One could be forgiven for thinking an elected American politician routinely seen hobnobbing alongside Islamophobes, antisemites, and white supremacists as recently as *checks notes* last month would be pushed to resign from office... but c’mon. We’re well beyond ethical standards or accountability in this nation, right? That may be why we’re currently stuck with Republican House Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, who looks like one of the Nazis pursuing Indiana Jones during Raiders of the Lost Ark, and with the receipts to back it up.
Extensive documentation published earlier in the week by CNN showcases just some of the more explicit ways in which Rep. Gosar used his platform to issue racist, xenophobic, and bigoted dog whistles. Not only that, he has what appears to be a very perplexing congressional nuclear caucus with a membership of one: himself.
Most of this remains easily accessible via the congressman’s social media pages, particularly Twitter. Some lowlights include:
- Hosting a local trash cleanup alongside a Nazi sympathizer who claimed the U.S. fought on the wrong side during WWII
- Posting Instagram selfies with racist antivaxx figures
- Thanking former Pizzagate conspiracy theories, misogynist, and election fraud promoter Mike Cernovich
And although the House of Representatives censured and stripped Rep. Gosar of all committee assignments last year following his posting of a parody cartoon depicting him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, he still lists one bizarre, oblique responsibility on his official congressional Twitter bio: Chairman of the Congressional Nuclear Caucus... a group that currently counts himself as its only founder and member.
A caustic caucus title — The very same weekend that a pre-taped, 30-second clip from Rep. Gosar played at a White nationalist fringe conference, the elected official tweeted, “As Chairman of the Congressional Nuclear Caucus it is my mission to educate Americans on the need to expand our nuclear energy grid. It is the safest, most reliable and cleanest/green energy known.”
Gosar has a lengthy CV of various nuclear energy-related committee work and leadership, but since the House voted to strip him of his positions last year, the actuality of his continued work in those areas is questionable. And yet this Congressional Nuclear Caucus supposedly exists. Now, a caucus is not the same thing as a committee, so presumably Gosar can start one if he so chooses. But that doesn’t mean anyone else has to join it — and it looks like nobody has.
‘Energy’ blackout — And, this may seem a bit nit-picky, but it’s not exactly clear whether Rep. Gosar founded and currently chairs the “Congressional Nuclear Caucus,” or the “Congressional Nuclear Energy Caucus,” as his official political Twitter bio lists the former, while his website mentions the latter. As recently as January, Gosar is quoted as saying he’s “plan[ning] a major push to gain members and educate other members about the need to expand our nuclear energy grid.” Maybe start with choosing one, uniform name.
Multiple attempts to reach Rep. Gosar’s PR spokesperson for clarification have gone unanswered, which isn’t wholly surprising seeing as how they only gave CNN a “disparaging” response to the network’s coverage over the weekend. Still, it’s hard not to see Rep. Gosar’s Congressional Nuclear (Energy?) Caucus as anything more than a Nazi sympathizing political pariah’s desperate attempt to remain relevant while, according to Gosar’s website, he “await[s] the next Congress, God willing, to be formally returned to my rightful place.”