Insane in the Membrane

Hilarious:

The word “lunatic” will be stricken from federal law under legislation that passed the House on Wednesday and is headed to President Obama for his signature.

The Congressional action is the latest effort to remove language from federal law that has become outdated or is considered demeaning. Two years ago Congress took out references to “mental retardation.”

“The term ‘lunatic’ holds a place in antiquity and should no longer have a prominent place in our U.S. code,” said Representative Robert C. Scott, Democrat of Virginia, shortly before the 398-to-1 vote in the House.

***

The lone “no” vote was cast by Representative Louie Gohmert…

You’d think he’d be happy to no longer be stigmatized. Although, then again, crazy people, much like stupid people, don’t recognize they are crazy (or stupid). That’s a burden the rest of has to bear.

74 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Although, then again, crazy people, much like stupid people, don’t recognize they are crazy (or stupid). That’s a burden the rest of has to bear.

    Did they also vote to strike the definition for “lack of self-awareness”?

  2. 2
    gbear says:

    Louie didn’t want the government to take away his Pink Floyd records.

  3. 3
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    The lone “no” vote was cast by Representative Louie Gohmert…

    Christ. the jokes just write themselves.

  4. 4
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Lunatic Louie knows that the word has meaning, especially among his fellow lunatics in Texas.

    Good for him! He has embraced his inner lunatic.

  5. 5
    Schlemizel says:

    I don’t know – if every other gooper voted for this bill there has to be something wrong with it. Anything Batshit Bachmann and King of the Assholes support must be a real piece of shit

  6. 6
    cathyx says:

    But if they strike that word, how will we describe the republicans?

  7. 7
    Johannes says:

    The lunatic really is in the House…

  8. 8
    gbear says:

    I had to go see if Bachmann chickened out on that vote and, sure enough, she did. She just can’t vote for anything that Democrats would vote for. For having such a big mouth, she’s a total fucking coward and a slacker.

  9. 9
    redshirt says:

    It’s racism against Moon-Americans, and so Louie’s for it.

  10. 10
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @cathyx: Republicans. Synonym for lunatic.

  11. 11
    efgoldman says:

    @Schlemizel:

    ….if every other gooper voted for this bill there has to be something wrong with it.

    I’m with you. The TeaHadis voted for a bill like this? The TeaHadis we know and hate?
    I’m guessing it passed on “voice vote” when there weren’t ten members in the chamber.

  12. 12
    Felonius Monk says:

    Little Louie, the short Texan who couldn’t find his ass with two hands and a flashlight was heard to say after the vote:

    “Yesterday I couldn’t spell loonatick, today I are one.”

  13. 13
    cathyx says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: If you look up the word republican in the dictionary, there’s a picture of a lunatic with it.

  14. 14
    The disabled guy says:

    And yet “mental retardation” is STILL used in Social Security’s Listing of Impairments. Still a ways to go.

  15. 15
    danielx says:

    gohmert: synonym for lunatic

    “Did you see the article about that gohmert who tried to hang glide off the Golden Gate?”

  16. 16
    PurpleGirl says:

    I wonder what the work to search out and change wording is going to cost, if they are changing wording retroactively. Or was the bill written that it is only from this point forward that certain words can’t be used?

  17. 17
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Man has to stick up for his constituency.

  18. 18
    trollhattan says:

    Heh, indoozle, Mistah Louie, he don’t do irony.

  19. 19
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Why in the world would Heath Shuler not cast a vote? He’s a lame duck, it’s not like he’s going to be primaried in 2014. I don’t get it.

  20. 20
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: He’s a lunatic idiot?

  21. 21
    different-church-lady says:

    Lunatics themselves, however, will still be allowed to take seats in Congress…

  22. 22
    Felonius Monk says:

    Since this thread concerns Clown Shoes and Teabagger Stupidity has anyone entertained this thought:
    Grifter Grover Norquist had a tantrum the other day and said that TeaParty2 is coming soon and will be super awesome in its power. Then Grifter Dick Armey takes his $8M cut from Freedomwerkz and declares himself a free agent. Is it possible that these two assholes of ill repute are planning to join forces and create Grifter Grover and Grifter Dick’s Most Awesome TeaBag2 Clown Show and Donor Fleecing Flea Circus? If so, this could be fun.

