But not the way he means to. The Texas Republican doesn't exactly understand how hate crimes are prosecuted.
August 6, 2019

Here we have Congressional idiot Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) going on about how much he is bothered by the fact that crimes of hate can be categorized as crimes and punished by law. Then he draws some pretty inexplicable conclusions about where punishing hate crimes will lead.

GOHMERT: There are some people who are almost impossible to rehabilitate. And it bothered me when we passed a hate crime law federally, and then we hear all these people say, "Yeah, we need to punish people more for hate crimes." The poster case they made for the hate crime federally was the case down in Jasper. They were tried under Texas law. The two (?) couple got the death penalty. There is no death penalty under federal laws. All this screamin', "Yeah, we need to punish them for hate crimes," you know, that's just gonna be sumpin' used to lock up preachers, someday.

But we should punish people for what they actually do, and not for something stupid that they say or may have crossed their mind. But here, if justice is really gonna be done in El Paso, they need to use Texas law, and use the death penalty, because someone that shoots two or more people, and especially in that scenario, they're gonna get the death penalty in Texas, I don't see any way around it. If you use Texas law. Use federal law? They get life.

Okay. Allow me, a somewhat linear thinker, to take a stab at the noxious buffoonery came out of that dude's mouth right there.

1. Rep. Louis Gohmert is not, I repeat NOT a fan of punishing hate crimes. He's DEFINITELY against federal hate crime laws.
2. He is afraid that laws punishing hate crimes will lead to people saying we need to punish people for hate crimes.
3. He says there is no federal death penalty. Actually, though, there is, now. We can thank the kind-hearted, always forgiving and ethics-minded Attorney General William Barr, who reinstated it in order to kill five people on Death Row.
4. Punishing hate crimes will lead to locking up preachers. (More on that in a minute)
5. We cannot punish people for things they say or think, only things they do. Now, Louie is right in that so far, we are still allowed to think thoughts that are unpleasant or harmful and not be punished by government for that. The government cannot read our minds — YET. Only Mark Zuckerburg and Amazon can do that.

But if, Louie, as you wished, we couldn't punish people for what they said, well, then, I could say all kinds of untrue things about you that might get you fired, divorced, killed, or chased by hashtag feral hogs, and you would have no recourse, would you? There are libel and slander laws for a reason. And I could say things to you that were abusive and would cause you to consider suicide or trigger trauma reactions, or make it completely impossible for you to function fully and productively if I were say, your boss. So, actually, it's super important that speech has limits under the law.

And I gotta say. Number 4 has me really scratching my head. How exactly will enforcing hate crimes lead to the jailing of priests? I have my own ideas, because I've long thought many religious leaders propagate hate in the course of their religious duties, but Gohmert is the last person I'd expect to agree with me on that. Somehow I really doubt that's what he meant. But honestly, I'll be damned if I could venture a guess as to what he meant. Some errands really do belong to fools.

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