Please keep Louie Gohmert and Steve King apart

Whenever they’re together, the stupidity reaches criticality. Here’s Steve King making an argument for adding anti-transgender legislation to a bill,
because if we don’t, we’re all going to die.

This isn’t a civilization-killer, but an indication of a civilization-killer. I think of the circumstances in a little bit older history, back in the 16th and 17th century when the Ottoman Empire were sweeping across the countryside, they pressed [people] into slavery. They wanted to have their crack troops and other troops, too. But what they did to keep them from reproducing was that they did reassignment surgery on those slaves that they captured that they put in their troops. They took them from being a male and suitable to work in the army and they put them out in the field to do battle against the enemy and they didn’t have the testosterone to take on the fight and they figured out how to stop turning these men into eunuchs…None of the men had the will to fight. They decided that when they kept complete men in their troops, they fought well. So that’s a lesson from the Ottoman Empire…This is one of the most appallingly stupid things I’ve seen the Congress of the United States do.


  • Reassignment surgery is not the same as castration. Castration is not the same as reassignment surgery.

  • The Ottomans did not carry out mass castrations. Historically, many men have been castrated in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, but not as a mechanism of population control. As a punishment, yes; to produce individuals who could work in government or as servants who would not scheme to place offspring in positions of power, yes; to produce unique biological effects, such as the castrati who sang in European concert halls, yes. But it was also a crude procedure that killed a many of its victims.

  • There was no policy or pattern of producing castrated soldiers — perhaps he’s confusing reality for Game of Thrones?

  • There’s no evidence that the will to fight and live comes from our testicles. Women can also be aggressive. Historically, eunuchs have served in the civil service, and had a reputation for ambition. There were men who voluntarily became eunuchs as a path to advancement in the bureaucracy.

Here’s a brief summary of the historical role of eunuchs. They tended not to be soldiers, but I repeat: castration is not a synonym for reassignment surgery, nor do you need testes to be a good soldier.

Can Gohmert possibly exceed the stupidity on display by King? Challenge accepted!

Some people, they think we exaggerate, but my very good friend from Iowa and I have stood there on the mountaintop in Vienna where western civilization stood there in the gap and it was all at risk…If Vienna fell, then the rest of Europe would fall…and there’s a good chance we’re not even here in this fashion today…Perhaps we are headed into a new period of the dark ages and that Polish prince comes down and puts cannons in those mountains and nobody in two years seeking a sex-change operation and change reassignment, as they call it, could possibly help it…I can assure my friends here in the House that there was nobody who was out there defending western civilization who had undergone a sex-change operation in the previous two years.

I think he’s talking about the siege of Vienna in 1529, when the Ottoman Turks failed to capture the city. Maybe? I don’t know. Or possibly the battle of Vienna in 1683, when the Poles under John Sobieski defeated the Turks? I don’t see what his point is, since the first experimental sex reassignment surgeries were performed in the 1930s, and the first successful ones were carried out in the 1950s, so yeah, he’s right, there was no one in 1638 who had had a sex change operation in 1636. I doubt there was anyone at either Viennese battle who was taking Viagra, either. This is not relevant.

Can he get even more confused? He can!

When it’s advertised that the United States Congress is in favor of taking men and surgically making them into women with the money that they would use to protect the nation otherwise, or taking women and doing surgery to make them men, the United States Congress would rather spend that money on that surgery than defeating radical Islam, then it is an advertising bonanza for the radical Islamists because my Muslim friends tell me, the recruits, you’re right, if that’s how stupid they are, this society has no right to remain on the earth. We need to take them out. They are too stupid.

Uh-oh. Someone better tell King and Gohmert that being stupid removes your right to remain on earth is a personally very dangerous argument. I am tempted to agree that we need to “take out” a certain pair of legislators for being dangerously idiotic, but that would be wrong.


  1. blf says

    Clearly they are talking about the second march of the flying snails against the Ice Warriors’s secret base deep inside Saturn’s atmosphere, a Doctor Who story that has yet to be filmed — or written, but that’s a minor point.

  2. some bastard on the internet says

    …the United States Congress would rather spend money on that surgery than defeating radical Islam…

    Yeah, how can a country with a budget of over 2 TRILLION dollars a year possibly handle more than one issue at a time?

    (P.S., ISIS recently lost Mosul and their biggest leaders blew themselves up. So go fuck yourself, Gohmert, and the Steve King you rode in on)

    (P.P.S., Sorry for the image that may have produced)

  3. Jeremy Shaffer says

    There’s no evidence that the will to fight and live comes from our testicles.

