On Wednesday on the floor of Congress, East Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert managed to offend the idea and sentiment of America once again. While debating a Republican bill that would complicate the process of ensuring federal regulatory agencies do their jobs. In lawsuits for negligence, if the bill were to pass, anyone whose rights were affected by the federal government's action on the lawsuit could delay the given regulation from taking place by entering the suit.
Reliably progressive Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee submitted an amendment to prohibit third parties from “intervening in any regulatory action that prevents or is intended to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, or other protected characteristic,” Igor Volsky of ThinkProgress explains. The federal decrees under challenge by Republicans “had been pivotal to enforcing civil rights laws, Cohen and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) argued, and noted that advocates used the consent decree process to protect minority communities from police misconduct and brutality.”
That's when Louie Gohmert's tin hat began tingling. Read and watch what Gohmert said below the jump.
GOHMERT: There is nobody in this chamber who is more appreciative than I am for the gentleman from Tennessee and my friend from Michigan standing up for the rights of race, religion, national religion of the Delta Smelt, the snail darter, various lizards, the lesser prairie chicken, the greater sage grouts and so many other insects who would want someone standing for their religion, their race, their national origin and I think that's wonderful.
Yup: the human rights of people subject to race, sex and nationality discrimination are equivalent to fish and rodents in Gohmert's mind. In his mind, of course, he's not racist. He's making a snarky, biting remark sure to cut through to the heart of how ridiculous it is to protect victims of discrimination. Some East Texas straight-talkin'!
Doesn't matter. Only a racist makes that equation. Unfortunately, it's perfectly in line with Gohmert's history of baseless paranoia about “terror babies” planted by immigrants, accusing the Attorney General of siding with the Boston bombers, and claiming the Aurora shooting is the result of “attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs”. It looks pretty clear Texans now have the most offensive members of both congressional chambers. With Bachmann leaving, Gohmert's got the House locked down. In the Senate, Ted Cruz (who recently attended an immigration rally hosted by a verified racist) took over Darrell Issa's spot just days after taking office.
Here's the video, courtesy of ThinkProgress: