The asshole from Oklahoma

Charlie Pierce:

Remember that Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is often cited as one of the Republicans with whom the president might be able to do business. He is a conservative, but not a crazy person, like his colleague, James Inhofe. He can be expected to listen respectfully to other points of view and to at least consider the virtues of the kind of compromises that take the Davids, Gregory and Gergen, to their respective happy places.

Then remember that, fundamentally, Tom Coburn is also a monster.

 “That’s always been his position [to offset disaster aid],” Coburn spokesman John Hart said. “He supported offsets to the bill funding the OKC bombing recovery effort.”  

This is a guy who, one day after a devastating natural disaster killed his own constitutents, said he will not vote to allevate their suffering unless he can inflict some pain on someone somewhere else in the country. And his spokesman defends this as a matter of principle, and uses the worst act of domestic terrorism in the history of the United States as a salutary example. (And the link demonstrates that Coburn’s aversion to tossing money down various ratholes is not universal.)  Does Senator Coburn really believe you can budget for the unthinkable? That tornadoes are zero-sum events? That you can horse-trade on human suffering as though it were a line-item on a transportation rider? I no longer am willing to try to understand how people like this think. They are monsters and they operate on their own monstrous imperatives.

The attack on the natural instincts of a self-governing political commonwealth has been a long one, a powerful one, and (alas) a very effective one. It has made the politically unthinkable a viable alternative in the face of the literally unimaginable. It is a return to the days where people died alone on the prairies during blizzards, or they drowned in floods along the plains, or they were lost in hurricanes that struck without warning. It’s not a great distance removed from staving off severe weather by judging the flights of birds or reading the entrails of a disembowelled goat on a rock. The idea that there is even a “debate” worthy of mentioning over this money shows how far we’ve fallen.

Thanks to criminal attorney Colleen Kirby.

4 thoughts on “The asshole from Oklahoma

  1. “I move that we offset Oklahoma Disaster relief with the right Honorable Gentleman’s salary and oil depletion allowances for the Oklahoma wells.”

  2. Just another douchbag Republican. But here’s some great news. The good people of Los Angeles have elected Garcetti over Clintonite Wendy Greuel for mayor of LA. That’s fantastic for “we the people” but a major blow to the Clinton machine. (We now need to defeat the Clintonite running in Va. ) On a sour note only 25% of eligible voters came out to cast a ballot. That poor turnout represents more than just apathy.

  3. Oklahoma loves this guy. Taking a quick look at the “wiki”, after serving three terms in the House, and honoring his vow to serve no more than those three terms, Coburn sat out an election cycle and got back in by running for the Senate in 2004.

    He won the Senate seat by 52-43% over his closest opponent, Democrat Brad Carsons.

    When he ran for reelection in 2010, Coburn got 90% of the Republican primary vote, and crushed his opponent in the general election by 70-26%.

    This is the kind of Senator Oklahomans WANT to elect.

    So, let them be very, very happy with his strong fiscally conservative stand at this point.

    If there are difficulties in getting aid through, well then that’s what the citizens of Oklahoma want.

    Might sound a bit different from the state’s Dust Bowl days, and populist prairie days of a century ago, but that’s the way it is.

Comments are closed.