Gohmert, Heritage Foundation share a bad idea

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), a constant source of amusement, has a new conspiracy theory involving the debt ceiling. Apparently, it has something to do with President Obama’s birthday.

“…I can’t help but be a little bit cynical here. Because we find out the president has a big birthday bash scheduled for August the 3rd, celebrities flying in from all over. And lo and behold, August 2nd is the deadline for getting something done so he can have this massive, the biggest fundraising dinner in history for a birthday celebration. […] Isn’t that amazing? The timing of this?”

I’m not even sure exactly what Gohmert is trying to accuse the president of doing here. The Treasury Department calculated that extraordinary measures would be exhausted on Aug. 2. The president is having a birthday party on Aug. 3. “Cynical” or not, what’s the connection here? Even making bizarre assumptions about Obama’s nefarious intentions, what does Gohmert want us to believe here? I honestly don’t see it.

Ordinarily, it’d be easy to just conclude that Gohmert is an odd duck and move on, but also today, the Heritage Foundation published an item with the identical concern.

The White House has pegged Aug. 2 as the drop-dead deadline for a debt-limit deal. But deal or no deal, President Obama is heading to Chicago on Aug. 3 for his 50th birthday bash — a pricey fundraiser for his re-election campaign.

The Heritage Foundation item referenced another piece complaining that the president isn’t having “a quiet celebration with family and a few close friends.”

I still don’t know what the right is upset about. I’d consider debunking the criticism, but I’m at a loss to identify the underlying point.

More importantly, though, it also seems rather sad when Gohmert and the Heritage Foundation are pushing the same nonsense on the same day.

There was a point, some years back, when Heritage positioned itself as a conservative think tank that mattered. Heritage officials wouldn’t bother with guys like Gohmert; they’d pat him on the head and say, “Run along, Louie. The grown-ups have work to do.”

But in 2011, Heritage and Gohmert are on the same page. The intellectual bankruptcy of conservatives appears to be getting worse.