Rep. Paul Broun from northeast Georgia is entitled to his opinions about President Obama. It's fine if he doesn't agree with him on policy, and he's free to express that frustration alongside his constituency. What's not fine, though, is offering ANY validation whatsoever to a vile question about assassinating the President.
That's exactly what he did this week, when during a town hall meeting, an attendee yelled out: "Who is going to shoot Obama?" After which some members of the crowd actually laughed. And Broun "chuckled a little bit," according to a reporter at the town meeting. Totally SICK.
According to local news accounts, the representative responded to the question with:
The thing is, I know there's a lot of frustration with this president. We're going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we'll elect somebody that's going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
It's a problem that Broun even justified such a disgusting, inflammatory question with an -- albeit, indirect -- response.
But what strikes me as almost equally frustrating is that the guy is now saying he was "stunned by the question and chose not to dignify it with a response." A lie followed by a twisting of the truth. Hmmm, sounds about right for an extreme right-wing nut-job who has spent the last couple of years spewing ridiculous nonsense about the President, like:
[Obama] has the three things that are necessary to establish an authoritarian government. And so we need to be ever-vigilant, because freedom is precious.
It's a lie that he was stunned. How many times do you think assassination has been mentioned or hinted at (likely more privately than publicly) among hardcore racists Teabaggers ever since before Obama won the Democratic primary? Judging by some of the relatively tame remarks polluting the airwaves by Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck types and signs at rallies, I would guess it's happened more than this once. Broun also has to realize that a lot of his talk is perpetuating his constituents' hateful ideas.
I have to say, though, of course I appreciate that the guy issued a statement condemning "statements -- made in sincerity or jest -- that threaten or suggest the use of violence against the President." But it's not enough.
Republican "leaders" like Broun need to start spending less time acting preaching about how EVVVILL and SOCIALISTTT the Commander-in-Chief -- who was elected by the people -- is. Maybe if Broun & Co. put as much energy into coming up with workable solutions for the country's problems as they do their filthy, finger-pointing rhetoric, their constituents would be a lot less frustrated. Maybe they'd even feel less compelled to shout out threats against the President's life.
Do you think Rep. Broun did the right thing?
Image via broun.house.gov