I’m an avid admirer and strong supporter of the U.S. Congress. I suppose I can’t help it, having spent more than six years working in the U.S. Senate. Some folks find their dream jobs and I certainly found mine in that hallowed chamber. Simply put, it was the perfect job for me.
I never worked in the House of Representatives. The “lower chamber,” as we referred to it, was an odd place to me, where the minority party has absolutely no say in the internal workings. In the Senate, a handful of senators from either the minority, the majority or a combination of both can stop a bill or a nomination dead in its tracks. But in the House, the minority basically just votes “no” all the time.
With the high number of gerrymandered Congressional districts, you’re bound and determined to get a few crazies that will be elected to represent the far right or far left views of their constituents. The more extreme you are, the more your own crazy constituents love you.
Case in point is Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. To be clear, this dude is off the charts. I’d love for someone to count the number of times Benghazi, Fast and Furious and Obamacare spew from his lips. I don’t have the time for that personally, but I’d welcome the numbers. I’ve asked more than a handful of Republican staffers on the Hill about Gohmert and every single one of them rolls their eyes. They call him things like “Uncle Crazy” – not exactly a ringing endorsement.
What’s particularly galling to me is how Gohmert treats anyone he disagrees with. This week, he went after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in what was perhaps one of the most disheartening and embarrassing displays of rudeness in my 22 years in Washington, D.C. It was ugly, it was messy, it was, well, rude. Watch it for yourself.
Now, I will always defend Congress’ oversight responsibilities, even when it’s a GOP-led Congress. I believe in oversight and I strongly believe in the power of the Congress to investigate. But what I don’t believe in is a witch hunt. I didn’t like them back when then-Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., held dozens of hearings into any and everything they could think of to skewer then-President Bill Clinton. Those hearings produced nothing, cost the taxpayers millions of dollars and what did we get for it? Well, nothing.
But Gohmert seems to have a personal vendetta against Holder. I mean, it’s beyond personal. I don’t know if it’s racially-motivated. Some have suggested that, including Holder himself. I don’t know if that’s the case, but I can tell you that Gohmert is just an angry, mean white man lecturing the sitting attorney general, who’s a black man.
Gohmert doesn’t have to vote on nominations. That’s reserved for the Senate. Perhaps if he had to vote on these cabinet members he might treat them with a little more respect (or maybe not). Regardless, one can disagree with someone without being disagreeable. Perhaps it’s time for someone to send Gohmert a copy of Emily Post’s "Book of Etiquette." If the congressman is reading this, you can find a copy of it here, sir. It costs around $20 and I’m sure your campaign funds can cover it.
In the meantime, do yourself, your family, and the American people a huge favor: pipe it down. You’re making a fool of yourself congressman, you’re making a mockery of the oversight process, and you’re making me doubt whether members of the House and Senate should have the words “The Honorable” included in front of their names. Senator Joe McCarthy, R-Wis., made a bad name for himself and to this day, his reputation is pure dried-up dirt. Gohmert, you sir are well on your way to becoming our modern-day McCarthy and that’s just no way to go through life.