Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe announced this week that he won’t even read let alone sign whatever health care reform bill emerges from the Senate.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) has told a town hall meeting that he doesn’t need to read legislation on healthcare reform or to know any details of what’s in it, he will oppose it out of hand. Astonishingly, the senator told the citizens gathered that “I don’t have to read it, or know what’s in it. I’m going to oppose it anyways“.
Maintaining the status quo is okey dokey to a guy who got into politics as a last resort after failing as a businessman. (Shades of George W. Bush.) As president of Quaker Life Insurance Company, Inhofe managed to destroy the company after a series of failed real estate developments, his prior occupation.
At that same town hall meeting in Grove, OK, as reported by the Tulsa World newspaper, Inhofe lathered on teh crazy to the crowd of over 300.
“I never dreamed I would see an administration try to disavow all the things that have made this country different from all others.”
“I have never seen so many things happening at one time so disheartening to America.” Inhofe found a highly receptive audience. Many wore T-shirts of a local organization called Get America Back. Its Web site promises “a plan to eliminate the socialist government and return Americas (sic) freedoms.” […]
“Every institution that has made this country the greatest nation in the world is under attack,” he said at the end of the 75-minute session.
During those 75 minutes, Inhofe said President Barack Obama is disarming the military, is destroying everything good about America and is determined to turn foreign terrorists loose on U.S. soil. […]
He is also alarmed, he said, by the proposed closing of the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Obama administration wants to shutter the camp because of its association with torture.
“There has never been a case of torture there. The people there are treated better than in the federal prisons.”
“I don’t know why President Obama is obsessed with turning terrorists loose in America.” […]
Inhofe’s third concern, he said, is that “Barack Obama is disarming America.” He conceded that Obama requested more military spending, but he criticized the elimination of several weapons systems, including the F-22 fighter.
Obama, at the urging of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, also scrapped one of Inhofe’s pet projects, a cannon that was to be assembled at Elgin in southwestern Oklahoma.
Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration, advocated abandoning high-tech systems such as the cannon and the F-22 for cheaper, more reliable weapons.
“Those of you who think like I do hope this country can hang on another 16 months.”
Recall that a couple of months before the presidential election, Inhofe questioned Obama’s patriotism because he wasn’t wearing a flag lapel pin. From Media Matters:
In a September 6 Tulsa World article, headlined “Inhofe says patriotism question will sink Obama,” reporter Jim Myers uncritically quoted Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) stating, “I am not questioning Sen. [Barack] Obama’s patriotism, but you have to question why at times he seems so obviously opposed to public displays of patriotism and national pride, like wearing an American flag lapel pin.“
Some more of Inhofe’s Greatest Hits (from Wikipedia):
2003. Inhofe, former chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, is a strong critic of the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring as a result of human activities. In a July 28, 2003, Senate speech, Inhofe claimed to offer “compelling evidence that catastrophic global warming is a hoax. That conclusion is supported by the painstaking work of the nation’s top climate scientists.”
2004. …as a member of the Armed Services Committee, he was among the panelists questioning witnesses about the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse. There he made news by claiming he was “outraged by the outrage” over the revelations of abuse, suggesting that shock at the crimes was more offensive than the crimes themselves.
2006. Inhofe was one of only nine senators to vote against the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 which prohibits “cruel, inhuman or degrading” treatment of individuals in U.S. Government custody.
In a 2006 interview with the Tulsa World newspaper, Inhofe said regarding the environmentalist movement, “It kind of reminds… I could use the Third Reich, the Big Lie… You say something over and over and over and over again, and people will believe it, and that’s their [the environmentalists’] strategy… A hot summer has nothing to do with global warming. Let’s keep in mind it was just three weeks ago that people were saying, ‘Wait a minute; it is unusually cool….”
He then said, “Everything on which they [the environmentalists] based their story, in terms of the facts, has been refuted scientifically.“
Inhofe had previously compared the United States Environmental Protection Agency to the Gestapo[ and he compared EPA Administrator Carol Browner to. He had also made allegations that the Weather Channel is behind the alleged global warming hoax, so as to attract viewers. Inhofe had previously claimed that Global Warming is “the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state.”
Inhofe, claiming uncertainties related to climate science and the adverse impact that mandatory emissions reductions would have on the U.S. economy, voted on June 22, 2005 to reject an amendment to an energy bill that would have forced reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases and created a mandatory emissions trading scheme. “Global warming is still considered to be a theory and has not come close to being sufficiently proven.”
Inhofe has similarly criticized predictions of ozone depletion, particularly in relation to the Arctic.
In 2006, Inhofe gave a speech in the Senate in which he argued that the threat of global warming was exaggerated by “the media, Hollywood elites and our pop culture.”
In 2006, Inhofe introduced Senate Amendment 4682 with Kit Bond (R-MO). This bill would have released the Army Corps of Engineers from oversight by independent review committees; according to the League of Conservation Voters, analyses for Corps projects “have been manipulated to favor large-scale projects that harm the environment.” During the 109th Congress, Inhofe voted to increase offshore oil drilling, to include provisions for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the House Budget Amendment, and to deny funding for both low-income energy assistance and environmental stewardship, citing heavy costs and unproven programs. As of 2006, the League of Conservation Voters has given Inhofe the lowest possible score on environmental issues.
In a Senate speech, Inhofe said that America should base its Israel policy on the text of the Bible.
“I believe very strongly that we ought to support Israel; that it has a right to the land. This is the most important reason: Because God said so. As I said a minute ago, look it up in the Book of Genesis. It is right up there on the desk. In Genesis 13:14–17, the Bible says:
The Lord said to Abraham, “Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where you are northward, and southward, and eastward and westward: for all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed forever. . . . Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it to thee.”
That is God talking. The Bible says that Abraham removed his tent and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar before the Lord. Hebron is in the West Bank. It is at this place where God appeared to Abram and said, “I am giving you this land — the West Bank”. This is not a political battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true.”
In March 2002, Inhofe also made a speech before the U.S. Senate that included the explicit suggestion that the 9/11 attacks were a form of divine retribution against the U.S. for failing to defend Israel. In his words: “One of the reasons I believe the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States of America is that the policy of our Government has been to ask the Israelis, and demand it with pressure, not to retaliate in a significant way against the terrorist strikes that have been launched against them.”
Sen. Inhofe is one of a small minority of senators opposed to expanding access to students by lowering interest rates. According to the Claremore Daily Progress, Inhofe was one of 12 senators who voted against a 2007 bill to cut interest rates on student loans in half from 6.8% to 3.4%. The bill passed 79-12.
Inhofe is in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, against adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes, and voted against prohibiting job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
On June 6, 2006, in a speech on the Senate floor about the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, Inhofe said, pointing at a large photograph of his family:
…As you see here, and I think this is maybe the most important prop we’ll have during the entire debate, my wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship.
Mr. Inhofe, this vid’s for you.