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House GOP members vs. Lofgren: a complaint over accurate quoting

I don’t know if this is more hilarious or embarrassing to the U.S. House Republicans involved.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren
Rep. Zoe Lofgren
Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS

I don’t know if this is more hilarious or embarrassing to the U.S. House Republicans involved.

A number of House Republicans are demanding that U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren be disciplined, and for what?

As described by Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin, Lofgren, D-California, did no more than compile things published on social media by Republicans whose votes and statements were designed to prevent Joe Biden from being declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, and who argued that Donald Trump, notwithstanding having lost that election, had won it.

She didn’t characterize these expressions. She simply compiled and published a report on what Rubin (not Lofgren) called “a hodgepodge of conspiracy-mongering and lying about the 2020 election” by some of her across-the-aisle colleagues.

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Some of the members, who were (I again emphasize) merely accurately quoted, filed a complaint with an obscure House body known as the “Communication Standards Commission” of the U.S. House accusing Lofgren of (this quote is from the complainants) “repeatedly violating the Commission’s rules of decorum and civility by personalizing and politicizing attacks on more than 100 Members of Congress for public statements they made on social media.”

The complaint was filed by Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, R-Georgia, on behalf of himself and a great many other Republican members of the U.S. House. According to the Rubin column, the ranking Republican on the House Administration Committee, Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois, had solicited the complaints and offered to facilitate the filing.

In defending herself against the hilarious accusation that she had violated a House rule by accurately quoting her colleagues’ obviously public statements, Lofgren wrote that her report was nothing more than “a mirror that lists Members’ own words. If there are screenshots of and/or links to communications that are ‘disparaging,’ including ‘personal insults, ad hominem attacks or attacks on a person’s character,’ those communications were made by the Members of Congress listed, not by me, and the Complainant could properly address his concerns to those Members.”

If that’s a little indirect, it might be translated a little sarcastically as alleging that the members who wrote and tweeted ridiculous falsehoods were the ones who attacked their own reputations, not Lofgren — who merely passed along things her colleagues had said or written of their own accord, and if anyone had leveled a character attack on those members, it was themselves on themselves.

She also quoted then-Senate Majority (now Minority) Leader Mitch McConnell as a witness on her side of the argument. If you want to see how that worked, here’s another link to the whole Rubin column, which I obviously found hilarious.