Republicans have been in a tizzy since President Obama’s Thursday speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. The President had the audacity to point out that Christians have sometimes committed atrocities. That honesty has whipped GOP pundits and politicians into an Obama-bashing frenzy. On Friday, Republican Congressman John Fleming (LA-04) ratcheted up the hysteria, accusing the President of “creating a propaganda bonanza for terrorists“.
Fleming continued by distorting Obama’s remarks, with this paraphrase:
What he’s (Obama) really saying is ‘Well look, these are freedom fighters, just like the patriots of the Revolutionary War. And they’re no different, their service is just as honorable. And nothing could be further from the truth.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth than Fleming’s paraphrase. The Republican Congressman conveniently failed to mention that the President referred to ISIL as ”a brutal, vicious death cult”, which commits ”unspeakable acts of barbarism”. Obama’s words hardly sound like an endorsement of ISIL. The President minced no words in describing the group as brutal and vicious.
Fleming made his comments on the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch Friday radio show. The comments mostly went ignored over the weekend, but took on new significance Monday, when it was also revealed that fellow GOP Congressman Steve King (IA-04) sent out a racist anti-Obama tweet. The tweet depicted a cartoon of the President donning a turban. The caricature was drawn to give Obama’s face stereotyped Arab features.
Fleming has been one of the most conservative ideologues in the U.S. House since he first entered the House in 2009. Fleming has long struggled with keeping his tenuous grasp on reality. In 2012, he was justly ridiculed for unwittingly putting a satirical Onion article about Planned Parenthood on his Facebook page. The Congressman posted a piece about Planned Parenthood opening an 8 billion dollar “abortionplex” in Topeka, Kansas, without realizing the article was satire.
The Congressman is not able to distinguish satire from reality. Nor, apparently is he capable of accurately paraphrasing a short speech. In a speech where President Obama condemned ISIL as a “death cult”, Congressman Fleming interprets Obama’s words to be supportive of ISIL. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.