Louie Gohmert – finally unleashed in the AG race | Remark
Louie Gohmert, Republican congressman from Texas, announced last week that he was stepping down from his seat to run for Texas attorney general.
At the very least, it should be entertaining.
Gohmert is widely regarded as the dumbest member of Congress – GOP agent Steve Schmidt called him “America’s craziest, dumbest member of Congress” – and when you consider the competition for that honor , This is not an easy task. Iowan Steve King’s loss in the Republican primary last year helped clean up the pitch, but let’s still give Gohmert his due. And if you think being the dumbest member of Congress in any way disqualifies someone from a statewide office in Texas, well, you haven’t paid attention to Texas politics.
Gohmert challenges another Republican, Ken Paxton, the incumbent, for the appointment of attorney general. Paxton has been charged with securities fraud and former staff in his office claim he abused his powers to help a wealthy donor. (Paxton has denied the allegations, but apparently engaging in potentially criminal behavior does not prevent someone from holding a position in Texas.)
I first met Gohmert, who Texas monthly called “Tyler’s Terror,” in 2005 at a large religious right-wing rally in Longview, Texas, where he shared the billing with Roy Moore, Alabama’s famed “Ten Commandments Judge.” Although Gohmert only entered Congress earlier that year, he was already making a name for himself as one of the few members of Congress to oppose Senator John McCain’s amendment to ban the use of torture by the US government. Gohmert called the McCain amendment “stupid”.
In preparation for his campaign, now is probably a good time to revisit some of Gohmert’s statements, starting with when he criticized Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s former attorney general, for “denigrating my asparagus. “.
Gohmert insisted in 2010 that Muslim women produce “babies of terror,” children who are born in the United States, leave and then return at a later date. “And then they would come back to where they could be raised and pampered as future terrorists.”
In 2013, he told the Longview Chamber of Commerce that “radical Islamists” learn Spanish and then change their names “to Hispanic-sounding surnames” so they can cross the border. Why? âBecause we have no fear of Hispanics coming to the country, but we do have concerns about radical Islamists. “
In a radio interview in 2016, Gohmert said he was opposed to the repeal of the âdon’t ask, don’t tellâ military policy regarding gay members of the military. Why? Because “if you are sitting in a massage all day ready to jump into a big planned battle, then you won’t last very long.”
LGBTQ rights have been a frequent obsession. After the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, Gohmert called for the impeachment of several judges. At Liberty University in 2015, Gohmert doubled his stake with a government-funded study proposal.
“What if we take four heterosexual couples and put them on an island where they have everything they need to live and exist, and we take four male couples and put them on an island where they have everything they have?” need to survive, âhe said. âAnd then let’s take four pairs of women only and put them on an island, then go back 100 years and see which nature favors. “
Gohmert frequently comments on mating habits. He was concerned that stopping the flow of oil through the Alaska pipeline would have a direct effect on the caribou population, because when the caribou “want to have a date, they invite each other to head for the caribou. the pipeline â. He wondered if a study might be needed “to see how badly the caribou would be affected if this hot oil stopped flowing.”
On the issue of climate change and attempts to address it, the Texas Republican has not been silent. In August, Gohmert claimed that solar panel farms had “exploded in flames” to thousands of birds.
Gohmert has his own ideas on how to solve climate change. At a House National Resources Committee hearing in June, Gohmert asked a National Forest Service official if there was anything his agency or the Bureau of Land Management could do “to change the course of the orbit. of the moon or of the Earth’s orbit around the sun? “
This, he said, “would have profound effects on our climate.”
Speaking of âfar-reaching effects,â we could have a heated discussion about where a politician like Gohmert would do the least damage. Rolling stonee reported that several of the national terrorists who stormed the Capitol in January had met Gohmert and other members of Congress beforehand. Gohmert, a prominent supporter of the “big lie,” denied the allegation, and he also claimed, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that the insurgents were unarmed.
The editorial board of the Houston Chronicle argued that Gohmert, who they say is smarter than some of his antics suggest, would do less harm by staying in the House of Representatives than as Attorney General of Texas. Considering the incumbent’s ethics, this is a sobering statement.
Either way, we’ll see how voters in Texas decide the issue.
Randall Balmer’s latest book is Bad Faith: Race and the Rise of the Religious Right. He lives in Santa Fe.