While many members of Congress elected to watch last night's State of the Union address while seated next to a member of the opposite party, in an awkward display of bipartisanship and civility, one House member was brave enough to watch the whole thing from his office, Tweeting fevered nonsense the whole time. That hero is Rep. Paul Broun, of Georgia.
Broun previously warned that the president was showing "signs of being Marxist," as well as doing "exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany," so really no one should be surprised that this guy was not impressed by the president's vision of "winning the future."
And that's why he wrote, as the speech wrapped up, "Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism."
While there's not really anything in the Constitution that precludes a little light Scandinavian-style socialism, Broun is a modern-day Republican moron, and so for him the "s-word" means some scary combination of the Third Reich and the Great Purge. (If you can find the passage in Obama's relentlessly centrist address that sounds like a proposal for a Great Leap Forward, please let me know, because all I remember is the bit about cutting corporate taxes and something about smoked salmon.)
Broun is a crafty fellow -- he knew that the "sit with someone from the other party" proposal was an elaborate ruse designed to oppress the opposition.
"I already believe very firmly that it is a trap and a ruse that Democrats are proposing," Broun said. "They don't want civility. They want silence from the Republicans. And the sitting together being kissy-kissy is just another way to try to silence Republicans, and also to show -- to keep the American people from seeing how few of them there are in the U.S. House now."
Broun says he chose to avoid the chamber and liveblog from his office "out of respect." Respect for whichever unlucky member was assigned to sit next to one of the dumbest members of the Republican caucus, I imagine.