An enterprising fellow by the name of Tim Cox has founded an organization called GOOOH (pronounced “Go,” not “Goo,” and standing for Get Out Of Our House) with the goal (the goooal?) of replacing all 435 incumbent members of the U.S. House of Representatives with a fresh batch of congresspeople taken from among the humble likes of you and me, who will pledge to serve no more than two terms and will vote to legally impose term limits on members of the House and the Senate. I’m all for term limits, among other things (and other other things) as a way to eliminate government corruption (or at least trim it back some), but there’s something about GOOOH that makes me uneasy. Other than that shit poor acronym, I mean.
Beyond the promise to support term limits, there are no other ideological requirements to join GOOOH, which hopes to have a candidate on the ballots for each of the 435 House districts in time for the election this November. By becoming a member, you can help to choose the candidate from your home district — shit, you can be the candidate from your home district! All you have to do is register, create your profile, and complete a questionnaire to record how you would vote on a variety of issues.
The questionnaire is up to over 100 questions, which you must answer as either “For” or “Against”. Some are pretty standard, of the sort you’d find on one of those political self-tests — questions like “Will you vote for or against the legalization of marijuana?” or “Will you vote for or against supporting the death penalty in cases of murder?” But some — more than some, frankly — a shit lot of them — are kinda crazy. Below, in chronological order, are the five craziest questions I found as I filled out the GOOOH candidate questionnaire.
Question 5: “Will you vote for or against amending the Constitution to exclude people with a law degree from serving in the House of Representatives?”
We’re right at the beginning of this lengthy form, and already it’s starting to veer off into some weird territory. Excluding people with a law degree from serving in the House of Representatives? So much for it being the people’s house, I guess. I hate rich, ambulance-chasing scumbag lawyers just as much as the next guy (presuming the next guy isn’t Rielle Hunter), but how is excluding an entire profession of people from serving in Congress even remotely acceptable in a free and democratic society? If this doesn’t seem strange to you, replace lawyers with another line of work and see how that sounds. Should we amend the Constitution to exclude people with a degree in biology? Or computer science? Or creative masturbation?
I Voted: Against.
Question 13: “Will you vote for or against amending the Constitution to specifically affirm that we are a nation under God, that God is welcome in all that we do, but no person can be forced to participate in worship at any time or in any way?”
This question, with this particular wording, isn’t something you would expect to find on the questionnaire of a non-partisan political movement. The Constitution does not mention God a single time. I fail to see how it would be improved with an amendment designed solely to suck up to a deity whom the authors of the Constitution specifically excluded. A secular government does not mean an atheist society. A secular government doesn’t even mean an atheist government. It just means that the government should follow the example of the Constitution and remain neutral on matters of religion, showing neither support nor opposition. An amendment to the Constitution affirming God would be insane.
I Voted: Against.
Question 57: “Will you vote for or against eliminating the ‘by reason of insanity’ defense?”
Eliminating the insanity plea seems perfectly reasonable, so long as you don’t believe there’s any such thing as insanity. Unfortunately, as this question itself ably demonstrates, insanity is a very real condition indeed, and if the sick lunatic who wrote this question were to commit some horrific crime one day, I wouldn’t want him to be unjustly held accountable for actions he simply could not control. The criminal justice system exists to protect society from dangerous individuals, not to send every defendant to prison. If a mentally incompetent person commits a crime, they don’t belong in a penitentiary; they belong someplace where they can get help. That’s what a just and compassionate society would do, and last I checked, that’s what we think we are.
I Voted: Against.
Question 99: “Will you vote for or against the government providing free computers to all minors?”
Oh, come on! Somebody’s just making these up now to see if anyone’ll notice. I’m a pretty liberal guy, and even I don’t think the government should be handing out free computers, least of all to a bunch of fucking teenagers. Yeah, that’s the secret to regaining American dominance in science and technology — encouraging kids to further mangle their verbal skills IMing each other and posting inane Facebook and Twitter updates. Besides, this would be redundant — most minors, and everyone else, can already access free computers at their local public library. Spend the money on something else.
I Voted: For.
Psych, I voted Against.
Question 109: “Will you vote for or against the United States withdrawing from the U.N.?”
This last one is hysterical anti-globalist bullshit, and another example of the readily apparently rightward bend of this questionnaire. Not every question is constructed with such a bias (as Question 99 up there demonstrates), but far more are than are not. In fact, it’s hard to find a neutrally phrased question anywhere among the over 100 items in the questionnaire. That, along with founder Tim Cox’s appearance on The 700 Club tomorrow, and the admitted affiliation of the Maryland chapter of GOOOH with fringe-right groups like the tea party movement and Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project, makes GOOOH’s claims of non-partisanship a little hard to swallow, in addition to making them look like a bunch of nutjobs. It’s a shame, too, because voting out every single incumbent in Congress and imposing term limits is a great idea.
I Voted: Against.