Louie Gohmert vows to quit Congress and cower in survivalist bunker if (when) Iran Deal passes

The Iran Deal is a done deal. It’s so done, in fact, that Senate Republicans may not even bother to bring a resolution of disapproval up for a vote, as it wouldn’t have the necessary votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster.

But Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert (R – Jade Helmistan) isn’t giving up hope. He remains committed to standing in the way of President Obama’s, in his words, “drastic move towards a nuclear holocaust” that he is willing to stake his tenure in Congress on the matter, reportedly promising Glenn Beck in an email that he would quit if the deal eventually does take effect.

Said Beck:

I just got an email from Louie Gohmert. He said, last week I announced to the world if the House and Senate will treat Iran — the Iran treaty as a treaty, I will not run for my congressional seat again. It’s the only thing that I have left that our leadership wants beside my integrity. And after last week that I spent in Egypt, I feel so compelled to do absolutely everything I can to derail this president’s drastic move towards a nuclear holocaust. I won’t run again if the House voted on my attached resolution and the Senate voted on ratification.

Bye, Felicia!

Gohmert, a self-described man of integrity and principle, will no doubt gracefully step aside when the time comes — that time being very, very soon. And he will presumably return to Texas, dig a very deep hole, and stay there until after the coming nuclear holocaust — that time being not so soon, to say the least.

What’s interesting here is that, for all of the hand-wringing about how the Republican leadership is to blame for the passage of the Iran Deal — in his segment, Beck later lamented that, for him, things are “far worse than it was when the Democrats had control” —  these guys seem to know very, very little about how Congress works.

As Brian Beutler wrote in The New Republic earlier today, this is a feature of the modern Republican Party, not a bug:

To remain in good standing, Republicans must support reducing taxes on the wealthiest Americans dramatically, repealing the Affordable Care Act, subjecting unauthorized immigrants to a police state, and tearing up a global powers agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. They must question or deny the existence of climate change, promise to vanquish all of the threats the Obama administration poses to the country, and in most instances reflexively refuse to join policymaking coalitions with Democrats.

Louie Gohmert, via DonkeyHotey / Flickr

Louie Gohmert, via DonkeyHotey / Flickr

None of this is politically sustainable, but for the past several years, Republicans have used it as a basis for legislative strategy—whipping up thin congressional majorities for indefensible legislation, as if priming members for a future moment when they can impose the party’s agenda on the country all at once. After the 2014 midterm landslide, National Review warned Republicans not to fall into a “governing trap,” when their efforts could be better spent “putting up legislation that Senate Democrats filibuster.” This strategy has for the most part precluded compromise, but in so doing has showcased just how little Republicans have done to curb liberal ambitions.

The GOP establishment has buttered its bread on blanket denials of all manner of realities, many of which have to do with the basic machinations of government, making promises on which they had no chance of following through in light of Democratic vetos and filibusters. And for all of Donald Trump’s racism and bombast, much of his staying power has to do with his legitimate critique of the GOP that when they made all of these promises, they absolutely knew they had no chance of following through.

Not that Trump can, either. But at this point, these voters are willing to try anything.

So enter Gohmert, who, despite having been in Congress since 2005, somehow does not understand how bills become laws. It doesn’t matter if President Obama has the votes in the Senate to protect the deal; he simply feels that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell can wave their magic leader wands and make it all go away.

That isn’t how government works, but if Louie Gohmert thinking it is gets him to leave Congress, I’ll take it.

(h/t TalkingPointsMemo)


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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