It's a revolt! Again!
Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert announced yesterday that he's challenging John Boehner for Speaker of the House.
Gohmert is throwing his name into the hat, he told The Hill, because after "years of broken promises, it's time for a change." Gohmert is particularly upset that Boehner didn't use the recent Cromnibus spending bill vote as a mechanism for defunding President Obama's executive action on immigration. (Nevermind that the agency in charge of implementing the action is self-funding, and therefore couldn't have been stopped through the appropriations process.)
This isn't the first time Gohmert has attempted to dethrone Boehner. In 2013, he was one of a handful of GOP members who voted against putting the Ohio representative back in the House's top job.
That revolution didn't go so well. Boehner's opposition couldn't unify around any one candidate; in the end, Gohmert nominated Florida Rep. Allen West, a somewhat unusual choice given that West was at that point a former representative from Florida, having recently lost his bid for reelection.
But Gohmert is nothing if not unconventional. For years, he's made headlines for his paranoid, offensive, and notably incoherent remarks about immigrants, gays, Muslims, John McCain, and more.
Here's a representative, though by no means comprehensive, sample:
…The time that Gohmert said the Obama administration was packed full of members of the Muslim Brotherhood:
"It's very clear to everyone but this administration that radical Islam is at war against us…This administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America."
(In 2012, he also referenced unnamed "Muslim Brotherhood associated individuals" who were "serving in or advising the Obama administration.")
…The time he interpreted Obama's misstatement about having visted "all 57 states" as a sign of the president's secret connections to the Islamic world:
"And I know the President made the mistake one day of saying he had visited all 57 states, and I'm well aware that there are not 57 states in this country, although there are 57 members of OIC, the Islamic states in the world. Perhaps there was some confusion whether he'd been to all 57 Islamic states as opposed to all 50 U.S. states. But nonetheless, we have an obligation to the 50 American states, not the 57 Muslim, Islamic states. Our oath we took is in this body, in this House. And it's to the people of America. And it's not to the Muslim Brotherhood, who may very well take over Egypt and once they do, they are bent upon setting up a caliphate around the world, including the United States."
…The time Gohmert said that Al Qaeda terrorists were waiting on the U.S./Mexico border, being "trained to act like Hispanic" [sic].
"We know al Qaeda has camps on the Mexican border. We that people are now being trained to come in and act like Hispanic, when they are radical Islamists. We know these things are happening. It is insane not to protect ourselves to make sure that people have the freedoms we have."
…The time he argued that gays shouldn't serve in the military because modern soldiers can't just be "sitting around getting massages all day."
"I've had people say, 'Hey, you know, there's nothing wrong with gays in the military. Look at the Greeks.' Well, you know, they did have people come along who they loved that was the same sex and would give them massages before they went into battle. But you know what, it's a different kind of fighting, it's a different kind of war and if you're sitting around getting massages all day ready to go into the big, planned battle, then you're not going to last very long."
…The time he responded to a proposed repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy with a rant about hate crimes, bestiality, and necrophilia:
"If you're oriented toward animals, bestiality, then, you know, that's not something that can be used, held against you or any bias be held against you for that. Which means you'd have to strike any laws against bestiality, if you're oriented toward corpses, toward children, you know, there are all kinds of perversions, what most of us would call perversions, some would say it sounds like fun, but most of us would call perversions, and there've been laws against them. And this bill says whatever you're against sexually that cannot be a source of bias against someone. Well that's interesting. And someone said well surely they didn't mean to include pedophiles or necrophiliacs or what most would say is perverse sexual orientations but the trouble is, we made amendments to eliminate pedophiles from being included in the definition."
…The time when he said that a wave of women and children coming over the southern border during the summer of 2014 threatened the country's very existence:
"An unprecedented, organized, mass invasion of the United States is occurring on our Southern border….Our continued existence is at risk with what's going on at the southern border."
…The time he said that the attack on Benghazi was Sen. John McCain's fault:
"If it had not been for Senator John McCain and President Obama being for what we knew at the time included Al Qaeda anti-rebel forces, then we would still have a U.S. ambassador and three others alive today, because Benghazi would not have happened. By giving power to the rebel forces that included Al Qaeda, that brought that whole mess about and helped create problems in Tunisia and Algeria. So I'm not sure what to think about his going to Syria. If history's any lesson, the people he met with who wants us to help should be very careful about what Senator McCain's support could mean for them."
But there were no hard feelings. McCain just couldn't hold Gohmert's remarks against him. "Sometimes comments like that are made out of malice," the Senator said in response. "But if someone has no intelligence I don't view it as being a malicious statement."
Quotes culled largely from the extremely helpful Gohmert archives at Mediaite.