Monday, July 14, 2008

Sen. Coburn Paints Himself Into a Corner

Oklahama's junior U.S. senator, Dr. Tom Coburn, prides himself on his principles. Like his Oklahoma senate colleague, former Tulsa mayor Jim Inhofe, Coburn is nothing if not stubborn in support of his ideas, even when he's wrong.

That's the latest dilemma for Dr. Coburn, who finds himself now tagged as "the senate's least powerful man." Unfortunately, the label fits.

The problem is Coburn's flagrant overuse of the Senate "hold," a procedure that allows a single senator to stop action on a bill. As a Tulsa World points out today, Coburn is the czar of the hold, blocking bill after bill, including bills nearly everyone else agrees on.

For instance, Coburn has blocked a bill that would address the high suicide rate among veterans. He's blocked a bill to fund breast-cancer research. He's blocked a bill to assist paralyzed people find better treatments.

We're sure Dr. Coburn can rationalize every one of these positions in the name of saving the taxpayer money. But the truth is that Coburn doesn't play with others, a major flaw for a member of "the world's greatest deliberative body."

The World got it right when they described Coburn as "not just arrogant," but "aggressively arrogant."

Coburn's tactics have backfired
, and—surprise!—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is now planning to run over the Oklahoma senator, rendering Coburn more isolated and ineffective than ever.

Coburn is supposed to represent an entire state—not just his personal agenda— and do so in a reasonable manner. Oklahomans deserve better.


Dan Paden said...

Say what? Last time I heard, Congress's approval ratings were hovering around nine percent--that is, more than 9 out of 10 people think they're stinkin' up da joint. And you're telling me that bein' outta step with a train-wreck like that is a negative for Dr. Coburn?

I'm only half-convinced you're not joking...

Tulsan said...

If you stay on that train of logic, then I guess the GOP isn't headed for a massive derailment come November. My advice: Leap!

Dan Paden said...

I'll readily grant you, Tulsan, that the Republicans are likely in for an overall whippin' this November (I do think we'll retain the presidency, though how much that'll be worth with a RINO like McCain is certainly open to debate), but I doubt seriously that Dr. Coburn's chances at re-election will be seriously compromised by the positions he takes--and that is my point here. You, Alt Tulsa, and the Tulsa World may not like him, his tactics, and his attitude, but an awful darn lot of the rest of us do.

Just as you and Alt Tulsa persistently blame Congress' low approval ratings on their failure to more aggressively pursue an agenda to your liking, personally, I blame the Republican Party's woes on not being more like Tom Coburn.

I wish we had a hundred of him...

Tulsan said...

Dan: "I wish we had a hundred of (Coburn)..."

100 Coburns in the U.S. Senate would dramatically improve the Democrats' fortunes. Just think, whatever the issue of the day, who speaks for the GOP? Crazy Coburn!

Better for getting the red out than Ben Stein's "Clear Eyes" product.

Tulsan said...

Continuing on that frightening train of thought, there's no way 2 Coburns could get along with each other, much less 100! With their egos, they'd have holds on each other's bills, and struggling to be Top Coburn.

Violet Cauthon said...

Paden calls Coburn part of "Congress" - Coburn is a SENATOR. Congress sends bills to the SENATE where Coburn blocks them. As a Tulsan now living in NM, it does my heart good to see more and more progresive blogs sprouting in my home state. I sent my small contribution to Andrew Rice - how about all you readers follow my lead and let Inhofe leave with W.? What a great picture that would be!

Dan Paden said...

Next time you want to correct me on my usage, ma'am, you might want to look it up first.

Just a thought. No hard feelings.