Maybe Representative Louie Gohmert knew The Daily Show was going on vacation. Last week at a House Natural Resources committee meeting, Gohmert, who is famous to Jon Stewart’s viewers for his comments about “terror babies” and the theoretical Chinese dish “moo goo dog pan,” revealed a novel theory on the oft-debated impact of Alaska oil pipelines on the state’s caribou population.
As Emily Heil of the Washington Post reported:
Gohmert launched into a lecture during a meeting of the House Natural Resources committee meeting last week about the need to protect the poor caribou. But here’s the catch — the evil force against which he wants to defend the creatures is the halting of the flow of oil through the pipeline. That, he says, would be akin to throwing cold water on what sounds like a randy spring-break party happening around Alaska’s caribou population.
It seems that Gohmert is also something of an expert on animal husbandry. Here’s his theory: The caribou very much enjoy the warmth the pipeline radiates. “So when they want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline,” he informed his colleagues. It’s apparently the equivalent of being wined and dined. And that has resulted in a tenfold caribou population boom, he concluded.
“So my real concern now …if oil stops running through the pipeline…do we need a study to see how adversely the caribou would be affected if that warm oil ever quit flowing?” he asked.
Liberal Austin blogger Harold Cook of Letters From Texas could not contain his glee over Heil’s story:
I have no idea why all you people are so upset about Rick Perry dropping out of the Presidential race. Your concern that politics won’t be any fun anymore is completely unfounded…
Pipelines apparently bring out all the slutty caribou who might otherwise stay home. But with the pipeline, it’ll totally be like a cari-booty call situation all the time.
However, it turns out that the Post gave Gohmert too much credit for originality on this one. His comments are no mere harebrained theory or unusual flight of fancy, but rather, a long-established conservative political position (also known as “talking points”).
As Pat Garofalo of ThinkProgress reported in 2008, Minnesota Congresswoman and former Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann made a similar comment (calling the pipeline a potential caribou “coffee klatch”), as did Rush Limbaugh and President Bush Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.
Cook’s blog post actually anticipated this.
It is [Gohmert]’s patriotic duty to figure out what The Next Big Republican Talking Point will be, then go so utterly nutso-over-the-top with his own unique angle on the topic that even the other Congressional whack jobs are embarrassed to be seen, both with him and with that issue, ever again.