House Resolution 1154 is a simple bill that barely fills five pages in U.S. Congressional formatting, and which passed the House of Representatives easily this afternoon with 370 votes in favour.
Why this even remotely matters is that the bill — the entire purpose of which was to call for the condemnation of the QAnon conspiracy strictly within the U.S. House of Representatives itself — was apparently offensive enough to 18 congresspeople that they chose to cast votes against it. Let’s take a look at who they are!
- Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI)
- Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX)
- Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)
- Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
- Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)
- Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)
- Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA)
- Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH)
- Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
- Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA)
- Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX)
- Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
- Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)
- Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
- Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC)
- Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA)
- Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI)
- Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL)
Andy Harris, a Republican from Maryland, voted “present,” which in this instance is like “nay,” but for cowards.
Fundamentally, QAnon is not a “collective delusion” or a conspiracy theory about child-trafficking elites so much as it’s a vast collection of interdependent lies fed to gullible people to erode their trust in social institutions, and more pointedly, the electoral process.
Members of Congress, you might recall, have to engage in exactly that process, and comprise one such social institution. Becoming a lawmaker is, by design, incompatible with believing in QAnon, but increasingly Americans on the fringes are finding ways to gloss right over those internal conflicts. It’s the same familiar, poisoned thinking that leads militia groups to be both pro-cop and anti-government; regardless of your feelings on either of those institutions, the former exists to enforce the will of the latter and are ideologically inseparable.
While Democrats may have a commanding lead in the House now, more than a handful of Republicans are seemingly uncomfortable with the idea of condemning obvious bullshit — either because they believe a super spy with knowledge of the deepest workings of American government spends their free time posting on a website for Nazis and perverts, or because doing so is politically advantageous in this moment. To the best of our knowledge, almost none of the lawmakers who today voted against House Resolution 1154 have made any public statements in support of the conspiracy either. (Gosar may have previously retweeted a QAnon “clue,” though he claims he was doing a big sarcasm; Carter has also attended a QAnon-linked rally, but his office claims the overlap was purely coincidental.)
Notably, none of those opposing the bill chose to do so aloud; no such companion bill in the Republican-controlled Senate has yet been proposed. But this apparent squeamishness may not hold. Several avowed QAnon believers are currently running for congressional office, with at least one — Marjorie Taylor Greene — almost guaranteed to win in Georgia.
“Conspiracy theories that falsely blame secret cabals or marginalised groups for society’s ills have long fuelled prejudice, violence and terrorism” Rep. Tom Malinowski, a New Jersey Democrat and the bill’s author, said today in a statement. “The House of Representatives came together across party lines to say that QAnon has no place in our nation’s political discourse.” If only that were true.
Everyone occupying shared reality is fucking tired of having to constantly address the fever dreams and political machinations of a minority of powerful cynics manufacturing consent around non-issues. And while “VOTE” is among the least inspiring calls to arms, the best I can do if you’re equally sick of watching this country circle the drain is to say, pointedly, that when you vote, the list of people above are the ones you need to be voting out.
Additional reporting by Dell Cameron