Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Abby Zimet: When you’re such a weasel, even your own siblings can’t stand to see you elected

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Between contemplating the sorry spectacle of world leaders laughing out loud at Dear Clown Leader and awaiting the latest Kavanaugh implosion of scandal and lies – best headline goes to Wonkette: “Brett Kavanaugh, The Weeping Virgin Saint of Friendship, Calendars and Dancing With Girls Politely” – see this election season’s most brutal ad,wherein six siblings of racist right-wing Nazi-fan-boy Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar urge constituents to vote for his Democratic opponent, not their scumbag brother. In a gonzo Trump era, they thus join the growing if reluctant ranks of family members appalled by relatives’ skeevy political allegiances, including a Stephen Miller uncle who has “watched with dismay and increasing horror” his nephew’s racist acts and a Laura Ingraham brother who calls her “a monster.”

In the Gosars’ ad, “A Family Defends Its Honor,” Joan, David, Tim, Grace, Gaston and Jennifer Gosar proclaim respectively that “Paul Gosar is not working for you.” Grace, a rural physician who says her brother doesn’t care about rural people: “I couldn’t be quiet any longer.” Jennifer, a medical interpreter citing the issues of health care, social security, the environment: “It’s horrible to have to do this.” Tim, a private investigator: “He’s not listening to you and he doesn’t have your interests at heart.” David, a lawyer: “Paul’s absolutely not working for his district.” “We’ve got to stand up for our good name,” he says, “This is not who we are.” In another video, Grace says, “It would be difficult to see my brother as anything but a racist,” and argues that for her and her siblings, “This is a moment to speak up.”

Paul Gosar won Arizona’s most conservative Congressional District in 2010 as part of the Tea Party wave. A dentist who once famously argued in a hearing his dentistry training taught him to know when someone was lying by their body language, and a devout birther who refused to believe Obama was born in the U.S., he’s taken some seriously dubious, racist stands. He sought to block trans people from using the bathroom of their choice, argued Dreamers should be kicked out of the country, rallied with white supremacists in Britain, and defended last year’s Charlottesville Nazis, suggesting the deadly rally was masterminded by Saul Alinsky-inspired Obama allies and funded by George Soros – a claim that drove his siblings to write to an Arizona paper, “We are aghast that Paul has sunk so low.”

Gosar also urged Capitol Police to arrest any “illegal aliens” – an unlikely target audience – at Trump’s State of the Union speech, a step too far even for Paul Ryan, never mind David Gosar: “Oh my God, you have to be kidding me. I’m not going to break bread with a racist.” David is the most outspoken (family) critic on Twitter, which he uses to goad his brother, aka Wease or Weasel: “C’mon Weasel! It’s the anniversary of Charlottesville so time for you to vomit up some more conspiracy theories and make excuses for Nazis.” Paul also uses Twitter to respond, defiantly noting, “You can’t pick your family.” His family remains a murky war zone: Of his nine siblings, three have been silent, and, he points out, his mom still likes him. And while he admits the ad, which he blames on Obama WTF, “does sting,” he’s fired back with wingnut relish: “I’m a very coherent (and) accomplished member of Congress, so I don’t have to explain myself to six radicals,” he says. “These disgruntled Hillary supporters are related by blood to me but like leftists everywhere they put political ideology before family. Stalin would be proud.”


First published in Common Dreams.

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