It’s no mean feat to make Ken Paxton look good. The Texas Attorney General has been under indictment for six years and was accused by his own subordinates of taking bribes and abusing his office. And yet, Rep. Louie Gohmert makes it look easy.
This is a person who claimed to have caught coronavirus from his own mask. He once insisted that oil pipelines are good for the environment because they provide a warm spot for local caribou to “go on a date.” For years he argued against marriage equality on the theory that, if there were a “gay island” or perhaps a “gay space colony,” no babies would be born and humanity would die out.
Just this year he speculated during a House hearing that we might solve climate change by changing the orbit of the earth, or possibly the moon, he’s not picky.
ORBITS: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) asks whether the Forest Service or the BLM can alter the orbit of the moon or the Earth in order to fight climate change during a House Natural Resources hearing pic.twitter.com/yYiOyi2cMZ
— Forbes (@Forbes) June 8, 2021
Gohmert recently declared his intention to challenge Paxton in the upcoming Republican primary for AG, which is marginally less crazy than it sounds, since Gohmert graduated from Baylor Law School in 1977 and served ten years as a judge in Tyler, Texas before being elevated by Gov. Rick Perry to Texas’s 12th Court of Appeals, where he served a six-month term.
He and Ken Paxton both filed hilariously stupid lawsuits trying to overturn the election, so presumably they cancel each other out. Although Paxton failed to react to losing his case by going on television and calling for his supporters to “go to the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM,” so … advantage Gohmert?
Gohmert isn’t trimming his lunatic sails in preparation for a statewide bid, either. Just yesterday at a news conference where Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green accused prison officials of assaulting January 6 defendants with critical race theory (more or less), Gohmert expounded on his theory of who should really be locked up for insurrection.
And it is the FBI, obviously.
Louie Gohmert suggests that federal agents should be charged with insurrection for “stirring things up” on January 6th pic.twitter.com/MJKIVRHbhh
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 7, 2021
We have heard repeatedly since January 6 “this was an armed insurrection.” And as I asked Merrick Garland, and I’ve asked others, is there anybody been charged with insurrection. And the answer is actually “no.” No one has been charged with insurrection.
In fact, if they were going to charge someone with insurrection, it’s beginning to sound more and more like those would be agents for the federal government that were there stirring things up, trying to get people to engage in violence. And as we heard this weekend, apparently a guy that was giving out what were later used, are called “dangerous weapons” may well himself have been working for the federal government, for the FBI as he was handing out what they now charge were “deadly weapons.”
Mr. Google says that “we heard” this on Tucker Carlson’s show, where the defense attorney for several of the Capitol riot defendants pointed to video of a person whom he claims is “clearly a law enforcement officer” engaged in what is “clearly entrapment.” Which is probably good enough evidence for a former jurist who ordered an HIV-positive man to obtain written consent from all future sex partners as punishment for stealing a car.
Gohmert, who joins an already crowded Republican primary, has promised to make “election integrity” the focus of his campaign. He also dinged Paxton for laziness.
“If you allow me, I will not wait to be my busiest until after there’s some bad press about illegal improprieties,” he promised. “I’ll start boldly protecting your rights on Day 1.”
First day on the job, mandatory methane flares outside the courthouse so the local wildlife will know where to heterosexually reproduce. Probably!
Good luck, Texas.
U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert joins Texas Republicans running against Attorney General Ken Paxton [Texas Tribune]
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.