These days, it seems State Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, accuses everyone of being terrorists — not just law-abiding Oklahoma Muslims who come to his office to engage in civil discussions. If the contractor working on his house readjusts the estimate for new hardwood flooring, he’s a terrorist. If Bennett gets cut off in traffic on Lincoln Boulevard, it is the work of a morning-drive jihadi. Should a teenaged worker at the Carl’s Jr. drive-thru window short Bennett on ketchup, that kid will spend prom at Guantanamo Bay.
So it should surprise no one that Bennett also thinks that Oklahoma state government agencies are sleeper cells. On Nov. 1, Bennett took to the floor of the state House to accuse agencies impacted by the state budget shortfall, including the state Department of Health, of being terrorists. Yes, in Bennett’s psycho-survivalist worldview, state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is a clear and present danger to our values and should be rounded up like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
“The agencies getting the money are telling our constituents, ‘Hey, the sky’s falling!’ And the agencies telling our citizens, they’re going, ‘We [anti-tax legislators] want to cut their services to the most vulnerable.’ That’s terrorism. We should not be negotiating with terrorists, period,” Bennett said.
That’s right; the people who provide in-home care to disabled Oklahomans through the state Department of Human Services’ ADvantage Waiver program are, in Bennett World, attempting to destabilize our nation and enact Sharia law or whatever.
Uncharacteristically, Gov. Mary Fallin did the right thing. She issued a statement via Facebook saying, “It is unacceptable behavior for a lone legislator to call state agencies and their employees terrorists. An apology should be given. I appreciate all of our state employees who serve our state every day. Both of my parents were dedicated state employees.”
Now that all governance takes place via social media, Bennett responded in the comments section.
“Instead of posting about something I said that you and the media took out of context, maybe You [sic] should be holding Your [sick sic] agency heads and agencies accountable (maybe start with the Health Dept and the millions they criminally misappropriated),” he wrote.
“Out of context”? Chicken-Fried News watched the actual, undoctored video and spent the rest of the day praying to the one true porcelain god. Here’s more context: One year ago, Bennett posted on Facebook that Hillary Clinton should be executed by firing squad.
Because, you know, terrorist.