The Gohmert stupidity never ends


Louie Gohmert is a congressperson from Texas who, in the face of stiff competition from his colleagues in the Republican party, is clearly one of the most stupid and obnoxious people in Congress. I will not bother to list all the stupid things he has said and done because they are easily looked up. Someone should create a Stupidity Index and name it after him. In fact, we should start calling someone whom we think is incorrigibly stupid a ‘Gohmert’. It could also be used as a descriptive term, such as saying, “That was a real Gohmert thing to do”.

He is, of course, anti-mask and since the halls of Congress do not require people to wear them at all times, has been going around without them. Well, he has now tested positive for the coronavirus.

After decades of spreading stupidity at a super-human clip, Rep. Louie Gohmert is now doing his best to spread a deadly virus.

The Texas Republican tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday prior to joining President Trump aboard Air Force One for a trip to Texas, where the pandemic is currently wreaking havoc on the state’s residents.

Now, this was an understandably confusing turn of events for Gohmert. He was probably pretty excited to join the president on a trip to his home state, and certainly didn’t expect to test positive for a virus he clearly hadn’t been taking very seriously. Until recently, the 66-year-old congressman steadfastly refused to wear a mask, claiming that he’d wear one only if he tested positive. That changed recently, kind of, and in an interview with a Texas radio station after testing positive on Wednesday, Gohmert called the result “ironic” because “in the last week or two I have worn a mask more than I have in the whole last four months.”

Gohmert found the result so ironic, in fact, that he questioned whether it was a coincidence at all. Maybe, he wondered, it was the act of wearing a mask itself that gave him COVID. After informing his social media followers on Wednesday that though “the reports of my demise” are premature, “apparently I have the Wuhan [sic] virus,” Gohmert expounded on this fresh bit of galaxy-brain hypothesizing.

Gohmert also appears to be actively preventing his own staff from taking safety precautions. One of his aides even told Politico on Wednesday that Gohmert is so anti-mask that he “berated” his staff members for wearing them, and that, as a big middle finger to the “Wuhan virus,” he required his full staff to be in office. No remote working. That’s how China wins.

It’s easy to pile on Gohmert for his thick-headed response to the pandemic, but it’s important to remember that this is also the man who claimed jihadists were sending pregnant women to birth “terror babies” in the United States, thought gay marriage could pave the way for people to marry animals, and, more recently, claimed the coronavirus could be cured with a mysterious disinfectant powered that could be inhaled as a mist. Blaming his mask for his positive COVID test result probably doesn’t even crack the top five dumbest things he’s said since he joined Congress in 2005.

He says that he is going to try Trump’s favored hydroxychloroquine treatment because he is, of course, a Gohmert.

The news of Gohmert’s infection has infuriated all the other people whom he has put at risk.

The revelation Wednesday that Texas Republican Louie Gohmert, a renegade lawmaker known for stalking the halls of Congress without a mask, tested positive for Covid-19 has unleashed a fusillade of anger on Capitol Hill — a sudden release of built-up tension over how the institution has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic within the confines of its own workplace.

For months, the leaders of Congress have allowed lawmakers to enter the Capitol without being screened for the deadly virus, rejecting an offer from the White House to provide rapid testing while trusting that the thousands who work across the massive complex of offices, meeting rooms and hallways will behave responsibly.

Now, legislative aides, chiefs of staff, press assistants, members of Congress, career workers and maintenance men and women are venting their fury with an institution that does not have uniform rules or masking requirements, does not mandate testing, is run with minimal oversight and must contend with a gaggle of lawmakers who doubt scientists and hold themselves out as experts on everything from disease hygiene to pharmacology.

Many described feeling uncomfortable taking the very kinds of health steps recommended by public health experts, and feeling pressured to report to work in person despite the risks. Multiple aides said it was common to mock those wearing masks, or brush off concerns among staff members with specific health issues.

Gohmert used to be a judge (an elected position) if you can believe it before he went into politics. Gohmert’s district re-elects him with vote totals never less than 68%, so it may be a good idea to avoid the northeastern corner of Texas where it is located, since one should be wary around a population that overwhelmingly thinks that such a person should represent them.

