Is Rep. Gosar mentally ill?


Even O'Donnell won't ask: In late September, we noted a fairly obvious point

Stating the merely obvious, we said that Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) "seems to be mentally ill."

This week, Gosar has outdone even himself. Last night, Lawrence O'Donnell had Gosar's sister on his program. He teased her segment as shown:

O'DONNELL (9/8/21): And coming up, Arizona Republican Paul Gosar has tweeted his homicidal fantasies about killing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and threatening the life of President Biden. Paul Gosar's sister, Jennifer Gosar, will join us next.

For a fuller report on what Rep. Gosar has done, you can just click this. Lawrence went into more detail s he brought Jennifer Gosar on:

O'DONNELL: Paul Gosar, no doubt with the help of his staff on the government payroll, created an animated video that shows him stabbing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to death in the back.

After he assassinates Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paul Gosar then uses the same knives to threaten President Biden. Paul Gosar released that very same video on Instagram after releasing it on Twitter.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most threatened members of the House of Representatives. Twitter and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook and run by Mark Zuckerberg are allowing those videos to remain on their sites. They are aiding and abetting the deeply perverted homicidal fantasies of Paul Gosar.

Joining us now is Jennifer Gosar, Paul Gosar's sister.

Thank you very much for joining us tonight. I know this is difficult for you. You and your brother Tim have spoken about your brother Paul. What—what is wrong with him? And is it getting worse?

You'd almost think that O'Donnell was inquiring about a psychiatric condition. But Jennifer Gosar condemned her brother in moral terms, and Lawrence made no effort to take the discussion in a different direction.

We mention this for the following reason:

During the Trump presidency, O'Donnell was one of the very few mainstream journalists who were willing to speak to psychiatrists about Trump's apparent mental illness. He didn't do it nearly enough, but he did this on several occasions.

Last night, even Lawrence backed away from this approach. Rep. Gosar has long seemed to be some form of "mentally ill." But our mainstream press corps is bound and determined to avoid any such framework in discussing our failing national politics and with it our failing society.

The past six years has provided an education in the vast sweep of abnormal psychology, both within the national political leadership and within the electorate. That said, timorous journalists refuse to say as much and to broaden the public discussion.

This is one more aspect of our journalistic establishment's preference for "non-discussion discussions." We will say this for Jennifer Gosar:

Even as she condemned her brother in purely moral terms, Jennifer Gosar did expand the political discussion in the following way:

JENNIFER GOSAR (continuing directly): You know, yes, it's getting worse because he has not been held accountable in any way, shape or form. He has not been censured. He has not been expelled, and he has not had his seat forfeited by any of the leadership.

And by that, I don't mean to specify Minority Leader McCarthy and McConnell. I do mean Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I do mean Senate Leader Chuck Schumer. I do mean Attorney General Merrick Garland.

I mean, where are these people? Does he need to act on his sociopathic fantasy for Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? I am very concerned for she and other members. And this is absolutely unacceptable. I do not understand it. And I'm livid, Lawrence.

Jennifer Gosar referred to her brother's "sociopathic" impulse, but the suggestion that he is mentally ill ended right there. To her credit, Jennifer Gosar did something else, something you'll rarely see on MSNBC:

After slamming Kevin McCarthy for his inaction, she savaged Nancy Pelosi too. Breaking every rule of "tribal cable," she savaged someone from our own infallible tribe, over here where the good people live!

As we noted six weeks ago, Rep. Gosar rather plainly seems to be mentally ill. But so what? In one of their incessant imitations of life, our mainstream "journalists" refuse to discuss this obvious possibility.

Can our society survive this regime of highly determined, corporate-sponsored non-discussion discussion? Can we hope to survive these incessant "imitations of life?"

Can we survive this failing regime? 

As Hemingway wrote in The Sun Also Rises, "Isn't it pretty to think so?" Isn't it pretty to keep pretending that this will all work itself out?


  1. If the press didn't call out Trump in 2015, then it's a little late to complain it now.

  2. Whoa, an (allegedly) blowhard senator! That's practically unheard of, dear Bob. He-he.

    Incidentally, we don't see a link to the alleged video. And without it, alas, we have to assume that your goebbelsian media, dear Bob, have made the whole thing up.

    We've seen too many bullshit stories in the last few years. Practically every single story published by your goebbelsian media was utter bullshit.

    1. "We have to assume that your goebblesian [sic] media . . . have made the whole thing up." That's certainly a convenient way for you to deflect the whole issue. He either made the video or he didn't. You can't admit that this guy is a nut job, apparently.

    2. I've seen the video, go look for it on YouTube, It exists.

  3. Somerby loves to "excuse" Republicans of malfeasance by suggesting that they are mentally ill. However, this was inappropriate for Trump and may be for Gosar too. It is certainly wrong to attempt to diagnose Gosar from a distance, just as it was wrong for Bandy Lee to do so -- a breach of her professional ethics.

    Here is a different take on this mental illness question:

    "Earlier this year, Alan D. Blotcky, a clinical psychologist and clinical associate professor of psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham gave his remote assessment of Trump in Salon. Calling Trump delusional provides an excuse for his behavior. He is worse than delusional:

    Trump is a megalomaniac who thinks he is smarter, richer and stronger than anyone else. Everything he says and does is aimed at fortifying his grandiose and superior persona. He never admits to a mistake. He never acknowledges a loss. He always doubles down on a position. He does not care a whit about the people of this country. Grifting others is his sport. Despite being impeached twice and losing the national election by 7 million votes, Trump marches on with his false self of grandiosity. That is not a delusion — it is his psychic machinery of self-preservation.

    It is a mistake to consider Trump psychotic. That would be to assume that psychiatric medication might alleviate his delusional thinking. But medication cannot fix a psychopath with malignant narcissism. Medication cannot fix a manipulative and exploitative opportunist. Medication does not affect shamelessness and lack of a moral compass. Medication cannot make a self-serving “delusion” disappear."


    Similarly, there is no pill for what ails Gosar. He would not meet any legal definition of insanity either. He is an evil man doing evil deeds and Somerby's desire to excuse his behavior is duly noted.

    When people behave badly in society, they are either punished to deter future behavior or they are locked up so that they cannot endanger others any more. These are social remedies, not medical. That is what needs to happen in Gosar's case, as well as Trump's case.

    1. 9 out of the last 10 posts at Digby are about Trump and how bad the Republicans suck. Nothing about class issues. Class issues don't exist to a certain set of liberals. They keep it off the table because there is no way in hell their Democratic leadership is going to say or do anything about them.

    2. Agreed that both Trump (Republicans) and corporate America are a menace to a functioning society.

    3. Worth noting here that Trump forced Bob to do a complete turn around on this issue: he used to argue journalists who talked about the psychology were hacks. What Bob won’t write about, is how Trump’s mental illness attracts and inflames other trashy folks, like idiot congressmen or workaday hate slobs like Mao.

  4. "Jennifer Gosar referred to her brother's "sociopathic" impulse, but the suggestion that he is mentally ill ended right there."

    Sociopaths are not considered mentally ill (by psychiatrists and psychologists). They are considered to have a personality disorder that causes them difficulties in work and social relationships, but that is not what mental illness is. We all have our different personalities and they are not pathologized unless they get us in trouble with the law or family or work, to the point of not holding a job, for example.

    Calling someone a sociopath outside a clinical context is just name-calling. Gosar threated AOC and he needs to be held accountable for that. Meanwhile, conservatives are gleeful about what he did, laughing up their sleeves at the way the libs were owned. And that is as big a problem as whatever Gosar himself may be aflicted with.

    1. The clinical term for Right-wingers, like Gosar, is "snowflakes". The bully act is as phony as supply-side economics.

    2. There are always reasons to feel hopeful and optimistic.

      Currently, there is this person in the world who is decidedly not crazy. She is stable and wise.

  5. Somerby asks a weird question considering the context of the times:

    "Is Rep. Gosar mentally ill?"

    Pointedly Somerby does not ask: Is Gosar racist or a white supremacist? Why does Gosar enjoy the support of his party and voters? Why are all the comments to this story on Fox News, jokes about horses? Why does Gosar seem like a run of the mill Republican and not an outlier?

