It is very rare occasion that I am rendered utterly and absolutely speechless—and in this case I mean it quite literally—but this clip of Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), picked up on by Washington Examiner editorial writer Mark Hemingway, might contain the dumbest statement ever uttered on the floor of Congress. And believe me, I understand that this is a bold claim, considering the long and distinguished history of Congressional sophistry. The context: Johnson is questioning Navy Admiral Robert Willard about plans to move 8,000 military personal to Guam.
I've watched this multiple times, hoping that I would catch a sly grin or a mischievous arch of the eyebrow. But as far as I can tell, Johnson, who recently compared Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) to a Klansman, is serious. Now, after writing this post I was informed that Johnson is in poor health—he is infected with Hepatitis C. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in December, "His speech is slower than ever, and he regularly gets lost in thought in the middle of a discussion. He is easily fatigued and often impatient and irritable." So full sympathy to Johnson, but if his condition is having such a negative effect on his thinking, perhaps he shouldn't be working on things like the health care bill.