Far Out

Fringe Factor: Latin Americans Bring Violence to the U.S.

Latin Americans make the U.S. more violent? Yet another week in nutty theories from our fearless leaders.

DPA, via Landov; Kevork Djansezian/Getty; J. Scott Applewhite/AP; Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The House would totally impeach President Obama if it didn’t have the Senate standing in its way. Global warming is, yet again, a hoax. And Latin American immigrants are inherently violent. Another week in fun from the fringe.

Iowa: Latin Americans Are Violent and They Make the U.S. Violent

At this point we all know how Rep. Steve King feels about immigration. Yet, when the Iowa Republican makes bizarre claims—such as Latin America gets more violent as one moves farther south and that people immigrating to the U.S. from a “violent civilization” will bring that violence with them—it’s hard not to be a bit shocked, not to mention puzzled. This time it was at a Tea Party “Stop Amnesty” rally, where King unleashed his latest ludicrous theory. “If you bring people from a violent civilization into a less-violent civilization, you’re going to have more violence right?” he asked. “It’s like pouring hot water into cold water. Does it raise the temperature or not?” As Think Progress pointed out, “King’s characterization of undocumented immigrants as violent individuals is not only offensive, but geographically nonsensical.” The most typically violent Latin American countries are Ecuador and Honduras, whereas the largest southern country in Latin America, Chile, actually has lower rates of homicide, rape, and car theft than the U.S.

Texas: The House Could Get Enough Votes to Impeach Obama

Like his Oklahoma colleague Markwayne Mullin, Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold realizes that “unfortunately the horse is already out of the barn on this, on the whole birth-certificate issue.” He lamented the fact that Congress did not do enough to verify the president’s birth certificate at an open house meeting in Luling, Texas over the weekend. He also brought up an issue that’s really been getting his goat lately: if everyone hates Obama so much, why don’t we just impeach him? Well, Farenthold explained, “If we were to impeach the president tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it. But it would go to the Senate and he wouldn’t be convicted.” Despite the fact that apparently enough members of the House would surely vote to impeach the president, Farenthold doesn’t think it’s worth trying. “What message do we send to America if we impeach Obama and he gets away with what he’s impeached for and he is found innocent? What then do we say is OK?” he asked. “Aside from the fact that it wouldn’t be effective, I think there’s some potential damage to society that would be done with a failed attempt at impeachment.”

Environmentalists: Mincing Words to Make a Point

The environmentalist League of Conservation Voters was caught misusing a quote by Republican Rep. Rodney Davis to make him look like a total climate-change-denying extremist. As part of its new $2 million campaign targeted at four specific congressional Republicans, of which Davis is one, the League released an advertisement that includes a clip of Rep. Davis saying, “Global warming has stopped 16 years ago.” That’s a pretty outrageous claim, right?! Except, that’s not exactly what the congressman said. FactCheck.org went back and watched the entire clip, only to discover that Davis really said, “They say that global warming has stopped 16 years ago… But climate change is real.” It’s not hard to find many Republican lawmakers making extreme or outlandish statements denouncing climate change (see Dana Rohrbacher below). The League of Conservation Voters should have just picked from the broad selection of comments that have actually been made.

California: “Global Warming Is a Total Fraud”

Republican Rep. Dana Rohrbacher of California says it’s really funny that liberals like Sen. Barbara Boxer are trying to blame the wildfires that have been ravaging their state recently on global warming. In fact, Boxer’s suggestion of a relationship between climate change and the atypical ferocity of this year’s wildfire season should be seriously examined, Rohrbacher laughed. “Just so you’ll know, global warming is a total fraud and it’s being designed because what you’ve got is you’ve got liberals who get elected at the local level want state government to do the work and let them make the decisions,” Rohrbacher, who has served on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology for years, said at a recent town-hall meeting. “Then, at the state level, they want the federal government to do it. And at the federal government, they want to create global government to control all of our lives.”

Texan in Iowa: Gay Marriage Will Replace God with Government

Sure, he’s not a politician, but his son is a pretty influential one, so his public comments should be taken seriously—especially when they’re this ridiculous. Rafael Cruz, the father of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and a well-known pastor in his own right, compared President Obama to Fidel Castro, warned that the Affordable Care Act will “destroy the elderly,” and that “homosexual marriage” will replace God with government ++at a Family Leadership Summit in Iowa++[http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/cruzs-dad-homosexual-marriage-designed-to-make-government?ref=fpb] on Saturday. “Socialism requires that government becomes your god,” said the elder Cruz. “That’s why they have to destroy the concept of God. They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to government. That’s what’s behind homosexual marriage.” He also warned that “our lives are under attack” by “Obamacare.” Cruz’s senator son also had a chance to speak at the same venue later that day—and expressed his embarrassment at not being able to live up to his father’s resounding speech.