Truth is, former oil man and now Republican Congressman Trent Franks, who's definitely in the running for the looniest congressman from the looniest state, can link any topic to abortion. In the mid-80s Franks founded the Arizona Family Research Institute, the local version of Dobson's Focus on the Family. He was elected to the state legislature in 1984 running primarily on one issue: abortion. When Franks was elected to the US House in 2002, he arrived in DC with one goal: overturn Roe v Wade, and his entire tenure has been devoted to doing just that.
This spring during the Planned Parenthood debate, when Senator Kyl was citing statistics that were "not intended to be factual statements," Congressman Franks said Planned Parenthood "kills children for profit." And remember this old ditty, when he told African American families that abortion is worse than slavery ever was?
Representative Trent Franks, Republican of Arizona, became the latest offender on Friday when he said the high abortion rate among African-Americans has done greater harm to their population than slavery. "Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery." NY TimesAbortion is not his only schtick, of course. He's an equal opportunity dimwit. Franks is "skeptical" about global warming, but not about the grave dangers to civilization if gays and lesbians marry. He never saw an anti-GLBT law he didn't like, and he's the guy, you may recall, who believes Obama should be impeached for no longer supporting the Defense of Marriage Act.
A member of Bachmann's Tea Party Caucus, who of course has signed Grover's pledge, Franks also said the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) should be investigated for planting spies in Congress:
CAIR said it had a particular interest in influencing the judiciary, intelligence and homeland security committees. . . . Mrs. Myrick and Republican Reps. John Shadegg of Arizona, Paul Broun of Georgia and Trent Franks of Arizona called Wednesday for an investigation by the House sergeant-at-arms into whether CAIR was successful in planting congressional interns. Salon
You get the picture. So yesterday on the House floor, Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. asked Franks about the constitutionality of a balanced budget amendment, focusing his question on the separation of powers. Over the do-hickey is Jackson's question:
If the gentleman from Arizona would share with us how that would work. I’ve heard a number of members come down and talk about the idea, that we’re going to vote on it, that it needs to happen. But at least as I understand it, the interpreter of the Constitution obviously would be the federal courts. In that, if Congress were unable to achieve a balanced budget in any fiscal year, that a lawsuit could be brought under the balanced budget amendment that would throw the process into the federal judiciary, allowing federal judges then to determine what constitutes balance or imbalance. If the gentleman would take some time to share with us, how from his perspective that would work.
Fair enough, good question. The legal eagle Franks said, "I'll take a shot at that," and then he drifted off into his patented rant about activist courts, abortion, and the Holocaust. I would like to transcribe Franks' answer, but I'm afraid my mind would go into spasms trying to follow the alleged logic. Here, though, thanks to some brave transcriber at Political Correction, is Franks' winning conclusion:
You know, every time across the history of humanity, when the German high tribunal injected itself even into the tragedy of the German system, they said that the Jew was 'untermensch,' sub-human, and they took away their personhood, and the tragedy that followed is still one of the darkest stains on the human soul that I know of. And so yes, it is possible that the courts could try to intervene in this process and try to distort it. Political CorrectionYes, he said that. I especially like the way the last sentence about the courts logically flows from the preceding comments about Nazis. Watch the whole exchange for yourself:
I'm sure Congressman Jackson was more than satisfied with that insightful answer. The folks over at New Times suggest that Jackson could've given the following response: