The Republicans in our state’s 36-member delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives do plenty to embarrass us.
There was Blake Farenthold’s sexual harassment scandal.
There was Joe Barton’s nude photo scandal.
There was Kay Granger’s weird trip to Russia.
Lamar Smith, a climate-change denier, has served as chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology.
And now Louie Gohmert wants to get into the mix. He recently went on Fox (the Trump Administration’s propaganda arm) and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about George Soros.
Appearing on Fox Biz, Louie Gohmert says "George Soros is supposed to be Jewish but you wouldn't know it from the damage he inflicted on Israel and the fact that he turned on fellow Jews & helped take the property that they owned."
Stuart Varney quickly moves on pic.twitter.com/P4KUjOVnKb
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) December 6, 2018
Even the host seemed embarrassed and tried to quickly change subjects.
The host was embarrassed enough to later issue an apology.
In case you missed it, right-wing conspiracy mongers have been pushing the idea that George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who supports Democrats, was a Nazi sympathizer during World War II, never mind that he was 14 when the conflict ended.
Yes, this episode is embarrassing for Texas. But it highlights a bigger issue: Partisan Republicans can fall into the arms of Fox News or Fox Business, speak to an audience that lives in a bubble, spread conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact — and pay zero electoral consequences.
Louie Gohmert represents Texas’ 1st congressional district, which covers a huge swath of the eastern part of the state along the Sabine River (Carthage, Lufkin, Diboll, Nacogdoches, Kilgore, Longview, etc.). He can pretty much say whatever he wants and still win 70% of the vote.
The best we can do is maintain majorities in state and federal legislatures so that people like Louie Gohmert keep their voices but have little influence on policy.