  23. 23
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Felonius Monk: That actually makes sense. I don’t know if “fun” would be the word I would use, however. I would prefer both of those mendacious assholes to disappear and never be heard from again, unless it was at an appeals hearing for their sentence for treason.

  24. 24
    redshirt says:

    @Felonius Monk: LOL. This time Fox is just gonna say “Fuck it” and CGI in huge crowds for their otherwise sparsely attended rallies. Who’s gonna call ’em out? Who cares if they get called out? Not Fox viewers.

  25. 25
    1badbaba3 says:

    We want Little Louie on that wall. We need Little Louie on that wall.

  26. 26
    Felonius Monk says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I would prefer both of those mendacious assholes to disappear and never be heard from again, unless it was at an appeals hearing for their sentence for treason.

    I would prefer that also. One can only hope that one day soon they will cross the line and wind up in the doo-doo. Prison would be to good for them — better something like poor, penniless, homeless wandering bums without healthcare and forbidden from ever collecting Social Security. Poetic justice so to speak.

  27. 27
    Gian says:

    I wonder about whether changing the names used really has any long term impact. WHen my kids get older I’ll probably find out if developmentaly disabled has become the insult that retarded was previously.

    But I also figure that it can’t hurt to try and change a few attitudes.
    This kind of change happens a few people at a time and grows until most of the non-jerks are on board.

  28. 28
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    There is still a large, gilt-edged, leather-bound tome in the basement of my courthouse marked “LUNACY DOCKET.” It contains records from back in the day of what are now politely called “civil commitments”.

    I always wanted to be in a band called “Lunacy Docket.”

  29. 29
    Felonius Monk says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    I always wanted to be in a band called “Lunacy Docket.”

    So would you then play Lunacy Tunes or Looney Tunes?

  30. 30
    👽 Martin says:

    Wait, maybe Gohmert is self-aware and thought they were voting to strike lunatics from government, and wondered why the other lunatics voted in favor of having themselves thrown out of office?

  31. 31
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Gian: Developmentally disabled is a term that has been around at least 30 years. I worked with a population in the early eighties and that’s what was used.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The lone “no” vote was cast by Representative Louie Gohmert…

    Representative of the batshit insane?

  33. 33
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @1badbaba3:

    We want Little Louie on against that wall. We need Little Louie on against that wall.

    FTFY

  34. 34
    Lancelot Link says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Lunatic Louie has earned that new nickname all by himself, bless his lil’ heart.

  35. 35
    Mike in NC says:

    Dream Team for the GOP in 2016: DeMint/Gohmert

  36. 36
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    Either one. You say tomayto…

  37. 37
    gnomedad says:

    Probably fancied himself fighting a lonely battle against political correctness. Sphincter.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    To be fair, Obama probably supports this bill, so Gohmert is the one GOP House member being principled here.

  39. 39
    redshirt says:

    “Give ’em Hell Louie!” shouts some half toothless coot in a dusty trailer.

  40. 40
    mai naem says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Heath Shuler is probably in meetings with Duke Energy officials making sure that he’s doing whatever he needs to do for them in the Fiscal Cliff negotiations so that his lobbying gig in January is secure. He doesn’t have time for silly little stuff like taking lunatic off government related docs.

    Louie “Gaw-lee” Gomer probably has a problem with taking Negro off any government docs.

  41. 41
    1badbaba3 says:

    @Bobby Thomson: That is a correct answer. Our Judges say under the wall would also be acceptable.

  42. 42
    lacp says:

    When I read this kind of thing, I try to envision what sort of people vote for a Gohmert or whoever. And I never succeed.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Shalimar says:

    I was listening to this on the way home from work, and Louie said the reason we need to keep the term is to describe all the other members of Congress who won’t deal with the fiscal cliff the way he wants them to. So basically, this wonderfully self-aware man thinks everyone is crazy but him.

