Inhofe paints grim picture for receptive crowd
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Thursday, September 03, 2009
9/03/09 at 4:13 AM
GROVE — Right-thinking Americans can only hope that the country will survive the next 16 months of the Obama administration until Republicans can regain control of Congress, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe said Wednesday.
"I never dreamed I would see an administration try to disavow all the things that have made this country different from all others," Inhofe told more than 300 people at a town hall meeting in the Grove Community Center. "I have never seen so many things happening at one time so disheartening to America."
Inhofe found a highly receptive audience. Many wore T-shirts of a local organization called Get America Back. Its Web site promises "a plan to eliminate the socialist government and return Americas (sic) freedoms."
The "plan" is a link to a YouTube video by Lloyd Marcus, a Florida artist and singer making the circuit of anti-Obama "Tea Party" rallies.
Wednesday's audience was similar to those at town hall meetings throughout northeastern Oklahoma in recent weeks. Concerns centered on the administration and Democratic-controlled Congress.
Inhofe gave his constituents plenty to worry about.
"Every institution that has made this country the greatest nation in the world is under attack," he said at the end of the 75-minute session.
During those 75 minutes, Inhofe said President Barack Obama is disarming the military, is destroying everything good about America, and is determined to turn foreign terrorists loose on U.S. soil.
The good news, he said, is that he does not think the Democratic leadership can push through health-care reform or the more controversial parts of its energy bill.
He also said he continues to be proven correct in his claim that global climate change is a hoax.
"More and more, with each month that goes by, more scientists agree with me," he said. "We are winning."
Inhofe opened by saying the noisy debate over health care has caused Americans to overlook other important issues, including climate change and energy policy.
He is also alarmed, he said, by the proposed closing of the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Obama administration wants to shutter the camp because of its association with torture.
Inhofe said: "There has never been a case of torture there. The people there are treated better than in the federal prisons."
He continued, "I don't know why President Obama is obsessed with turning terrorists loose in America."
The administration says it wants to bring 60 to 80 prisoners to the U.S. for trial. Some Republicans have said those acquitted could be released in the U.S., but authorities say they would be deported as foreign nationals.
Inhofe's third concern, he said, is that "Barack Obama is disarming America."
He conceded that the president requested more military spending, but he criticized the elimination of several weapons systems, including the F-22 fighter.
At the urging of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the president also scrapped one of Inhofe's pet projects, a cannon that was to be assembled in Elgin in southwestern Oklahoma. Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration, advocated abandoning high-tech systems such as the cannon and the F-22 for cheaper, more reliable weapons.
"Those of you who think like I do," Inhofe said, "hope this country can hang on another 16 months."
Randy Krehbiel 581-8365
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe: "I have never seen so many things happening at one time so disheartening to America," he tells a group in Grove. He singles out climate change and energy policy bills, a move to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, and cuts in some defense programs, including one he championed.