    And in a culture where toxic masculinity is not only present, but also prevalent (let’s just go with the Southern areas of the U.S. for example), overcompensation can manifest in exceptionally aggressive and hostile ways in a man lacking testicles. In fact, one of the most antagonistic and abusive men I’ve ever known was one who did not have any. It wasn’t always physical, but he was always quick to escalate an argument in that direction. He wasn’t a particularly large or physically strong, which sadly meant his targets were more often than not women- and he really knew how to pick the women who would be the most susceptible to his abuse- but when he did decide to go after another man it was pretty explosive since it was something that had been bottled up for a while.

    When it’s advertised that the United States Congress is in favor of taking men and surgically making them into women with the money that they would use to protect the nation…

    Ignoring Gomer’s daft misconception of transgenderism and SRS*, it’s telling the only thing he could come up with for those funds is to shove more money into an already bloated national defense budget. Nevermind what that means is handing more and more money over to corporations and contractors instead of, say, reforming the VA so that it’s functional- that would at least be beneficial- but he can’t even come up with some other way that would help anyone other than people who already have more than they could ever hope to spend and probably won’t lead to future disastrous wars that will devastate everyone involved, including the U.S.

    * And this is coming from someone who probably has plenty of them himself, but at least I get the basics.

    … because my Muslim friends…

    If any Muslim is in Gomer’s circle in such a way to be regarded as a friend, they’re probably the Islamic equivalent of a Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell and are therefore lying sacks of shit. More than likely, however, I suspect if a Muslim were to express knowledge of ISIS recruiting tactics to him, Gomer would have them black-bagged and shipped off to Gitmo before they could really get an further words out.

  4. says

    Is the logical extension of Gohmert’s “thinking” that since Jan Sobieski didn’t have tanks, airplanes, or penicillin the US Army doesn’t need any either?

  5. says

    This isn’t a civilization-killer, but an indication of a civilization-killer.

    This sentiment seems to be pretty common in all the flavors of regressive-isms. Has *any* civilization ever been “killed” by anything except conquest, disease, or famine?

    (although, now that I’ve actually typed that out; it occurs to me that the fight for SJ and progress probably falls into all three of those in the minds of those shitheads.)

  6. says

    I recently stumbled across someone on Deviantart who is posting artwork revolving around slaves(most of them white people), and they seem to have an obsession with castration. Could it be that King has been getting his ideas from someone’s kink art?

  7. robro says

    I love it when some nitwit points at some battle and says “This is the critical point. If those folks had failed, Western Civilization would have been doomed.” Bull shit is too nice. Besides, it was the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778 that saved Western civilization.

  8. johnk83776 says

    I thought these dummies were Xtians?
    Matthew 19:12King James Version (KJV)

    12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

  9. leskimopie says

    I quite like the last point there, the “this will fuel radical islamic recruitment” point…so torture and mistreatment of prisoners, callous attitudes towards civilian casualties as long as they’re over there, rampant islamaphobia in the culture and government, and all the other shit America and the west tend to do that basically may as well come from an ISIS recruitment brainstorming session, thats fine, in fact we need more of that…but not being bigoted enough to LGBT people, the line must be drawn hyear!

  10. chrislawson says

    There was a famous Byzantine eunuch general by the name of Narses who won several crucial battles for the empire.

  11. mnb0 says

    “If Vienna fell, then the rest of Europe would fall”
    According to the old principle the enemy of my enemy is my friend the allies of the Ottomans were in 1529 France (check the Italian Renaissance Wars), while in 1683 the most powerful country in the world was not Austrian-Habsburg, but either France, the Dutch Republic or England, depending on whom you ask. These three were capable of conquering about the entire world at the same time they were waging several wars against each other. Yeah, after the fall of Vienna the Ottomans would have such an easy ride to the Atlantic shore (1000 km were peanuts in those days) and such an easy hop over the English Channel.
    Ah well, illogic and ignorance often go hand in hand.

  12. says

    Wingnut/Islamophobe obsessions with the Ottoman Empire and its apparent plans to implement Sharia-radical-islamofascism over Europe are bizarre. At the time, the Ottoman Empire was a far more enlightened and religiously tolerant place than Christian Europe. You’d have been happier living there as a Christian than you would almost anywhere to the west. And wingnuts also take the Ottoman’s penchant for expansion as somehow uniquely sinister, as if the empires of Christian Europe coexisted peacefully and never thought of conquest.

  13. DanDare says

    I am amazed that anyone here can make any sense at all of the stuff these guys were spouting. It just appeared to me as walls of incoherent gibberish.

    Something sex change something Vienna someone. I stood there something something civilisation. Isis. Quick!

  14. blf says

    Could it be that King has been getting his ideas from someone’s kink art?

    I presume it would be more coherent then, and possibly even interesting.

  15. says

    Even if all that were true, what does it have to do with a tiny minority in the United States? Seems like the situations are just not related.