The 8 Most Extreme Moments of the New Congress
January 24, 2013
The 113th Congress has barely started, but that hasn’t stopped Republicans from already dishing out plenty of extreme, offensive, and out-of-touch comments. Here’s a roundup of the eight most extreme moments so far:
- Impeach the president because he wants to reduce gun violence: Freshman Reps. Trey Radel (R-FL) and Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) along with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) all suggested that the president be impeached because of his efforts to reduce gun violence, particularly a set commonsense executive actions the president took. They also falsely claimed the president wants to ban guns or take away guns away from law-abiding gun owners. Finally, Stockman also recently compared the president to Saddam Hussein.
- Gays are too powerful to get equal rights: House Republicans have now wasted nearly $2 MILLION in taxpayer funds, some of which was approved in secret, defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act. Yesterday, the Republicans filed their legal brief with the Supreme Court ahead of the March oral arguments in two marriage-related cases. Among the arguments advanced by their $520 an hour lawyer was the contention that gay people are already too politically powerful to merit equal rights. Republicans recently and once again in secret authorized another million dollars to pay their high-priced lawyer to combat LGBT rights.
- Give citizens the same weapons as the military: It’s apparent that we already have too many military-style weapons of on our streets. But that’s not enough for freshman Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), who argued that everyone should be allowed to have the same weapons as the military in order to “protect them against the tyrannical government.”
- Senator questions Secretary of State about right-wing conspiracy theory: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) used this morning’s hearing on the terrorist attack in Benghazi to dress down the Secretary of State, saying that he’d fire Clinton if it was up to him. He also used Clinton’s appearance and his limited time to question her to advance a bizarre right-wing conspiracy theory involving alleged gun-running from Libya to Syria, via Turkey.
- “Welfare Moms” wanting to commit fraud are to blame for gun violence: Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), a member of the House Republican leadership, identified an unlikely culprit for the nation’s gun violence epidemic: “welfare moms.” Specifically, Lankford says welfare moms who are intentionally drugging their children in order to commit Social Security fraud are to blame. Lankford also vowed this week to use the “power of humiliation” to undermine an LGBT program.
- Obama only upholds the “Soviet Constitution”: Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) attacked the president this week by alleging that “the only Constitution that Barack Obama upholds is the Soviet constitution.” With the retirement of Rep. Ron Paul, Broun is now also the House’s foremost opponent of the Federal Reserve.
- Senate Minority Leader promotes Obama gun grab conspiracy theory: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) personally recorded a robocall and sent supporters an email advancing the completely unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that commonsense gun violence prevention measures are a pretext for seizing guns. Specifically, McConnell falsely claimed President Obama and “the gun-grabbers in the Senate” are in “full battle mode” to “get your guns.”
- Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11: Former Vice President Dick Cheney spent years telling America that Saddam Hussein had something to do with the 9/11 terror attacks, an assertion that turned out to be categorically false. Two weeks ago, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), himself an Iraq War veteran, resurrected this conspiracy theory as part of an effort to discredit Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, former Sen. Chuck Hagel. After voting to authorize the Iraq War, Hagel subsequently became a vocal critic of the war.
- Voted to leave Hurricane Sandy victims out in the cold: House Republicans broke a longstanding, bipartisan tradition of assisting their fellow Americans who are in need following a disaster. Speaker Boehner had already delayed aid for weeks due to political considerations in his caucus and 179 Republicans added insult to injury when they voted against helping Sandy victims. At least 36 of these Republicans voted against the aid despite having previously sought aid for disasters in their own states. Fortunately, the aid package still passed because House Democrats overwhelmingly backed it.