  45. 45
    Calouste says:

    @mai naem:

    Yeah, that is where my money is as well. Too busy lining up his next gig to vote on anything not related to said next gig.

  46. 46
    Gian says:

    @AnotherBruce:

    I was so much younger then, I remember the r-word being used as an insult, as well as references to a local center that worked with people with the disability.

    I just being somewhat existentialist. Satre famously wrote “if the jew did not exist the anti-semite would invent him”
    well lord of the flies plus existentialist. kids can be damn cruel and if they want to insult another kid I wonder if they’ll adapt.

    (it was a lil more than 30 years ago, and I did live in a town of 4400 on well water with no cable tv, so my kid experiences may be non-typical, err are not typical)

    We’ve tried our best to train our kids – who are still young to be nice – and they have a cousin they’ve spent some time with who is austistic and has seizures – I’m waiting for the sensitive one to come home and tells us what the insults of the day are. Mostly he complains about people who don’t want to play the same games during recess he does. the three year old complains about mean girls at preschool

    all the talk about name calling mean kids fits right into the modern GOP though.

  47. 47
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    You’d think he’d be happy to no longer be stigmatized.

    It’s remarkable how much vestigial shit exists in US law. I’m sure that commenters here who came to the US from Foreign and have had to deal with the legislative clusterfuck that is US immigration law have noted how various bits of the process are basically stuck in the 1950s in terms of their definitions of conditions and practices that render someone inadmissible.

  48. 48
    Less Popular Tim says:

    @Gian: This, maybe. I remember a few years back reading about the mid-20th-century closure of an “Institution for Half-Wits, Morons, and other Mental Deficients” or something appalling like that, in Minnesota. I don’t think it was named by Drs., or using the DSM-0 or anything, but these used to be “clinical” terms. Call it “slur inflation.”

  49. 49

    […] the New York Times via John Cole: The word “lunatic” will be stricken from federal law under legislation that passed the House […]

  50. 50
    Joey Maloney says:

    @danielx: Don’t you think “gohmert” sounds more like it should be a synonym for “dumbass”, though? Your sentence works either way, I’m just saying.

  51. 51
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    pseudonymous in nc:

    I’m sure that commenters here who came to the US from Foreign and have had to deal with the legislative clusterfuck that is US immigration law have noted how various bits of the process are basically stuck in the 1950s …

    A friend was just telling me yesterday how he had to promise not to support the Communist Party of America when he became a citizen. Not in the oath, of course, but apparently it’s still part of the paperwork.

    .

  52. 52
    Raven says:

    @JGabriel: You have to sign a loyalty oath to the state and the US go to work for the GEORGIA government!

  53. 53
    Raven says:

    3. Are you now or have you been within the last ten (10) years a member of any organization which to your knowledge at the time of membership advocates or has as one of its objectives, the overthrow of the government of the United States or the government of the State of Georgia by force or violence? Yes No If “Yes,” state the name of the organization and your past and present membership status including any offices held therein.

  54. 54
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Felonius Monk: Hahahahahaha! Probably true, though.

  55. 55

    […] you can’t make this stuff up. December 6, 2012 | Posted by: Frank | Posted in: Too Stupid for Words | Bookmark this post […]

  56. 56
    Randy P says:

    @Raven: Wouldn’t Tea Partiers be obligated to say “yes” to that?

  57. 57
    mellowjohn says:

    to paraphrase “a fish called wanda”: to call louie gohmert stupid would be an insult to stupid people.

  58. 58
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Less Popular Tim: that’s what they used to call the RNC?

  59. 59
    brantl says:

    The lone “no” vote was cast by Representative Louie Gohmert…

    If there were cosmic justice, the sound of the word irony would be exactly the same as the sound of the wind, whistling through one of Gohmert’s ears to the other.

  60. 60
    Elizabelle says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    Gohmert sounds like “varmint” to me.

    His constituents, and Michelle Bachmann’s, have some ‘splainin’ to do.