Meanwhile former Republican presidential contender Herman Cain has died from complications of covid-19. A strong Trump supporter, he had also refused to take seriously precautions against getting the virus.

Cain attended Trump’s June 20th rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where many in the audience, including Cain, were seen without masks or social distancing.

“I realize people will speculate about the Tulsa rally, but Herman did a lot of traveling the past week,” Calabrese added, “I don’t think there’s any way to trace this to the one specific contact that caused him to be infected. We’ll never know.”

The fact that you cannot link getting the virus to a single event like the Trump rally is not the point. The point is that by taking reasonable precautions, you reduce the odds of getting and transmitting the virus. Trump was increasing the odds of people getting the virus by holding his rally without enforcing safety protocols and Cain was increasing the odds by not wearing a mask and mingling with other non-mask wearers in close proximity. These people are being willfully obtuse just in order to make their point that the virus need not be taken seriously. By doing so, they are putting not just themselves but also others at risk.

But there is no arguing with such people. There are so many who refuse to believe in science until it slaps them in the face. And sometimes, as in the case with Cain, that is too late.

Comments

  1. TGAP Dad says

    Sometimes, the problem of stupid people is resolved by the stupid people themselves. Personally, I find people like Gohmert and Ben Carson irreconcilably perplexing.
    Gohmert graduated from college and law school at respected universities, and served as a Texas district and appellate judge. And yet, there’s not even a hint of an intellect behind that dimwitted public persona.
    As for Carson, he got an undergrad degree from Yale, and went to U of Michigan medical school, an elite institution, before becoming an accomplished brain surgeon. Like with Gohmert, any trace of past intelligence has been thoroughly obliterated in the years since. If anyone has any insight into this phenomenon, I’d love to hear it.

  2. Matt G says

    What’s especially disturbing is that the evidence is literally all around them, and STILL they ignore or deny it.

  3. johnson catman says

    Gohmert called the result “ironic” because “in the last week or two I have worn a mask more than I have in the whole last four months.”

    Of course, in the last four months, he hasn’t worn a mask AT ALL, so if, in the last week or two, he wore it for one minute, it would be more.

  4. Bethany says

    The fact that we can’t trace Cain’s infection to the rally is kind of the point though. In a competent country, we would have been able to test people. We would be able to trace the contacts of people infected. You would know where you got the disease, who you may have passed it to, and you could all isolate to stop making it worse.

  5. says

    Unfortunately, calling somebody a Gohmert brings up a reminder of Gomer Pyle, who does not deserve the insult, being a genius in comparison.

  6. says

    Just to help baseline things: 1 milliGohmert = attack Russia in the winter
    1 centiGohmert = flat earther
    1 deciGohmert = believes in trickle down economics

    Most people are in the nanoGohmert range.

  7. flex says

    I wouldn’t mind using the Gohmert to replace the slang term “Gomer” for a stupid person. Gomer has typically used for an uneducated individual from a deep rural area, but that may have been influenced by the television character of Gomer Pyle.

    The slang term Gomer for idiot goes back quite a ways, and Gomer Pyle was deliberately named to invoke that slang meaning. I can’t find my Partridge at the moment and Brewer’s doesn’t include it, but there is an entry in wiktionary entry for it. I’ll leave looking that up as an exercise for the reader, but I didn’t find the wiktionary entry all that illuminating.

    I did find a related entry in one of my favorite dictionaries, the American Encyclopaedic Dictionary (1894). The entry in full reads:

    Gomeril, gomerell, gamphrel, s.&a. [Etym. doubtful]

    A. As subst.: A fool, a blockhead. “Amaist as silly as our auld daft laird here and his gomerils o’ sons.” -Scott; Rob Roy. ch. xiv.

    B. As adj.: Foolish, Stupid.

    The term may have been first recorded (or invented) by Sir Walter Scott, but the meaning was certainly clear in context.

