This Sunday, Hank Gilbert, the Democratic candidate hoping to unseat one of America's most ridiculous politicians, GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, decided to hold a peaceful protest in Tyler, Texas, in solidarity with the city of Portland.

"This Sunday, people in my district are taking to the streets — with our masks — to protest the occupation of American cities and to let our Congressman know he needs to grow a backbone and stand up to (President Donald) Trump," Gilbert told the Longview News-Journal that day in a statement. More than 100 people RSVP-ed to participate, but many of those who had planned on attending left as soon as they saw what was waiting for them there: armed, angry Gohmert supporters looking for trouble. They sent their regrets to the campaign.

But the Gohmert supporters were raring for a fight, and they got one. They brutally assaulted several of the people who showed up to the rally, including Gilbert's 21-year-old campaign manager, Ryan Miller. They also stole his new iPhone, which was expensive enough to make the assault a felony in Texas.


Here is another picture of the very charming maskless Gohmert supporters choking out another person attending the rally.

Reportedly, Tyler police were on the scene, driving around the park, but didn't get out of their cars or do anything to stop the violent counter-protesters, many of whom were sporting Confederate flags and white supremacist tattoos.

Via The Gilmer Mirror:

Miller was attacked by at least four protesters, some of whom were armed, and sustained blows to the head and other parts of his body, as well as a large gash under his eye. The incident occurred as officers from the Tyler Police Department drove around the square idly, waving at the Blue Lives Matter counter-protesters who had come to support Gilbert's opponent.

Gohmert's supporters disrupted the rally by shouting, "Louie! Louie! Louie!" repeatedly, including while Miller was being brutally attacked.

Of course they did.

Gilbert, in a statement to The Gilmer Mirror, called on Gohmert to denounce the violence perpetrated by his supporters, and on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to direct an investigation into why the Tyler Police Department did not feel it was necessary to protect citizens from the armed psychopaths attacking them:

"Louie Gohmert needs to immediately denounce the violence that occurred in his name in downtown Tyler today," Gilbert said. "When your armed thugs are shouting your name as they beat the hell out of a 21-year-old political operative, you need to get your people under control," Gilbert said. "Gohmert also needs to get his disgusting rhetoric under control, because, just like Donald Trump, the vitriol that spills out of his mouth leads to violence. This time, against a 21-year-old college kid," Gilbert said.

Gilbert also called on the Texas Rangers to immediately investigate the conduct of the Tyler Police Department in today's matter. "The Tyler police were idly driving around the square in their patrol cars, and waving at the counter-protesters who were heavily armed," Gilbert said. "They didn't get on the square until the violence was well underway and weren't even near the scene of the actual protest until Ryan had already been beaten up," Gilbert said. "This is after we were told by the city last week there would be a sufficient police presence downtown for our rally," Gilbert continued.

"I immediately call upon Texas Governor Greg Abbott to direct the Texas Rangers to investigate why the Tyler Police Department was not actively working to prevent violence when more than 100 armed thugs descended on the square," Gilbert said. "I also call upon the city of Tyler to immediately undertake an internal investigation of this matter, to determine if proper procedures were followed," Gilbert said.

But should Gohmert even be given the opportunity to denounce the violence committed by his supporters? Would that actually even do anything? We doubt it would be very sincere, and it definitely would not induce his supporters, or Trump's, to stop harassing people or assaulting them or showing up at other people's rallies armed to the teeth. That's what they're gonna do, and the more people like Gohmert and Trump get elected in this country, the more folks like this are going to feel empowered.

[The Gilmer Mirror]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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