Lou Barletta

GOP's Base Clamors To Impeach Obama

Nearly two years into President Obama’s second term, a do-nothing Republican Congress is focusing on its next project: the 2014 midterm elections. But that effort might be complicated by increasing pressure from the party’s base to turn Congress’ energy to impeaching President Obama. The impeachment call, which has existed on the right-wing fringe since the start of Obama’s presidency, has picked up steam in recent weeks as it has been endorsed by right-wing media figures, activists and elected officials.

This has put Republican congressional leaders in a tricky spot as they attempt to placate their base without alienating moderate voters. When House Majority Whip Steve Scalise appeared on Fox News Sunday this week, he continually dodged the question. Ted Cruz similarly batted away a question about impeachment, calling it politically unfeasible. Right-wing leaders including Pat Buchanan and Tom DeLay have urged caution in the impeachment campaign, although DeLay said he would personally “love to impeach him.” Likewise, Karl Rove has warned that when it comes to impeachment, “the politics of it are all wrong.”

Even Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas, who last year distributed to every office on Capitol Hill a book on why the president should be impeached and removed from office and hired an attorney to look into impeachment, is now backtracking and warning that impeachment proceedings could benefit Democrats in the midterm elections.

Now, House Speaker John Boehner is claiming that talk of impeachment is a Democratic “scam” to win voters…an odd claim since it’s members of his own party who have been beating the drum about impeachment.

But it might be too late for Republicans to backtrack on a steady buildup of rhetoric questioning the president’s legitimacy, love of country, and authority to govern, which has led to increasing calls for impeachment from right-wing lawmakers, activists and media personalities... although nobody can quite agree on what the impeachment should be for.

  • In a radio interview last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann said that she believed the president has "committed impeachable offenses” but that first “the American people have to agree with and be behind and call for the president’s impeachment.”
  • This month, Rep. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania said that there are “probably” the votes in the House to impeach the president for “absolutely ignoring the Constitution, and ignoring the laws, and ignoring the checks and balances.”
  • Also last year, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan said that impeaching the president would be “a dream come true.”

Rep. Lou Barletta: Sanctuary Cities Making Us 'A Third-World Country'

Republican Rep. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania said last week that policies friendly to undocumented immigrants "reward people who want to tear down our laws and make us a third-world country."

Speaking with radio host Lars Larson at the anti-immigrant group FAIR's "Hold Their Feet to The Fire" event, Barletta complained about "sanctuary cities," which he has previously proposed cutting off from federal funding. Barletta is the former mayor of Hazleton, Pa., where he enacted one of the harshest anti-immigrant ordinances in the country, which was struck down by federal courts before it could ever be enforced.

"We continue to send federal dollars to mayors who are above the law," he said. "And then you have a mayor, such as myself in Hazleton, who gets sued for wanting to enforce the laws.

"And there's something wrong with the direction this country's been going when we begin to reward people who want to tear down our laws and make us a third-world country where we get to pick and choose what we want to do.‚Äč"


Larson: If the party picks [Jeb Bush] as the nominee, they're sending a powerful message to Americans that we're going to give away the vote and we're going to give away the whole meaning of what it means to obey the law.

Barletta: Absolutely, and it's what made our country so exceptional is that we were a country that has laws, and you cannot pick and choose what laws you enforce and what laws you can't. But here you have in the case of immigration -- illegal immigration -- you have mayors who declare themselves sanctuary cities, who are not going to enforce immigration laws. Nothing happens to them. We continue to send federal dollars to mayors who are above the law. And then you have a mayor, such as myself in Hazleton, who gets sued for wanting to enforce the laws.

And there's something wrong with the direction this country's been going when we begin to reward people who want to tear down our laws and make us a third-world country where we get to pick and choose what we want to do.

Rep. Lou Barletta Says There's 'Nothing More Dangerous' Than Immigration Reform, Ties It To 9/11

Every year, the anti-immigrant group FAIR holds an event called “Hold Their Feet To The Fire,” which invites radio hosts to broacast from Washington, DC, and interview lawmakers and conservative activists.

This year, Rep. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, one of the staunchest anti-immigrant members of the House, showed up on FAIR’s radio row to call president Obama a dictator, associate undocumented immigrants with the 9/11 terrorists, and declare that “there may not be anything more dangerous” than comprehensive immigration reform.

Barletta told Secure Freedom Radio’s Frank Gaffney that President Obama has put us “on a road to where we’re now electing a dictator.” He took particular exception to the president’s support of immigration reform: “There may not be anything more dangerous than what he’s doing, to give amnesty to millions of people. “

Gaffney: To the extent that the president is, at best, selectively enforcing the law and in some cases rewriting the law or ignoring it altogether, do you agree with those who describe this as a constitutional crisis?

Barletta: Oh, there’s no question about it. This has been a slippery slope that this administration has taken, that the president has taken, walking over the Constitution and taking us down a path that, quite frankly, I don’t know if we’ve ever been this far down a road before, on a road to where we’re now electing a dictator who will try to pick and choose what laws and challenging Congress to try to stop me.

And there may not be anything more dangerous than what he’s doing, to give amnesty to millions of people. We know for a fact that there are people who have come here illegally who want to harm America.

In an interview with Florida radio host Joyce Kaufman, who came under fire for anti-immigrant extremism when she was briefly the chief of staff to Rep. Allen West, Barletta compared the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country to the 9/11 terrorists.

Referring to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s comment that many undocumented immigrants come to the US as an “act of love” for their families, Barletta said, “You know, sometimes we need to remind everyone about September 11. The pilots of those planes, it was an act of love to a different God that took American lives. And not everyone who is here illegally is all here for an act of love for their families.”

Kaufman agreed, adding that the Boston Marathon bombing – perpetrated by legal immigrants – was “another act of love.”
 

The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress

In this report, we look into the ten scariest newly elected members of the House, all sharing rapidly anti-choice and anti-equality views, enthusiastic support from the Religious Right, and reactionary economic ideas.
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