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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Coburn's Hostage-Taking Apparently Not Going Well

Storm debris in Moore, OK
It strikes me that someone, somewhere, has to have a survey in the field tracking Sen. Tom Coburn's position following the tornado that struck Moore in his home state. His actions since announcing that he would hold his own constituents hostage to budget cuts suggest that idea has not gone over well. The signs are all there; his fellow austerians in the GOP aren't willing to back him up and he's become increasing defensive about his position. He's been trying to shift blame away from himself, by accusing those who point out that he's playing politics with disaster of "playing disaster politics." It's the same circular reasoning that bigots you to claim victimhood for their bigotry -- i.e., "I'm the victim of intolerance, because you're intolerant of my intolerance!" -- and it doesn't work any better in this circumstance. Pointing out that Coburn wants to hold his own constituents hostage isn't "playing politics," it's having a firm command of the facts.

As I say, that poll being taken out there somewhere has to show Coburn is getting an earful at home, because he's still on the defensive. On an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Sen. Tom tried to defend his position by not defending it.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) voiced frustration on Thursday with the discussion over whether federal aid provided to tornado-ravaged Oklahoma should be offset by spending cuts elsewhere, calling it an example of "typical Washington BS."

During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Coburn boasted about his consistency on the issue, saying that he helped ensure that relief provided after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was offset. Pointing to what he characterized as "$200 billion worth of waste, fraud and duplication," he expressed disdain for lawmakers who borrow money to provide disaster aid.

"So it's morally wrong, it's repugnant to me and it's the lamest excuse career politicians can use, and that's why our country is in trouble. That kind of thinking," Coburn said.
Then came the kicker: "But the conservative senator argued that any debate over spending offsets is motivated by politics, saying that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has a $11.6 billion fund it could use to help victims of the Oklahoma tornado. For that reason, Coburn said, it's unlikely that Congress would even need to pass a bill to provide aid to his state."


"This is all a game and it's a crass political game because I was being asked these questions before we even pulled the dead people out of the rubble," Coburn said. "So it's just typical Washington BS, quite frankly."

Got that? He's a man of super-integrity because he's demanding someone else's tax dollars be stolen to pay for aiding his constituents. But we shouldn't hold him accountable for that position, because it will never happen. He wants to do this horrible thing, but you shouldn't blame him for it, because he probably won't be able to. And his critics are the ones spreading BS.

Coincidentally, I would like to slash Coburn's tires, but I'll never be able to because he lives and works so far away. So anyone who criticizes me for my criminal impulse is just engaging in "typical Washington BS." I'm completely blameless -- not because I've decided not to do this terrible thing, but because I've determined that I probably can't.

For a Republican, I don't think Coburn have a real solid grasp of this whole "personal responsibility" concept. What he does have is a good grip on his constituents, who in turn seem to have a good grip on his throat.

I don't know what that as yet unreleased survey says, but it has to be brutal. He's trying to back out of this so fast he's spinning his wheels and digging in deeper. Couldn't happen to a nicer hostage-taker.


[photo by DVIDSHUB]

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