Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye (D) issued an eloquent statement in response to Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly (R), who compared the Aug. 1 Obamacare mandate for insurers to offer coverage for contraceptive serves with Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 terror attacks.
“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. 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.”
“I witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor and had the privilege of serving in the United States Army during World War II and I find the comments made by the Congressman from Pennsylvania to be misguided and insulting.
"It is complete nonsense to suggest that a matter discussed, debated, and approved by the Congress and the President is akin to a surprise attack that killed nearly 2,500 people and launched our nation into the second World War or a terrorist attack that left nearly 3,000 dead and led to fighting and dying in Afghanistan and Iraq. Having fought for this nation in Europe, I find that I have a special kinship with those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and I routinely visit with the most severely wounded veterans of those conflicts. Just yesterday I met with a brave young man who lost all four of his limbs in Afghanistan.
"I hope the Congressman from Pennsylvania has the courage to share his comparison with them.”
Kelly, who ran his father's auto repair shop before he was swept into office in 2010, has every right to exercise his First Amendment right of free speech, not matter how off the wall his words may be. His white hot rhetoric though is what is ripping Congress apart. America and the good people of Pennsylvania's Third Congressional District deserve much better.
Giants like Inouye (87) are going to be sorely missed.