican district. What’s desperately needed is a decent Republican to take him on and knock him out.

Gosar, for his part, has attempted to rationalize away his outrageous fantasy killings, calling the video “a symbolic portrayal of a fight over immigration policy.”

Yeah, and Kathy Griffin’s image of a beheaded Trump was performance art.

She’s a comedian who stepped over the line and paid dearly for it.

He’s a sitting member of Congress who is so far over the line he can’t even see the line the thing.

And neither, sadly, can his Republican colleagues.

Reach Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LaurieRoberts.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Rep. Paul Gosar video deserves Republican condemnation. Where is it?

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