When common sense capsizes

  • Follow Editorials

Do they give drug tests in Congress?

They ought to if they don't already.

First up should be Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga.

His line of questioning of a Navy officer during a committee meeting March 25, now famous on the Internet, is so bizarre and comical that it has all the appearance of a Saturday Night Live sketch.

Sadly, it's real. And it's your Congress.

In fact, Johnson manages to make Cynthia McKinney, one of his more oddball predecessors, look absolutely lucid.

Johnson inartfully asks the officer about the dimensions of the island of Guam, pursuant to a transfer of 8,000 U.S. Marines there -- before expressing an apparently sincere concern that adding more people to Guam might tip the island over.

Really. You can't make this stuff up, folks.

"My fear," Johnson says with the utmost seriousness, "is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize."

The officer, who gamely fought back a smile, should get a medal -- maybe for not asking and not telling how foolish Johnson's statement was.

Where, oh where, are the words to describe the patent absurdity of it, and the horrifying realization that a schoolchild is more sophisticated? And yet, this is a man representing the state of Georgia in the esteemed halls of Congress, the pinnacle of the nation's leadership.

Never mind Guam. Pray for this nation. Pray the entire country doesn't capsize.

Comments (57) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 04/01/10 - 11:19 pm
0
0
His real concern should be

His real concern should be that DC has gone so far left that it will dip into the sea. For those who haven't seen the video, just go to YouTube. Absolutely hilarious, and even more telling about how our politicians think.

Nat the Cat
1
Points
Nat the Cat 04/02/10 - 12:45 am
0
0
If Hank Johnson was serious,

If Hank Johnson was serious, then he either needs serious psychiatric assistance, or he should resign from office, if he knows how. Is there anyone over the age of 6 who really thinks that an island can "tip over," and "capsize." This man does not have the mentality of a first-grader, and yet he is supposedly representing grown adults within his District who actually voted for him. It just goes to show that uninformed, hysterical people will elect just about anyone--look at whom they elected as our President in a moment of mass hysteria!

dani
12
Points
dani 04/02/10 - 12:20 am
0
0
He is a Dem, isn't he? And

He is a Dem, isn't he? And from GA. Ouch!

Nat the Cat
1
Points
Nat the Cat 04/02/10 - 12:48 am
0
0
Dani--It's downright

Dani--It's downright embarrassing for us Georgians, isn't it! This is exactly the kind of thing that gives Georgians, and Southerners in general, a stereotypical bad name. I thought the height of embarrassment for Georgians was when Cynthia McKinney came out with her "9/11 Conspiracy Theory," that the government, specifically George Bush et. al., planned and orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. But Hank's "island world," may have taken the cake!

audioofbeing
0
Points
audioofbeing 04/02/10 - 01:16 am
0
0
I think it's fairly obvious

I think it's fairly obvious the man was joking, and even more apparent that the Admiral being questioned understood the joke. The addition of 25,000 more people to Guam, approximately 17% of it's current population, is a serious matter as regards resources available. The metaphor — despite it's incredibly painful setup — is valid.

Now, this guy has nothing an your standard McKee cartoon, but it's still pretty funny.

Trey Enfantay
9
Points
Trey Enfantay 04/02/10 - 01:18 am
0
0
audio - Did you watch the

audio - Did you watch the video of this yet? Unfortunately, I don't think he was joking. I know (better than most) that yesterday was April Fools' Day, but holy cow!!!

Just look on YouTube for the audio/video of it....let us know what you think.

audioofbeing
0
Points
audioofbeing 04/02/10 - 01:43 am
0
0
I did, and I had my jaw

I did, and I had my jaw dropped right up until he hit the tip over and capsize part. The Admiral's measured response, the lack of even quiet laughter from those present, and the fact that his following comments seemed like they were coming from a different person entirely lead me to believe this is just a manipulation of reality. It's funny in some respects, but the truth gets distorted enough without this sort of thing.

To be as clear as possible, the Admiral seems confused, realizes it's a joke, then addresses the actual matter at hand. Immediately thereafter the Congressman turns to the impact that the large number of people coming to Guam would have on the island, which is what is being discussed the whole time. With that in mind it all kind of falls in place, I think.

I found the video of the entire committee meeting, but it's loading slowly. I'd bet a pretty large sum that starting that video a minute earlier would have been less amusing, but more truthful.

wyochuck
0
Points
wyochuck 04/02/10 - 02:02 am
0
0
LOL--times one million--best

LOL--times one million--best ACES one in a long time

GGpap
491
Points
GGpap 04/02/10 - 03:39 am
0
0
I'll support Audio in this

I'll support Audio in this one; but, I guess I'm just a bit more open-minded than many of the other posters on these threads. GGpap

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 04/02/10 - 05:02 am
0
0
We once had a party on that

We once had a party on that island with the walkway to it at the Ft. Gordon Rec area on the lake years ago. A particular person kept inviting lots of people and the joke was the island was going to sink. I believe Johnson was joking although the admiral's reactions were hilarious.

GGpap
491
Points
GGpap 04/02/10 - 05:04 am
0
0
A walkway from Ft. Gordon to

A walkway from Ft. Gordon to Guam. Dang, wait 'til I pack my duffle, I need the hiking exercise! GGpap

carcraft
26262
Points
carcraft 04/02/10 - 05:48 am
0
0
I don't think he was

I don't think he was kidding..We have a congress critter that asked if NASA could send the mars rover over to where the Apollo astronauts landed on the moon!

justus4
103
Points
justus4 04/02/10 - 06:15 am
0
0
This attack on Johnson was
Unpublished

This attack on Johnson was started by the hate-filled, right-wing, radio talkers. It demonstrates why federal intervention is required to balance the chatter and just another example how minorities are portrayed by U know who. And it is intended to infer that people of color are stupid and should not hold elected office. That is the entire purpose of such operations and citizens of color have battled this monster since Reconstruction. Further, that questioning people of color's intelligence is used to increase ratings and sell papers, while following a known pattern of taking words out of context. Oh, and that's why the president ALWAYS uses prepared statements because he knows the history too.

