- Athens Barren Herald -
MADISON - U.S. Rep. Paul Broun is again raising the specter of Democrats turning the United States into a totalitarian state.
Broun, R-Athens, apparently has not changed his belief that President Obama may be a fascist since he made similar remarks in Augusta in November and then in an Associated Press interview.
He told a meeting of the Morgan County Republicans on Wednesday night that Obama already has or will have the three things he needs to make himself a dictator: a national police force, gun control and control over the press.
"He has the three things that are necessary to establish an authoritarian government," Broun said. "And so we need to be ever-vigilant, because freedom is precious."
As he did when comparing Obama to Hitler and the Soviets last year, Broun cited a speech Obama gave in Colorado during the campaign last July calling for "a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the military.
In the speech, Obama called young Americans to serve both at home and abroad, and said he would expand the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and other volunteer opportunities. Broun, however, said Obama was referring to a national police force.
"'The liberals say, 'What is wrong with Americorps?' " Broun said. "Well, this is not Americorps."
Broun also said he thinks the national media is openly supporting Obama's policies. He also said he believes the president and Attorney General Eric Holder will enact new gun-control policies.
Holder said in February that he wants to renew a Clinton-era ban on assault weapons, but Obama said in April that he is putting the issue on the back burner.
Broun also cited the dozens of so-called "czars" Obama has appointed to oversee areas like the troubled car industry as evidence that he is overstepping his bounds to seek power.
"They're developing a shadow government that (does not) answer to the American people," Broun said.
At a town hall meeting in Clarkesville last month, Broun called Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a "socialistic elite" and agreed with a constituent who said they might use a flu pandemic to declare martial law.
"They're trying to develop an environment where they can take over," Broun said. "We've seen that historically."
More than 1,000 people combined turned out to hear Broun speak mostly on the topic of health care at town hall meetings Wednesday in Madison and Greene County.
About 300 attended the Madison meeting. At Lake Oconee, the audience filled three 300-seat movie theaters, where Broun spoke on the invitation of three local doctors who have been giving presentations on Democrats' proposals for health care reform, said Bob Cowles, one of the organizers. Broun spoke live in one theater, while crowds in the other two listened in over a closed circuit.
Health care reform also is about Democrats seeking more power, Broun said.
"It gives them more power, more control over your life," he said.
Health care is too expensive, he said, and he attributed the cost to government regulations like HIPPA, a 1996 patient privacy and insurance portability law. Rather than create a government-run insurance program to compete with private insurers, the current system's framework should be kept, but with changes like expanded tax-free health savings accounts, more tax credits for medical expenses and tax breaks for doctors who provide charity care, Broun said.
"Just like (when) you have a dog with fleas, you don't kill the dog, you put on a flea collar," he said.
Broun has scheduled another town hall meeting for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Oconee County Civic Center.