CPAC2014: Louie Gohmert Throws a Party, John Boehner’s Opponent Shows Up

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 7 2014 9:14 AM

CPAC2014: Louie Gohmert Throws a Party, John Boehner’s Opponent Shows Up

168809218-rep-louie-gohmert-speaks-during-a-hearing-before-the
Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, raises the roof.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—"We paid for this food!" said Rep. Louie Gohmert. "You gotta eat it!"

It was the first evening of CPAC, and Gohmert was holding court at a party for his new political committee—the evocatively named GOH PAC. Frank Gaffney was there. Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, was there too, occasionally side-eying the reporters in the room. "Bo Snerdley," the call screener/impersonation maestro on Rush Limbaugh's show, chatted with guests and took questions about what it took to get into radio. A stream of guests snacked on mini-focaccia sandwiches and crudite, or paid $20 to start a tab at the bar.

Some of the guests were running for Congress. Gohmert ushered Niger Innis, the black conservative activist and pundit, over to a microphone. Innis had just started running in Nevada's 4th District, a new seat drawn in 2011 to elect a Democrat.

Advertisement

"I was asked by a media commentator, will you be joining Louie's group when you make it to Congress?" said Innis. "I said, no, I'm not joining Louie's group. I'm going to be his black Siamese twin when I get to Congress!"

Gohmert roared with laughter and hugged his pal. "I'll be in the trenches with Louie," said Innis. "I have been before."

"We have any more candidates?" asked Gohmert.

A young man named J.D. Winteregg approached the mic.

"I'm running in Ohio's 8th District against Speaker Boehner," he said.

The crowd, led by Gohmert, cheered and applauded.

"Obviously, I'm going to need help, so, thank you."

Winteregg passed the mic back to Gohmert. "Thank you," said the congressman. "All right, awesome."

The din picked up as Gohmert's guests gave short speeches—Phyllis Schlafly, Tea Party Patriots' Jenny Beth Martin. Gohmert kept to the side, bursting with emotion. He grabbed the mic back to describe what he felt.

"It takes me back to a funeral I attended at Arlington National Cemetary," said Gohmert. The crowd, urged very strongly by Snerdley, stopped muttering. Gohmert told the story of Ross McGinnis, a soldier who was on patrol in 2006 when an insurgent tossed a grenade into his humvee.* "Instead of jumping out of the humvee to save his own life, 19-year-old Ross jumped out of the hole, took the full force, gave his own life. Four people are alive today because of Ross McGinnis."

The room had fallen silent. "Nobody here will hopefully have to give their lives to save four other people. But this country is in jeopardy. If it takes an hour a week, four hours a week, we can save this country for future generations. If we do that, they will look back and call us blessed."

*Correction, March 7, 2014: This post originally misspelled Medal of Honor recipient Ross McGinnis' last name.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Behold
Sept. 21 2014 11:00 AM Sometimes You Just Need to Print Your Photos the Old-Fashioned Way 
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.