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GOP congressman: Impeachment is like Pearl Harbor, which is like birth control

Republican Rep. Mike Kelly has a habit of comparing things he doesn’t like to the World War II attack on an American Navy base that killed nearly 2,500 Americans.

By Emily Singer - December 18, 2019
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)

GOP lawmakers made several ahistorical comparisons to Donald Trump’s impeachment on Wednesday, including one House Republican who said impeachment was akin to Pearl Harbor — the World War II attack on an American Navy base that killed nearly 2,500 people.

“On December 7th, 1941, a horrific act happened in the United States and it is one that President Roosevelt said this is a date that will live in infamy,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) said in a speech on the House floor, referring to the attack on Pearl Harbor. “Today, December the 18th 2019, is another date that will live in infamy.”

Comparing the impeachment of Trump — who stands accused of abuse of power and obstruction of justice — to an attack by a then-enemy that murdered thousands of American citizens is hyperbolic, to say the least.

However, this isn’t the first time Kelly has compared something he doesn’t like to Pearl Harbor and insisted it “will live in infamy.”

In 2012, Kelly compared the provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires health insurance companies to cover contraceptives to both Pearl Harbor and 9/11 — the terrorist attack that also led to thousands of American deaths.

“I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that’s Pearl Harbor day. The other is September 11th, and that’s the day of the terrorist attack,” Kelly said in 2012 at a news conference on Capitol Hill. “I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”

Kelly has made other offensive comparisons in the past, including invoking Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. to refute evidence that there is race discrimination in the auto loan industry — a comment that earned him a rebuke from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). He also described himself as a “person of color,” even though he is white.

Kelly wasn’t alone in making ahistorical or downright offensive impeachment comparisons on Wednesday.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) said Trump was being treated worse than Jesus Christ, who was crucified.

“Before you take this historic vote today, one week before Christmas, I want you to keep this in mind: When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers,” Loudermilk said. “During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus, than Democrats have afforded this president in this process.”

Still, the hyperbolic and ahistorical comparisons won’t stop Trump’s impeachment.

The House is expected to impeach Trump by day’s end.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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