I hadn’t planned to do an Idiot of the Week column today. It is, after all, Christmas Eve and it seems a bit uncharitable. Besides that, I was working on a piece about the Koch Brothers, David & Charles, and was trying to stay focused on that. But this one person just kept jumping onto my radar screen, practically screaming, “PICK ME, PICK ME!!!” Okay, Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, you asked for it, you got it.
Friends, please allow me to formally introduce U.S. Representative George Joseph “Mike” Kelly Jr, a republican representing the 3rd Congressional district of Pennsylvania. Kelly came onto my radar last night by way of his appearance on Fox News on Friday, where he said …
“I will tell you what. For those people on the Trump train or not on the Trump train, this is high-speed rail right now. And so if you’re not on the Trump train, you get on the train or get off the tracks. You’re gonna get run over. Look, the House had done its work in the appropriations. We had our 12 bills ready to go. Unfortunately, it didn’t get through the Senate. But the big news — the big news is for America, you look at today, and I can tell you walking around the streets of Pittsburgh, people walking more erect, not just whispering ‘Merry Christmas’ but saying ‘Hey, Merry Christmas.’ You can feel it, you can see it. And I’m not just pumping sunshine for the sake of pumping sunshine. I am telling you, this is a different country. In 11 months, this president has changed the entire complexion of our entire country and our place in the world. We are no longer leading from behind, we are leading from the front and everybody else is looking to us and saying ‘go, go, go.’”
Oh please. Since it wouldn’t be Filosofa’s Word if I didn’t inject a few comments; 1) Yes, Trump has changed the “complexion” of the country — he has given it a severe case of acne, and 2) You are quite right that we are no longer “leading from behind” — we are no longer leading. Period. Since Trump’s approval rating in Pennsylvania is just 29%, below the national rate, I am curious as to who all these ebullient people riding the “Trump train” might be. So this is Mr. Kelly’s most recent bout of idiocy, but taking a look back, I find that it is far from his first.
In March 2017, Mr. Kelly launched a conspiracy theory that President Obama was running a “shadow government” with the intention of undermining Trump.
“President Obama himself said he was going to stay in Washington until his daughter graduated. I think we ought to pitch in to let him go someplace else, because he is only there for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to run a shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda. It just doesn’t make sense. And people sit back and they say to me, ‘My gosh, why can’t you guys get this done?’ I say, ‘We’ve got a new CEO, we’ve got some new heads in the different departments, but the same people are there, and they don’t believe that the new owners or the new managers should be running the ship.’”
When asked to comment, a spokesperson for his office said …
“Rep. Kelly does not believe that President Obama is personally operating a shadow government, He does believe it would be helpful to the new administration if the former president would personally call for an end to all leaks and obstruction by personnel from his administration who currently serve in the executive branch.”
In June 2015, Mr. Kelly took on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), comparing it to a terrorist organization:
“You talk about terrorism — you can do it in a lot of different ways. But you terrorize the people who supply everything this country needs to be great — and you keep them on the sidelines — my goodness, what have we become? When a government can level on you taxes and regulations that makes it impossible for you to compete, then you’re going to stay on the sidelines.”
And where, exactly, will you be when there is no oxygen to breathe, no food to eat, for we have destroyed the planet, Mr. Kelly, huh?
Kelly authored the Coal Country Protection Act, legislation which attempted to reverse the EPA’s carbon rule and any regulation that aimed to limit carbon from power plants. The legislation failed, until Trump took office and signed similar legislation.
And then there was the time that Kelly just had to put his two cents worth in after the Supreme Court upheld a ruling to allow same-sex marriage in the 2015 case of Obergefell v. Hodges:
“The high court had a responsibility to follow the Constitution but instead chose to follow the wishes of a political movement. The natural, traditional definition of marriage that I and millions of others believe in worldwide remains a cornerstone of human civilization. To redefine this institution, especially on a national scale, carries uncertain consequences and deserves serious scrutiny. Today’s ruling rips this critical debate from the democratic process by redefining marriage for all 50 states. Going forward, defenders of our Constitution have a renewed duty to protect every single citizen’s First Amendment rights and guarantee that no person or organization’s religious freedom is in any way undermined by today’s controversial decision.”
I do believe that Mr. Kelly fails to understand the 1st Amendment … I wonder if he has ever read the Constitution? But wait, for I have saved the best for last! Mr. Kelly, not surprisingly, didn’t much like the Affordable Care Act (ACA), lovingly dubbed by republicans as ‘Obamacare’. He referred to the employer mandate to provide contraception coverage as “an attack on Americans’ constitutionally protected religious rights” and claimed that August 1, 2012, would go down in infamy as “the day that religious freedom died”. A bit of a drama queen, don’t you think? But he went on to compare it to the attack on Pearl Harbor and 9/11!!!
“I know in your mind, you can think of the times America was attacked. One is Dec. 7, that’s Pearl Harbor Day. The other is Sept. 11, and that’s the day the terrorists attacked. I want you to remember Aug. 1, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”
Okay, my friends in Pennsylvania … you need to get this guy out of office next November. He ran virtually uncontested in 2016, but there are two challengers for the 2018 elections. He has been in office for four terms … eight years … get him out!!!
Meanwhile, Mr. Kelly, for your backward and bigoted ways, and for your truly misguided belief that Donald Trump is somehow “pumping sunshine” into our lives, I award you this most coveted, most honoured award, Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week award. Please display it with pride, for you have certainly earned it!