Coburn’s Proud To Be A Back Stabbing Okie From Muskogee

With friends like Oklahoma Senator and freakishly right-wing know-nothing Tom Coburn, Barack Obama doesn’t want for enemies. Both men have acknowledged their strange “friendship,” with Coburn saying on Wednesday in Muskogee, that bleak Oklahoma town that Merle Haggard made famous:

Barack Obama is personal friend of mine. He became my friend in the Senate but that does not mean I agree in any way with what he’s doing or how he’s doing it. And I quite frankly think he’s in a difficult position he’s put himself in, and if it continues, I think we’re going to have another constitutional crisis in our country in terms of the presidency,

That “constitutional crisis,” of course, is impeachment, which up until now only the weirdest members of the right wing have dared to suggest. I am at a loss to explain why Barack Obama would have such a friend as Tom Coburn, Perhaps despite now having two dogs, the President is lonely in Washington, I don’t know. But Coburn is the kind of friend we have all had who is not a friend in the sense that you could count on him to have your back. The only apparent reason that Tom Coburn cares anything about Barack Obama’s back is because it makes a nice place to stick a knife.

And to paraphrase the old joke, if Barack Obama had as many knives sticking out of his back as his friend Tom Coburn has put into it, he would look like a political porcupine.

In any case, here’s how BuzzFeed reported on Coburn’s meeting with his blood-red constituents:

“What you have to do is you have to establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president, and that’s called impeachment,” Coburn said, responding to a question about holding President Obama accountable. “That’s not something you take lightly, and you have to use a historical precedent of what that means. I think there’s some intended violation of the law in this administration, but I also think there’s a ton of incompetence, of people who are making decisions.”

“Even if there is incompetence, the IRS forces me to abide by the law,” a constituent responded to Coburn.

“No, I agree,” Coburn said. “My little wiggle out of that when I get that written to me is I believe that needs to be evaluated and determined, but thank goodness it doesn’t have to happen in the Senate until they’ve brought charges in the House. Those are serious things, but we’re in a serious time. I don’t have the legal background to know if that rises to high crimes and misdemeanor, but I think they’re getting perilously close.”

This stupidity is blazing around the Internet, which means, of course, that it will soon infiltrate cable TV chat. I call it stupidity because

a) you can’t impeach a president because of “a ton of incompetence”; most everyone knows it has to be two tons of incompetence, measured by a special device that Barack Obama stole from Congress and now keeps hidden in a secret place, right next to his Kenyan birth certificate and his autographed copy of The Communist Manifesto; and,

b)  If a “ton of incompetence” actually brought a president “perilously close” to impeachment, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan would have been chased from office long before anyone ever heard of the megaton of incompetence that brought us, among other things, the Iran-Contra scandal or the Iraq War.

Thus it is, when you toss in the climate-change-is-a-hoax freak Jim Inhofe, the state of Oklahoma has two United States Senators who are, well, nuts, with one of them pretending to be Obama’s friend while hurling chivs at him while his back is turned.

25 Comments

  1. ansonburlingame

     /  August 23, 2013

    Duane,

    As you might note in the Globe, much public concern is now being raised over the Joplin City Council’s lame attempt at secrecy to force the City Manager to resign. In my view such an underhanded and secret effort on their part is dead wrong.

    SHOULD Mark Rohr resign can be argued pro or con in Joplin. Such discussions have been “lobbied” back and forth, under the table so to speak. Why not publicly is my question.

    All this crap about governing bodies cannot discuss personnel matters publicly is just crap in my view, to a degree. No the details of an “indictment” against a City employee should not be discussed publicly, “on Aug 1, 2011 Mark Rohr screamed at me in a meeting” type of thing.

    BUT, if a council member really believes the city governmental departments are being “ruled by fear” that is a general concern that SHOULD be brought up in a public meeting of council. Sure it takes “tack”, careful phrasing of words, etc. but if such a concern is “there” well let’s talk about it publicly and start the larger debate, no secrecy involved.

    And yes, when any politician makes such a move, well his opposition gets to weigh in just as you have done herein. But at least Coburn is not conducting straw polls in secrecy and secrect meeting within Congress. YOU now know his thoughts on the matter, and you should, and now you get to weigh in to oppose him. Good for democracy when that happens in my view.

    Obviously you strongly oppose any attempts to promote the impeachment of President Obama. So do I, so far. But in my view he has made some grave mistakes, even constitutional mistakes. His Executive Orders, some of them border on ……., for example.

    NOT enforcing a law is just as bad as trying to VIOLATE a law when such actions are taken by members of the Executive branch. It might not rise to impeachment levels, but it sure creates strong opposition and such must be aired out, publicly.

    Finally, we have held many heated discussions in this blog over Bush II and whether he should now be prosecuted, or prosecuted even while in office for some of his actions.

    How is Coburn’s publicly expressed concerns over Obama any different from concerns written herein over “illegal” things done by Bush II.

    Anson

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    • Coburn offered nothing, exactly nothing, that would in any conceivable way constitute any talk about “impeachment.” Nothing. At least under Bush the infamous and misleading stuff about weapons of mass destruction was some grounds to consider, however weak on constitutional grounds.

      Most of the left’s calls for impeachment of Republican presidents in recent history came from outside groups who had a bone to pick with them. We are talking here about a United States Senator, for God’s sake. But then these days it is hard to tell elected Republican leaders from the nuts in the crowd. Often they are the nuts.