    No Gosar is not mentally ill, he is a Republican. Duh

    Here is the question Somerby absolutely does not like: Why are Republicans this way?

    That is the only question, with respect to "tribal" politics, that has an answer that could provide progress.

    1. Anonymouse 6:57pm, that is probably the only accurate description you’ve ever made about Somerby and his blog.

      Bingo. You got it.

    2. 6:57 There are different theories, but the most apt is that Republicans are people who are suffering from unresolved childhood trauma. We need to spend a lot more attention, and money, on this issue so we can help these people break the generational chains that shackle them.

    3. The Lincoln Foundation wants to know how much money?

    4. Of course a group of Republicans are only interested in the grift. Are you new here ("Here" being Earth)?

    5. I was born knowing that human nature doesn’t have a political party. That’s why I am a conservative.

    6. Anonymous 6:57 I agree with your general thrust but would push back a bit in that Somerby does ask that question "Why Republicans?" and his answer is - liberal wokeness, calling out racism, protesting, and, perhaps most triggering, suggesting a moral inequality, all via a sympathetic (to liberals) media that somehow also is completely owned by corporate interests.

      As Jamie Raskin recently pointed out in Congress, blue states have the highest quality of life, red states have the highest rates of negative traits (domestic violence, std's, etc), and every major policy to help improve people's lives have come from the Democratic Party, which suggests that Somerby's notions are dramatically at odds with reality.

    7. 1:59,
      I totally believe you haven't learned anything since birth.
      Adding that you're a conservative is redundant.

  6. I remain amazed at the intellectual difference between various members of Congress. On the one hand there are brilliant people, like Chuck Schumer and Ted Cruz. On the other hand there are people like the mentally ill Gosar and Hank Johnson, who's concerned that the island of Guam might become so populated that it would tip over and capsize.

    1. There is nothing amazing about that, free will is nonsense, if you had lived Hank Johnson's life, you'd have similar concerns. You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of reality.

    2. The nature of reality dies not predispose men to think that islands are pool floats.

    3. 2:06 That is a blindingly stupid assertion. They even say that Jesus walked on water! Wow, just so stupid, THAT is amazing, amazingly stupid. Wow

  7. Interesting how when an immature college student acts up then it's because of Democrat ideology but when a Republican threatens to murder a brown woman it's not because of racism, just forgot to take his Prozac!

    1. For a bit of balance, remember when this was “asking questions in bold ways”?

    2. Oh gimme a break. A wry commentary on politics in theater is not a balanced opposite of directly threatening someone.

    3. Wry wit? An actor dressed as Trump (with a svelte Slavic wife) being stabbed to death and lying in a pool of blood all summer?

      Or how about a movie of President Bush being assassinated?

      Gosar’s poorly made anime of himself as a samurai vanquishing an AOC samurette is pitifully stupid, puerile, and misguided. He should be publicly censured.

      That said, I’m glad to put this in context as to its precedents.

    4. The people who made those films should be tossed out of Congress on their asses.

    5. "Who is this Kathy Griffin person you speak of?", was the most common question asked by Republicans in Congress in 2017.

    6. Anonymouse 10:15am, or perhaps lose their subscription to Mother Jones.

    7. You were shocked someone in a Shakespearean tragedy was killed ? Really? Pull the other leg next time.

    8. Anonymouse 2:46pm, I’d suggest that you’re playing dumb, but it’s very likely that you aren’t.

    9. Just to be clear, Ceelia wants us to believe that publishing a video of your fantasy of killing someone under your own name is the same level of threat as learning Shakespeare for months, then taking on the role of fictional characters, booking a theater, selling tickets, and then using contemporary politics in the work for artistic commentary.

    10. 200 people seeing a play then talking about over brunch are not going to assassinate the president. A republican might. There's a difference.

  8. This blog has contributed to the hysteria about honest race discussions. It is a fake hysteria driven by a fake movement to stop you and me from talking honestly about class power. Rather than be honest that this is the result of his behavior, he would rather lash out at innocuous opinion pieces.

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