By Matt Berman
September 12, 2013
No one in Congress gives a floor speech like Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. He's the Must-Watch congressman, as an early summer speech on the farm bill made clear. On Thursday, Gohmert took to the House floor and gave another whirlwind performance, covering all of the House GOP's favorite whipping points.
And, yes, he suggested that if the Obama administration keeps giving out "blinded opaqueness" instead of transparency on the spring's IRS scandal, then Congress may have to defund part of the executive branch.
"Couple of issues that certainly are worth elaborating on today," Gohmert inoffensively began. He kicked off his speech with the reading of a Wall Street Journal editorial on the IRS. "It certainly appears that the IRS was weaponized for the political purpose of one party which would, of course, be one of the worst nightmares for the Founders of this country," Gohmert went on. Although, it should go without saying, that while Gohmert did acknowledge that the Founders weren't so keen on the idea of political parties to begin with, they certainly didn't have any conception of an Internal Revenue Service.
Then Gohmert brought down his ominous hammer:
When one party in power in the executive branch can weaponize its federal agencies against its political opponents, unless it is stopped, this little experiment in democracy will come to an end.
So what is there that Congress can do to help disarm federal agencies?
If the administration is not going to be forthcoming with information about the IRS, then it may be necessary to defund part of the executive branch until such time as they become truthful.
Gohmert particularly seemed to single out the Department of Justice for budgetary vengence, saying it hasn't been forthcoming dating back to at least the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.
After this, Gohmert turned to his art. The excitement on the floor was palpable. "He's grabbing posters!" someone distinctly whispered. And then they arrived:
It's not really a typical congressional art spread, which can be found on the always impressive and up-to-date Tumblr collection of C-SPAN's Bill Gray. But the massive posters of the four men killed in the2012 Benghazi attack made their point. "They deserve the truth [about Benghazi] to come out," Gohmert said.
But what else could happen if the full "truth" comes out? Gohmert went on to cite a recent Breitbart post which tossed out the idea that the Obama administration may have violated an international law passed in 2011 against shipping weapons in or out of Libya. Said Gohmert:
If individuals within this administration then violated the international law that they pushed to create, then they probably need to be careful when they're traveling in years after they leave the White House or the administration efforts, because, who knows, might get an indictment somewhere in one of these international tribunals saying, "You've violated the U.N. law you passed!" You got guns into or out of Libya. You violated the law." People in this country need to understand that participating in the making of laws, and the participating in the violation of laws have consequences.
In Gohmert's world, the outcomes for the Obama administration could be seriously bleak: Either get defunded, or find yourself in an international criminal court. Luckily for them, both of these outcomes right now seem very, very unlikely.
By Matt Berman
September 12, 2013