    So the term Gomeril for someone stupid is likely to have traveled to America through Scottish immigration (as a lot of the American language did) and then passed into American slang in a slightly shortened form (which also happened a lot). I’ve run into the term being used on rare occasions in late nineteenth century literature with the same meaning of an idiot, or rural bumpkin. The usage was probably rare because it was slang, which was generally eschewed by writers of the time. The use of the term “Gomer” did not suggest a person was unethical or evil, but irretrievably stupid. It also reflected on the user of the term as being less educated. So it could be used by a less educated lower-class character in a novel (servant, policeman), but not by a well-educated person. This again may be influenced by not only it being a slang term, but because the people who would have originally used it (immigrant Scots) were also seen as lower class. But that’s just speculation.

    I’m not certain I would call Gohmert evil, but the dumbest man in congress is a very good description of him. So creating the Gohmert as a unit of measure of stupidity is apt. And I still write comments which are decidedly too long. 🙂

  8. sonofrojblake says

    “it may be a good idea to avoid the northeastern corner of Texas”
    Why stop there? Just avoid Texas. Avoid the USA entirely if you can. Makes sense for so many reasons.

  9. mikey says

    @ flex: Oh, he’s evil. I think a lot of his dumb statements are a means to an end, in the Boris Johnson vein. I think the idiocy is at least partly put on, in other words. The man clearly knows his audience, and plays to them.

  10. starskeptic says

    To have a well-spoken and thoughtful theoretical physicist go after ‘one of the most stupid and obnoxious people in Congress’ is deeply satisfying…

  11. flexilis says

    @TGAP Dad: Gohmert and Carson had good educations. I looked up Cain; he had a master’s in computer science from Purdue. What do all three have in common that interferes with their grasp on reality? Christianity, for one. Trumpism for another. Are these symptoms, or causes, of their world view?

  12. xohjoh2n says

    @OP, 1, 2 et al

    You keep assuming it’s stupidity.

    Maybe that’s why you keep losing.

  13. says

    When I first heard of Carson’s death, the thought that leapt to the head of the que was: “Will this put the fear of gawd into all those whom--secretly, I’m sure--believed that their immediate access to the finest healthcare that money could buy would protect them even if they contracted the virus.”

  14. Sam N says

    @19, mass stupidity is surely dangerous. Doesn’t hurt to call it what it is, though.

  15. Pierce R. Butler says

    mikey @ # 7: … Gomer was a genuinely good person.

    Perhaps we could say that of the same character as a civilian, played by the same actor in The Andy Griffith Show.

    But “Gomer Pyle, USMC” existed only to whitewash the image of the Marine Corps as it waged nonstop atrocities against civilians during the war on Vietnam, and all involved with it deserve nothing but condemnation for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity.

  16. Muscadine says

    “Gohmert’s district re-elects him with vote totals never less than 68%, so it may be a good idea to avoid the northeastern corner of Texas where it is located, since one should be wary around a population that overwhelmingly thinks that such a person should represent them.”

    However that’s less an indictment of East Texas stupidity than an object lesson in Republican gerrymandering. From your link on the 1st District:

    “For most of its history, the district was based in Texarkana, but in a controversial 2003 redistricting orchestrated by then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texarkana was drawn out of the district and moved to the neighboring Fourth congressional district. Lufkin, Tyler and Longview were added in its place.

    The district was predominantly rural for much of its history, and thus was far friendlier to electing Democrats to Congress even as most of Texas swung toward the Republicans. The district’s four-term Democratic incumbent, Max Sandlin, was a particularly severe critic of the DeLay-led redistricting effort, claiming that lumping rural areas with urban ones stifled the voice of rural voters. Indeed, the 2003 redistricting made the district more urban and Republican, especially with the addition of the Republican strongholds of Tyler and Longview. Sandlin was heavily defeated in November 2004 by Republican Louie Gohmert, a longtime judge in the Tyler area. Gohmert is the first Republican to represent the district since Reconstruction. Proving just how Republican the reconfigured 1st is, Gohmert has been reelected seven times with no less than 68 percent of the vote (and faced only token opposition in 2010 and 2012). ”

    Since then, the Democratic party has not mounted any serious campaign against Gohmert. The district basically has been written off as not worth the effort. Every election since 2012 he’s challenged by a local Black veteran, Shirley J. McKellar, with very little publicity, because the only active Democratic presence left in the area is the Black community.

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