Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) has finally found his niche.

Once upon a time, his niche would have been that he sits at the far-right fringe of Republican politics, but these days that is less of a niche than a caucus. To stand out as exceptionally beholden to the muddle of conspiracy theory and fury that defines that group — which includes Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) — requires finding a niche within the niche.

Gosar’s once-defining characteristic, that six of his siblings publicly lobbied his constituents to throw him out of office, simply doesn’t offer enough anti-establishment heft. He was lucky in that a central animating issue for the fringe at the moment, false claims about the 2020 election results, unfolded in his state. This allowed him to be part of the conversation as allies of former president Donald Trump pushed for an “audit” of the results in Arizona’s Maricopa County, a five-month-long affair that culminated in little more than more unfounded accusations. Gosar was linked to the most ridiculous of the claims about the election in Arizona; his chief of staff, Tom Van Flein, was alleged to have participated in a late-night surveillance of a Korean Air plane purportedly ferrying ballots.

But, at last, Gosar figured it out. The 62-year-old dentist would be the institutional voice of a new generation of right-wing Republicans. Who better!

On Wednesday, Gosar was censured for one of his efforts to appeal to his fellow kids, a doctored snippet of an anime called “Attack on Titan.” In it, Gosar is depicted as the hero, battling or slaying threatening monsters who have been given the faces of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and President Biden. This is a rather modest demonstration of the increase in threats and political violence on the right in recent years, but it was enough to lead to the unusual punishment from Gosar’s peers. Some of his Republican colleagues chose not to support censure, citing Gosar’s remorse over sharing the video; shortly after the censure vote, he shared it again.

The broader point here is that Gosar sees this sort of thing as strategic. It is very safe to assume that he doesn’t spend a lot of time watching anime. It is even safer to assume that someone on his team is deeply embedded in the culture of right-wing memes that has blossomed over the past five years and convinced Gosar that sharing weird, controversial in-jokes — a practice that we will call “hitposting” in deference to The Post’s rules about using vulgarities — is a strategy for building an audience. That it can be a niche.

In an interview Wednesday on MSNBC, one of Gosar’s siblings, David Gosar, suggested that the video was simply an effort to stand out from the crowd.

“They cooked this up with the intention of, you know, getting attention — raising funds, like they always do,” David Gosar said. “These House trolls, they all have to one-up each other.”

He noted that his brother blamed his staff for the video. Rep. Gosar claimed that staffers had created it because the video “directly contributes to the understanding and the discussion of the real-life battle resulting from this administration’s open-border policies,” which is one of the more remarkable defenses of hitposting in modern American history. But in addition to establishing his niche as the far-right member of Congress who “gets” how things work online, Gosar also sees this as being a tool to appeal to younger voters.

In an interview with the far-right conspiracy theorist Stew Peters, Gosar claimed that the video was part of his team’s effort to “reach out to the newer generation that likes these anime, these cartoons fabricated in Japanese likeness.”

He has used this argument before. When he was criticized for his planned participation in a right-wing event hosted by white nationalist Nick Fuentes, Gosar claimed that his motives were innocuous — and again about appealing to younger Americans.

“Not sure why anyone is freaking out,” he wrote on Twitter in response to the criticism. “I’ll say this: there are millions of Gen Z, Y and X conservatives. They believe in America First. … We will not let the left dictate our strategy, alliances and efforts. Ignore the left.”

It is absolutely the case that the Republican Party should feel some urgency about luring millennial voters to its side. There’s been a wide gap in partisan views by age for more than a decade now, with younger voters overwhelmingly preferring Democratic candidates. Right now, that’s not a problem, given that older Americans vote much more heavily. But young voters inexorably become older ones, and if their politics don’t change, the right faces an uphill climb.

There are efforts to appeal to younger voters in more traditional ways. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.) held a summit this year focused on engaging younger conservatives. Groups such as Turning Point USA ostensibly have the same focus, although that organization seems largely to be a young-pundit factory (when it isn’t making headlines for other reasons).

Gosar’s framing here may be opportunistic, telling his colleagues that he is simply trying to help the party woo younger Americans, or it may be sincere. It may be that Gosar actually believes that his “Attack on Titan” video will get young people to consider the Biden administration’s border policies, although it’s not clear whether a nonzero number of observers intuited that point.

To some extent, Gosar’s ploy smacks of the “OK boomer” tension that emerged several years ago. A few months ago, I spoke to Taylor Lorenz, the New York Times reporter who in 2019 first reported on the trend, and she pointed out that the dismissive phrase largely originated on TikTok, a social media video site that saw a flood of new, older users in 2018. Their often awkward efforts to integrate into a community dominated by younger voices helped crystallize a lot of intergenerational frustration. So: “OK boomer.” Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

Over the past few years, a parallel right-wing social media universe has emerged in which people using aliases such as “Carpe Donktum” and “Cat Turd” similarly use tools and tactics familiar to younger Americans to post content that instead mostly appeals to older, right-wing users like themselves. They aren’t wooing younger people to the cause as much as they’re making members of the cause feel young; likewise, Gosar is not winning young people to his worldview as much as he’s ingratiating himself with an existing universe of young right-wingers.

But he has, at least, found his niche. And in the struggle for attention among the House’s Republican fringe, that is a minor victory at least. He might have gotten kicked off his committees, thanks to the vote on Wednesday, but he gained something more politically useful: attention.