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Friday, December 3, 2021

Threat policy

For years in Congress, the unofficial rule of thumb for receiving death threats was not to talk about them. Everything seems to have changed.

When the House of Representatives discussed last week whether to convict Paul Gosar, a far-right congressman from Arizona, for posting a modified anime video depicting him killing Alexandria MP Ocasio-Cortez, a New York City progressive, something out of the ordinary happened. Speaking one after the other, the deputies frankly and frankly admitted that they, too, often received threats of violence.

Niekema Williams, a freshman Democrat from Georgia, described how strange it was to throw her child into kindergarten surrounded by security personnel. Jackie Walorski, a veteran Republican from Indiana, said an activist recently tried to run over her in his car.

“The threat of actual violence against members of Congress is real and growing,” said Florida-based Ted Deutsch, a Democrat who chairs the House Ethics Committee. “More than ever, many of us fear for our physical safety.”

Having covered Congress for over three years, the responses from these legislators seemed to me to be a testament to the extent to which the growing threat of political violence loomed over American politics in the aftermath of the January 6th attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters.

But the Republican response to the possible condemnation of Gosar was just as startling: Party leaders in the House of Representatives pointedly refused to condemn the video, and their rank and file closed ranks around Gosar almost unanimously. About a dozen Republicans gathered around him in solidarity when he was convicted.

The vote was intended to demonstrate responsibility for political violence. Instead, he identified a more troubling trend: the GOP’s growing tolerance for threatening, incendiary rhetoric, increasingly supported by its loudest voices. It was a preview of what could be the new status quo in Washington.

The timeline that culminated in Gosar’s conviction began when he posted a video earlier this month. In a crudely edited work, he depicted cutting Ocasio-Cortez’s neck and swinging swords at President Biden.

Gosar, who has teamed up with white nationalists, declined to apologize. He insisted that the video was intended to depict a “symbolic” political battle for immigration.

But it was clear that the shadow of the January attack on the Capitol was hanging over last week’s meetings. Democrats warned that Gosar’s comments could be interpreted as a call to arms made by Donald Trump on January 6, when he called on his supporters at a rally to march to Congress and “fight like hell.”

And while Gosar’s video was the most provocative display of violence amplified by an incumbent, it was just the latest example of Republican lawmakers using viciously obtrusive language.

In the days and weeks before the riot, Trump’s closest allies in the House of Representatives, including Gosar, used belligerent, inflammatory rhetoric to encourage their followers to fight against Biden’s victory. They mistakenly assumed that Trump was the victim of an attempted “coup d’état” and called January 6 “the moment of 1776”.

While politically motivated violence against legislators – in both parties – is not new, Capitol police say they have seen a surge in violent threats and messages over the past five years as Trump’s political style has gone mainstream. The spokesman declined to break down the threats by party, but a review of court records shows that both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been targeted.

Democrats stripped Gosar of posts on two committees of the House of Representatives. But his exile could not last long. Republicans are already swearing political retaliation if they return the House of Representatives.

Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, told reporters that he would bring Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Green, Georgia Republicans, who were also ousted by Democrats from committees for harsh comments, back to their appointments if Republicans return the majority in 2023. And McCarthy reiterated that Republicans would consider ousting some Democrats from their committee seats.

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Shortly after being censured, Gosar retweeted his original violent video, and Trump expressed renewed support for him.

The congressional censure act is intended to cast a shadow of shame on the legislator for both politicians and voters to see. Instead, rallying around Gosar, Republican leaders have expressed their covert support, even as they publicly but vaguely condemned the violence.

These ramifications will go beyond Gosar’s political position.

“This is not about me. It’s not about Representative Gosara, ”Ocasio-Cortez said in the House Hall. “It’s about what we’re willing to accept.”

  • At least five people were killed and another 40 were injured after an SUV crashed into a holiday parade outside Milwaukee.

  • The police said the man was in custody.

  • “The car just flew past us, there was a lot of panic,” said one 14-year-old marching in the parade.

  • Two of the 17 aid workers who were abducted in Haiti over a month ago have been released.

  • Peng Shuai, a Chinese tennis star who disappeared from the public eye after being accused of sexual assault by a former government official, made a video call.

  • Israel has repeatedly attacked Iran’s nuclear and missile facilities, but Tehran appears to be quickly rebuilding them.

  • From the weekend: Cobalt is the key to a sustainable future. Finding it is a history of exploitation.

Gail Collins and Bret Stevens discuss what they are grateful for.

The Hundred Years War is still raging at the French and British embassies in Washington. Maureen Dowd writes.

AI: A robot helped write a book review.

Quiz time: The average score on our breaking news quiz was 9.2. How well are you doing?

Tip from Wirecutter: How to clean vinyl records.

Lives lived: Mick Rock’s shots with David Bowie, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry and others have made him one of the most famous rock and pop photographers. Rock died at 72.

From those first photographs of Lady Gaga and Adam Driver in stunning après-ski looks on set, it was clear that the Gucci biopic was going to be a sight to behold. Gaga plays Patricia Reggiani, ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, the heiress of the luxury brand’s fortune. In 1998, Reggiani, nicknamed the “Black Widow” by the Italian press, was convicted of organizing the murder of Gucci.

Before her divorce from Gucci, Reggiani was an eccentric among the Italian elite – she once said: “I’d rather cry in a Rolls-Royce than be happy on a bicycle.” After Gucci was shot and killed outside his Milan office in 1995, Reggiani told friends and reporters that she wanted him dead. In her diary on the day of Gucci’s murder, there was a single-word entry: “Paradeisos”, which in Greek means “paradise.”

In 1998, The Times called Reggiani’s trial “a real soap opera.” He combined “some of the country’s favorite obsessions: sex, money, designer shoes, and astrology.” (Personal psychic Reggiani was among the conspirators, admitting that she helped hire the man who shot Gucci at the behest of her client.)

Reggiani spent 16 years in prison. Since she came out, she has been frequently photographed in Milan with a parrot perched on her shoulder, The Guardian reports.

More about the film: The Times has Q&A with the costume designer, and The Cut has taken away some of the … colorful accents of the film. – Sanam Yar, Matinee writer

Pangram from Friday’s Spelling Bee was familiarly… Here’s today’s puzzle – or you can play it online.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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