  61. 61
    Woodrowfan says:

    @gnomedad: I bet you’re right. He’s continuing the brave fight against Political Correctness! (of course what we now call Political Correctness used to be called “being polite”)

  62. 62
    Fort Geek says:

    @Less Popular Tim: “Institution for Half-Wits, Morons, and other Mental Deficients” sounds like the (R) side of Congress. And some of the (D)s.

  63. 63
    aimai says:

    @Gian:

    They are already adapting on the word “homo”-a very common substitute is now the word “hobo.” Its just kind of an all purpose insult with no implication of effeminacy or anything specific to gayness or hobo-ness/homelessness. But I’m pretty sure that it is a kind of semi sly subversion–a kind of in your face inversion of the forbidden word, kind of like cockney rhyming slang or thieve’s cant.

    On the website-from-which-I-was-just-banned, Dealing with In Laws and Family of Origin, calling someone the “r” or even using it in a discussion of family dynamics (“My mother in law called my child retarded”) is considered a form of hate speech and is banned just like the N word and also, to my amusement, words like “red neck” even when the poster is applying it proudly to herself and her culture.

    aimai

  64. 64
    SenyorDave says:

    Louie is that perfect combination of crazy and stupid that so rarely comes together in just the right proportion. I always wonder whether he is truly representative of his constituency (a scary thought), or if he just brings home the bacon and people assume he’s better than any other alternative.

  65. 65
    Woodrowfan says:

    @aimai: ohhh, there’s a story here! Where did you get banned? I could make a guess but it might start a flame war…

    (and for the record, anyone who’d ban you is a weenie, IMHO)

  66. 66
    aimai says:

    I got banned from Dealing with the In Laws and Family of Origin–that’s actually the name of the website. Its kind of an odd place but I miss it and its quite eye opening about the state of familial dysfunction and misery in the US and, oddly, in Dubai, Canada and Australia.

    aimai

  67. 67
    Woodrowfan says:

    Aimai, oops, sorry, I thought that was just a fanciful nickname sort of like “The great orange satan” is for Dkos. Oh well, i am sorry you were banned. Their loss…

  68. 68
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Gian: There’s certainly a euphemism treadmill in which neutral terms rapidly turn into insults referring to the stigmatized population. “Idiot”, “imbecile” and “moron” were mainstream technical terms many decades ago; “mentally retarded” was one when I was a kid.

    But that doesn’t mean that replacing the terms is useless. I figure changing terminology every few decades to avoid insulting people in every sentence we use is a small price to pay.

  69. 69
    Interrobang says:

    @Less Popular Tim: The actual technical term for that sort of thing in linguistics is “pejorization.” Which sort of sounds like an insult itself, but it’s the verb form of “pejorative.”

    You’re welcome. Isn’t the euphemism treadmill fun?

  70. 70
    ottercliff says:

    OK, now I understand why Jim DeMint had to quit.

  71. 71
    Tonal Crow says:

    That’s a burden the rest of has to bear.

    Double grammar fail.

  72. 72
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Less Popular Tim: clinical !== scientific, or useful

    “clinical” gives us stuff like backcracking (and sudden strokes and deaths in healthy young people as the result of cervical manipulation)

    We’re better off leaving all of that in the past.

  73. 73
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Raven: 3. Are you now or have you been within the last ten (10) years a member of any organization which to your knowledge at the time of membership advocates or has as one of its objectives, the overthrow of the government of the United States or the government of the State of Georgia by force or violence? Yes No If “Yes,” state the name of the organization and your past and present membership status including any offices held therein.

    Hrm, um, erm, the Democratic Party?

    Oh, “by force or violence”. By force–of votes!

  74. 74
    Jay C says:

    The word “lunatic” will be stricken from federal law under legislation that passed the House on Wednesday and is headed to President Obama for his signature.
    __
    ***
    __
    The lone “no” vote was cast by Representative Louie Gohmert…

    Obviously, Louie was taking this legislation personally…

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  1. […] you can’t make this stuff up. December 6, 2012 | Posted by: Frank | Posted in: Too Stupid for Words | Bookmark this post […]

  2. […] the New York Times via John Cole: The word “lunatic” will be stricken from federal law under legislation that passed the House […]

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