Marjorie Taylor Greene, Student Action Summit
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) wants to censure Rashida Tlaib for statements regarding the conflict between Israel and Gaza. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are meaninglessly censuring each other over statements regarding the conflict in the Middle East. It’s tough to imagine anything that will contribute less to stopping the violence there.

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To anybody paying attention, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that House Republicans would rather engage in pointless political stunts than find solutions for the looming government shutdown or the various other pressing matters Congress must address. But it is rather disappointing that some Democrats are doing the same.

Case in point are the dueling censure resolutions that three lawmakers have offered. Two of them, introduced by Republicans, are targeting Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and one Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL). All three are related to the current conflict in Israel and Gaza, and it’s tough to imagine anything that will contribute less to stopping the violence there than these measures.

“Hey, guys, what should we do about ending all that senseless killing in Israel and Gaza?”

“How about censuring a pair of US lawmakers for their incendiary rhetoric?”

“Censuring… what does that mean?”

“It means passing an ultimately meaningless rebuke of a lawmaker that everybody involved can use for fundraising and tweets.”

“Awesome! Let’s do it!”

And it really is as dumb as it sounds. Even worse, a slew of these resolutions in recent years has made them almost meaningless as an actual tool for sending a message to lawmakers who behave unethically. 

First off were the two censure measures directed at Tlaib for saying that an explosion at a Palestinian hospital was the result of an Israeli airstrike (including some instances long after that seemed highly unlikely) and for making a series of comments about the conflict. 

There are plenty of reasons to question everything Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American in Congress, has to say about the conflict. Her views are obviously biased toward the people living in Gaza, just as the views of many other lawmakers are biased toward Israel. Tlaib just happens to be in the minority. 

That being said, if lawmakers started censuring each other for “promoting false narratives,” every single one of the Republicans who propagated the Big Lie might as well go ahead and censure themselves. 

All of this is just showmanship that is utterly pointless… unless the point is getting some airtime on Fox or having more material to use for fundraising. 

Even Tlaib will probably be able to rally her supporters behind her by showing that she is a victim. 

While a previous measure to censure her, introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) failed, in part because it tried to equate an anti-war protest in a House office building with the deadly January 6 attack on Congress, a new resolution brought by Rich McCormick (R-GA) may well succeed. 

However, since it’s a symbolic gesture more than anything else, it’s also a waste of time. 

But not as much as the competing resolution against Mast, which was filed by Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) over “inflammatory statements” about Palestinian civilians. 

Mast, who last month cosplayed as an Israeli soldier for some reason, had asserted last week that there are hardly any “innocent Palestinians” just as there were no innocent Nazis in the Third Reich.

Once again, that’s a truly moronic thing to say, but if that were the measuring stick, lawmakers could be censuring each other all the livelong day. 

And, while the McCormick resolution might pass since Republicans hold a majority in the House, Jacobs’s measure will fail and is therefore just a dumb waste of time. 

Then again, if you have been paying attention, that’s no surprise at all. 


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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