RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
In this special edition of Paranoia-Rama, we look at five of the most incendiary and unhinged responses from our friends on the Radical Right to President Obama’s announcement that he would grant temporary deportation relief to some unauthorized immigrants and his speech last night laying out his plan.
Many conservative leaders and GOP politicians have apparently missed the memo that impeachment is a Democratic myth: Activists including Allen West, Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly and Sandy Rios are now using the news of the executive action as an opportunity to call for Obama’s impeachment.
Others are going one step farther and calling for Obama’s arrest. Anti-immigrant activist William Gheen urged county sheriffs to apprehend the president, while talk radio show host Rick Wiles said he dreams of a Marine raid of the White House. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, floated the “I-word” and his Republican colleague from Alabama, Mo Brooks, said that Obama’s actions not only warrant impeachment but also a five-year term in prison.
Oath Keepers’ Stewart Rhodes spoke in more menacing terms: “If they don’t impeach him for this, then they will lose all credibility, and throw us into a TRUE constitutional crisis, because they will have failed to do their jobs, leaving the people with the necessity of pursuing ‘other options’ to stop him.”
Conservative strategist Richard Viguerie predicted that the executive action would “ignite” a “civil war” and Schlafly likened Obama’s announcement to the attack on Fort Sumter which triggered the Civil War, while Glenn Beck, making one of his trademark prophetic predictions, feared that the move could launch a race war.
Sen. Tom Coburn, Rep. Mike Kelly and Rep. Louie Gohmert have similarly warned that the executive action will tear apart the country and lead to violence. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the immigration adviser behind Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” plan, even spoke with a radio show caller about the prospect of whites facing “ethnic cleansing” in the U.S. if Latinos become a majority.
Michael Peroutka, a Maryland GOP elected official and Religious Right activist, warned that Obama’s announcement was “an act of treason and further proof that he “is seeking to destroy America.” Committed governors and county executives, Peroutka explained, “should resist this in every way they can” by sending a message to Obama that they are “not abiding by it, we are still going to either incarcerate or seek to remove and deport those who are here illegally.”
Gheen also urged his Americans for Legal Immigration supporters to resist the new immigration policy, saying that “Americans loyal to our Republic, flag, and the Constitution” are “required to rebel en mass [sic] against any enemy foreign or domestic that attempts to destroy our nation from within as Obama is attempting to do by decreeing amnesty for millions of illegals!”
He told his group’s members that they must resist using any means necessary: “The American public, media, and lawmakers, must rise up and stop Obama by any means necessary otherwise America descends into a form of oligarchy and dictatorship that destroys our freedoms and way of life that every American soldier and taxpayer has sacrificed to sustain.”
4. Election Rigging!
The executive action doesn’t grant U.S. citizenship to the people who qualify for deferred action, or deportation relief, but that hasn’t stopped conservatives from alleging that the immigration action is an elaborate ploy to increase the number of Democratic voters.
Gheen warned that there is a plot to replace “the current stock of Americans, throw us out of our jobs, homes and elections, and replace us with a population that I guess is more agreeable to their political agendas or worldview” and Kobach alleged that Democrats have a “long-term strategy of replacing American voters with illegal aliens recently legalized aliens,” resulting in “a locked-in vote for socialism.”
One Heritage Foundation senior fellow said Latino voters largely “support Big Government” and “think of the government as being a benevolent dispenser of goodies,” and therefore Obama knows that they will help his plan to undermine American freedom and “create a people that like and look upon government as benevolent and a provider.”
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who last year made a blatantly false claim that Obama gave Dreamers voting rights, accused the president of trying “to flood our nation with millions of new sure-thing Democrat voters.”
5. Third World Invasion!
Linked to the theme that Obama is “replacing” freedom-minded Americans with government-loving Latinos is the right-wing talking point employed by the likes of Schlafly and Pat Buchanan that immigration reform is part of the president’s plan to turn the U.S. into a “Third World” country.
“He’s about providing a current and constant underclass, a permanent underclass for the Democrat [sic] Party, this thing last night was about many things, one of them one-party rule,” Rush Limbaugh said, before launching into a tirade about how Obama will “open the flood gates to the Third World” to punish America.
“Obama’s filled with rage, he doesn’t like certain aspects of this country and he’s taking advantage of the power he’s got to do whatever he can to change it and it’s almost a punishment,” he said. “It’s not as though he has a different utopian vision of America, I don’t think that Obama thinks America as a Third World country is an improvement, I don’t think that. I think he thinks we need to become a Third World country because in his mind we’ve created Third World countries, we have kept people in Third World countries, we’ve stolen from people in Third World countries so it’s about time we paid our due.”