Gohmert IRS speech veers into rant about owls mating ‘like crazy’ on Kmart signs

By David Edwards
Thursday, May 23, 2013 15:05 EDT
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Louie Gohmert speaks on House floor
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During a Thursday House floor speech about the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) practice of scrutinizing conservative groups, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) connected the so-called scandal to the idea that owls could mate on Kmart signs.

As he was going through a list of tea party groups that were targeted by the IRS, Gohmert noted that some “left-wing drone organization” — like Raw Story — had published his assertion last week that the agency would have “shot the Boston Tea Party participants.”

“I was tickled last week, some left-wing drone organization — drone basically being unnamed, they’re not using the brains, they’re just doing as they’re directed — came after me for for saying here on the floor, gee, the IRS might have shot the original Tea Party participants.”

“Well, obviously that’s hyperbole, but I’ve found in Washington, if you use sarcasm, you speak metaphorically, allegorically, use hyperbole, that it’s often lost here,” he lamented.

Gohmert recalled that once during a discussion about endangered species, he had heard that “a pair of spotted owls that we were told for years couldn’t mate anywhere but virgin woods, untouched by human hands, they may have been seen mating in [a] Kmart sign.”

“And sheer sarcasm and out of irony I said, you know, there are a lot of Kmarts that have been out of business,” he continued. “Maybe we need to see if that’s really true and if so, maybe get Kmart signs, see if they ought to be declared endangered and maybe have a Kmart sign forest, where these little owls could mate like crazy out there on the Kmart signs.”

“And I look over at reporters, folks sitting there, and you could see people looking at each other, going, ‘Do you think he’s serious?’”

For years, conservatives have used rumors of a spotted owl living in a Kmart sign in Roseburg, Oregon to argue that logging does not destroy habit.

Watch this video from C-SPAN, broadcast May 23, 2013.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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