Sen. Tom Coburn turned up as No. 43 on a ranking of the 100 Most Influential U.S. Conservatives, a list released this week by a British newspaper, The Telegraph.
The list was topped by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a fact that might cause many conservatives to question the entire enterprise. Giuliani, after all, has been well to the left of the most Republicans for years, only recently revising his own history on such topics as gun control and abortion. On top of that, Giuliani's divorces and three marriages make him an unlikely "family values" candidate.
Other rankings may also have Republicans scratching their heads. Rush Limbaugh was ranked No. 5, just ahead of Vice President Dick Cheney. Christopher Hitchens, an atheist, came in at No. 27, several steps above a professed believer, none other than President George Bush. (Talk about a lame duck.)
And that other Sooner on the list? We expected Jim Inhofe to shine. After all, he's our senior senator and a well-known right-winger. But no, it's martial arts movie star and infomercial pitchman, Chuck Norris.
That's right, Sooner fans, Hollywood conservative and Christian activist Chuck Norris comes in at No. 72, well ahead of such right-wing flamethrowers as Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin.
No, it doesn't make sense to us either. More importantly, it's sad testimony to the waning power of Sen. Inhofe