Quote of the Day

QUOTE OF THE DAY…. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), he of “terror baby” fame, is fond of wandering onto the House floor at odd times and sharing odd thoughts that pop into his head. Last night, Gohmert offered this gem:

“We have people on welfare and I know there’s some that just don’t wanna work, but there’s some that do. How ’bout if instead of the welfare, we give ’em an alternative. We’ll give you so many acres that can provide land where you can live off of it, make a living and we’ll give you seed money to start, but you have to sign an agreement that you’ll never accept welfare again. How ’bout that? We got plenty of land.”

He really said that. It’s on video.

I’m not sure quite where to start with this. I suppose the first question is whether Gohmert’s Republican colleagues would be comfortable with Congress handing over large swaths of federal land — for free — to low-income Americans.

Second, I’d like a definition of “welfare,” since it really isn’t limited to the poor. ExxonMobil receives all kinds of subsidies from the government. Is that “welfare,” too? Dose Gohmert intend to having over “so many acres” to oil giants in exchange for the elimination of subsidies in the future?

And third, I’d love to hear more about implementation. If a family is on food stamps in, say, Florida, and there’s plenty of federal land in, say, Utah, does Gohmert envision a federally funded migration/relocation program? All in the hopes of eliminating food stamps forever?

Walid Zafar concluded, “If any of this sounds familiar, it should. Gohmert’s proposal has vestiges of the much-misunderstood 40 acres and a mule deal offered to former slaves after the Civil War or the relocating of ‘undesirable’ populations into predetermined plots of land.”

I shudder to think how many lawmakers will be in Congress next year who share Louie Gohmert’s intellect and understanding of reality.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.