With Donald Trump and Ted Cruz as the GOP two front-runners for the presidency, offensive hyperbole has seemingly become the norm for Republican political discourse. Of course, like every current GOP trend, Texas did it first. And what better way to remind ourselves of that than by checking in with our favorite “terrorist baby” conspiracy theorist, Congressman Louie Gohmert?
With Donald Trump dominating the portion of media coverage allotted to right-wing extremism lately, Gohmert’s voice has largely gotten lost in the shuffle. But if you were worried that Gohmert had somehow mellowed out or developed some common sense, fear not — he’s still as crazy as ever.
For example, last month, he was one of only four congressmen to vote against a bill to encourage the recruitment of women scientists into entrepreneurship, because he thought it discriminated against boys. He even “thanked God” that there was no program like this for woman scientists while Marie Curie was alive, because it would have “distracted her.”
That’s nuts, but it’s just run-of-the-mill level nuts for a man who once said that we needed to end political correctness to stop “Ebola people” from infiltrating our borders. We know Louie is capable of more, and last week, he delivered.
Defending North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law that prohibits transgender people from using restrooms that match their gender identity, Gohmert declared that as a child, he would have pretended to be trans so that he could get into the ladies’ room. His remarks, delivered during an interview with the right-wing radio show “Washington Week” are below (emphasis added):
“When it comes to this current legislation where — in most of the world, in most of the religions, the major religions, you have men and you have women, and there are some abnormalities but for heaven’s sake, I was as good a kid as you can have growing up, I never drank alcohol till I was legal, never to, still, use an illegal drug, but in the seventh grade if the law had been that all I had to do was say, ‘I’m a girl,’ and I got to go into the girls’ restroom, I don’t know if I could’ve withstood the temptation just to get educated back in those days.“
There is so much to unpack in that paragraph. Besides the obvious that Louie Gohmert has no idea what being transgender actually means, there’s also the fact that he would have tried to sneak into the girls’ restroom “to get educated,” implying that his sex education was so poor that he would have had to peep on unsuspecting girls to understand them. (Hey, maybe that’s why he opposes sex ed in schools — if he didn’t get it, no one can!)
It’s easy to laugh at Louie Gohmert’s continued ridiculous comments, write him off as nuts, then go back to our everyday business. But remember, this is an actual U.S. Congressman, who sits in a position of power. And he is continually using his power to insult his most vulnerable constituents. So instead of writing him off, let’s think about how he got to where he is in the first place — and not let ourselves be satisfied with ignorance as the status quo.