Rep. Louie Gohmert Calls Obama a "Tyrannical Despot" at Tea Party Rally

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 16 2013 10:53 AM

The Anti-Tyranny Squad

168871289
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) speaks at a news conferencewith Tea Party leaders and congressional members to discuss the IRS scandal of targeting the Tea Party on May 16, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

It was just like old times. Rep. Michele Bachmann was at the front of a Tea Party rally, in front of the Capitol, flanked by Republican members of Congress. What began as a Bachmann + activists event led off with a speech from Mitch McConnell, reiterating his outraged floor statements about encroaching government power.

photo (40)

The IRS/AP/Benghazi scandal casserole had, according to Utah Sen. Mike Lee, "confirmed our worst fears" about government power and overreach. "It is indicative of a pattern in this administration," said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, "a willingness to use the machinery of government for Chicago-style politics."

Cruz drew the media's attention to a possible scandal: The IRS had gone so far overboard that it had leaked damaging tax documents to the Obama campaign. When he left, reporters asked him exactly what he was referring to.

"There was a story I read this week that said that confidential documents from one of the groups were leaked to an individual who became a co-chairman of the Obama campaign," he said. "I don't know the facts beyond what I read in a news story."

Beside the point, anyway: The point was that the scandals should be taken not as separate outrages but as one jagged pill, all about the creep toward tyranny.

"When there is a tyrannical despot, the media will be early victims," said Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert. "You will be used as helpful savants for a while, and then, when it is convenient, you will be put out of business as well."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.