WASHINGTON, D.C. — During President Obama’s eighth and final State of the Union address, he touched on several issues that many might presume to be non-partisan, if not bipartisan in nature. Whenever he’d mention such topics as the strength of the American people, or a desire to make sure that everyone born in the country has a fair shot at moving upward in life, most everyone in attendance would applaud, and even stand up when the tone of the president’s rhetoric warranted, unless they were Republican politicians. Mostly they remained seated and silent, and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told reporters at a Wednesday morning press conference why.
“Almost nothing he said was worthy of applause or a standing ovation,” Gowdy told the press, “even if what he had been saying was really benign and had it come out of the mouth of a Republican president we’d have been hanging from the rafters.” Mr. Gowdy, who is leading the latest in a string of more than a dozen official congressional inquiries into the September 11th, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, said that “things like taking care of the sick and poor are applause lines and sound good on paper” but “ultimately they cost money that could otherwise be either handed to the military industrial complex in what is so totes not corporate welfare or just siphoned up into the financier class where it can stay floating around up there, never trickling down to the masses.”
Avoiding racist, xenophobic, or Islamaphobic policies was another thing that Gowdy said Obama was “way off his commie mark” about when he addressed them. When Obama told the nation, “we need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion” Gowdy claims was one of the worst moments in American political history. He cited the Freedom of Association clause in the First Amendment of the Constitution as many libertarians do, though legal scholars mostly reject that as a paradigm it has anything to do with businesses or governments discriminating based on race, religion or sexual identity.
“It’s our God given right to treat other people like garbage if we don’t like them in any way,” Gowdy said to reporters, continuing, “and this whole notion that our 14th Amendment means that business owners can’t tell gay people they can’t serve them just because they’re gay is stupid.” Gowdy then insisted that “the idiotic notion that I should be able to tell someone they have to serve a person of color if they’re a racist just because they are operating their business in public, using publicly-funded infrastructure to protect their businesses, and you know, in general bigotry and racism actually circumvents the victims’ civil rights and has a demonstrable negative impact on the economy” runs counter-intuitive to what he and his fellow Republicans know the Founders really wanted, as Gowdy put it, a “society where you can be shitty to blacks, gays, Mexicans, Muslims and women if you want to because their rights don’t matter as much as yours do.”
Gowdy said that he was “looking forward to with great glee” the presidential election this fall because “hopefully the people will elect a man who restores America’s principles.” Those principles he said are “the right to harm someone who thinks, looks, or acts in a way you don’t like but isn’t really harming anyone, and they have no control over it anyway.”
“That,” Gowdy said with emotion in his voice, “is the America I want. The America where racists can be racists and we excuse it with misguided notions of what enlightenment is.”