Trey Enfantay
9
Points
Trey Enfantay 04/02/10 - 06:22 am
0
0
Like Herman Cain, huh?

Like Herman Cain, huh?

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 04/02/10 - 06:25 am
0
0
I watched several of ole

I watched several of ole Hank's youtube contributions and I've got to say that his one qualification for holding office doesn't appear to be knowledge. I'm guessing he's a fine representative of his district. Dems don't seem to set the bar too high, for diversity reasons, of course.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 04/02/10 - 06:27 am
0
0
justus 4, if Hank Johnson

justus 4, if Hank Johnson impresses you, Thomas Sowell will knock your socks off.

Trey Enfantay
9
Points
Trey Enfantay 04/02/10 - 06:31 am
0
0
To add to Herman Cain and

To add to Herman Cain and Thomas Sowell, I'd like to submit Walter E. Williams. This could be a wonderful learning experience for Mr justus4.

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 04/02/10 - 06:48 am
0
0
And please don't leave out

And please don't leave out the rapier wit and bottomless wisdom of Michael Stephen Steele.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 04/02/10 - 07:18 am
0
0
Did anyone see the speech

Did anyone see the speech given by Rep. Johnson to stop funding for NASA? It seems he's worried about melting all of the cheese during moon landings.

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 04/02/10 - 07:58 am
0
0
I agree that was
Unpublished

I agree that was embarrassing. It is interesting though, when a friend posted this on FaceBook yesterday, he used the same Cynthia McKinney analogy. Evidently, he and The Chronicle get their talking points from the same source. This obscure Congressman has nothing on Michelle Bachmann whose crazy rants have entertained Democrats for years.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 04/02/10 - 08:11 am
0
0
This just goes to tell ya...
Unpublished

This just goes to tell ya... the RepubliCANTS don't have the brain power to sort through the truth of matters. They're so used to FOX telling them what to think that they can no longer do it for themselves. It's pretty sad that they cannot distinguish something comical from reality. Some even believe that G.W. was a good President... and that Palin would make an excellent one.... LOL..

dichotomy
33540
Points
dichotomy 04/02/10 - 10:44 am
0
0
We are not capsizing. We are

We are not capsizing. We are full steam ahead toward Socialism but the ship is going down by the stern. The screws are turning but the water is already up on the fantail. We need to throw some Democrats overboard to lighten the load and steer a hard right rudder.

audioofbeing
0
Points
audioofbeing 04/02/10 - 11:51 am
0
0
I watched the full thing,

I watched the full thing, it's about a 7 minute long exchange out of a two hour long video. There's absolutely no question the man is joking. Do your research, ACES.

Michael Ryan
655
Points
Michael Ryan 04/02/10 - 11:54 am
0
0
Not even Johnson is trying to

Not even Johnson is trying to claim he was joking, so you can forget that excuse.

Rhetor
1015
Points
Rhetor 04/02/10 - 11:56 am
0
0
It was quite obviously a

It was quite obviously a joke. Grow up.

audioofbeing
0
Points
audioofbeing 04/02/10 - 11:59 am
0
0
His office did say he was

His office did say he was being facetious. So he is saying he was joking. That took me about a minute to find out.

audioofbeing
0
Points
audioofbeing 04/02/10 - 12:10 pm
0
0
Here's the quote entire in

Here's the quote entire in case you'd care to run a retraction, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

'Here’s a formal response from Johnson, via his spokesman:

“I wasn’t suggesting that the island of Guam would literally tip over,” said Johnson. “I was using a metaphor to say that with the addition of 8,000 Marines and their dependents – an additional 80,000 people during peak construction to the port on the tiny island with a population of 180,000 – could be a tipping point which would adversely affect the island’s fragile ecosystem and over burden its already overstressed infrastructure.

“Having traveled to Guam last year, I saw firsthand how this beautiful – but vulnerable island – is already overburdened, and I was simply voicing my concerns that the addition of that many people could tip the delicate balance and do harm to Guam.”'

The link to their article: http://bit.ly/duCW8d

The link to the full House Armed Services Committee video, Mr. Johnson's portion begins shortly after 1:31: http://bit.ly/9rXLFe

carcraft
26262
Points
carcraft 04/02/10 - 12:19 pm
0
0
I gotta love the

I gotta love the lefties..Maxine Waters asks if NASA could send the mars rover over to where the astronauts landed, Johnson asks if an island can tip over, and they come up with Bachman with out one quote to back up the accusations! Just attempts to assassinate people's charactor...

carcraft
26262
Points
carcraft 04/02/10 - 12:28 pm
0
0
I watched the video, after

I watched the video, after the question about the island tipping over he then asked about the ecology..St Thomas US VI has 6 people per sq mile, even with the troop increases Guam only has about 1 person per sq mile, why isn't he more concerned about St Thomas?

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 04/02/10 - 12:29 pm
0
0
Whether Johnson was joking or

Whether Johnson was joking or not, that needs to become another Republican slogan for November: "Don't capsize the island."

Back to Top

Top headlines

Students face charges after school brawl

Eight T.W. Josey High School students are facing criminal charges following a fight that broke out in the school's hallways last Thursday.
Search Augusta jobs