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      • The GOP gene pool has oozed into little more than a shallow swamp of late. Look at their heroes: Rick Scott, Scott Walker, Allen West, Joe (not the guitarist) Walsh, Sharon Engle, Richard Mourdock, Scott Akin, Donald Trump, Ken Cuccinelli, Louis Gomert, Rick Perry, Jan Brewer, Tom Corbett, Christine MacDonald — OMG! It gets worse every week. The sane Republicans have moved or been moved on: Richard Lugar — ousted by nutjob Mourdock. Lincoln Chafee — now an Independent. Their scientific brain trust: Drs. Rand and Ron Paul, Dr. Tom Coburn, Dr. Bill Frist — embarrassments to their professions. Their congressional law experts: Ted Cruz and Eric Cantor still don’t understand how a bill becomes law. Their Constitutional “experts” on the SCOTUS: Scalia and Thomas are two of the most corrupt in US history. The rapidly diminishing civilization IQ of the GOP dooms it to inbred idiocy. Despite its vast wealth, the public is taking notice.

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  2. The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself. – Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    Was Moynihan right? I’d like to think so but politicians like Senator Coburn will never make it happen because what he does, and what the majority of politicians do, is pander to their base and demagogue the issues. That’s why the Republican party has come to represent not solutions but mere negativity. They are the party of No.

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    • Coburn has always disgusted me, Jim. There is something about him that has always rubbed me the wrong way. He is, I believe, an obstetrician by training, and I never get the sense that he has thought more than five minutes about the larger problems in society, beyond the usual “government is too big” and “we spend too much money” memes that spew forth from Tea Party mouths.

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  3. The GOP, now deep in its death throes, has convulsed into the Party without facts, science, scruples, morality, logic or good judgement. Its final spasms (dead by 2020) kicking out against reason, compassion, enlightenment and good governance. Good riddance. Can the nation survive its vile spewing of corrupted cash, vomited into the campaigns of desperate electoral sub-human candidates like Scott, Corbett, Cuccinelli and their ilk — and the goose-stepped vote-rigging and voter suppression which mark their dying gasps? That is the big question.

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    • It’s possible that another ass-whipping in 2016 will do a lot to help the more sensible (and diminishing) Republicans still out there to gain back control of their party. And, God willing, an unlikely defeat in 2014 would speed up the process even more. But I’m not that optimistic. In my experience, conservative know-nothings always have a rationalization for their defeats, and never consider that it is their Iron Age philosophy that is to blame. Their reaction to a Hillary Clinton defeat may well be to work even harder to defeat the RINOs.

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  4. ansonburlingame

     /  August 23, 2013

    The GOP is in the same “throes” as was the Democratic Party after the McGovern fiasco, in my view. Things changed and now ………

    Changing cultures is a huge undertaking. I am now thinking about such things after two classes in socioloty and reading the text book (and arguing with the text book as well from time to time, but not yet the professor).

    For millenia, culture was supposedly controlled by God (or god’s) and religions told us what to do or how to do it. There is the Iron Age Theology oft criticized by Duane. In a modern world such thinking is indeed crazy, that God will control or even should control all cultures. Which “God” becomes the first question to such thinking!!! Would you prefer the Old Testament one or the one in the New Testament. They are decidedly different gods, in my view, for starters.

    Later “science” (technology) moved religion aside in the Industrial revolution. He who builds the most, wins.

    Today, politics, ideology TRIES to tell us the same thing, like “God” used to do. One of the FIRST men to express such views was Karl Marx. Recall, after HIS politics or ideology took firm root, he thought “states” would stop existing!!!

    Using Marx’s reasoning, if Democrats prevail all the time then the GOP will in fact “die”. But God help the country if that comes to pass as well!!! The only truth in Marx’s thinking was in fact ONE State died. It was the one trying hard to follow his ideology, called the Soviet Union.

    Anson

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    • Anson, I agree — we do NOT want a one-party system. The “GOP” will be replaced in time by a true conservative party and a neo-libertarian party — the the dems will likely see defectors to a true liberal party, greens, maybe even a socialist party. We need more than 2 sides to issues. we need to be forced to build coalitions of co-operators. But the GOP — as it is currently: held together with bailing wire and spit (fundamentalist Christians and angry old white NRA members) is in hospice care.

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  5. ansonburlingame

     /  August 24, 2013

    General,

    Great, we agree. We NEED two parties and BOTH should have the best interests of ALL Americans, by and large.

    I also agree that today’s GOP is floundering. But as pointed out, Democrats after failed attempts to prevent the election of or then unseat Nixon FAILED miserably and the Democratic Party was forced, after McGovern to “readjust”. It took a rather long time with only Carter doing so, for four years. And look what we got as a country when he did try to govern. Reagan was the result.

    But as many say today, and I agree, Reagan could not get the GOP nomination, today in the GOP primaries. I believe that is true as well.

    But “die”, I doubt it just as the Democratic Party did not die in the late 60’s thru most of the 70’s. It just took time to get back to most of America’s underlying values.

    In my view at least, the country desperately needs to “return near the center” politically.

    BUT, you and I will argue all the time over where that center really is. Just read this blog and my longstanding conservative (but not radical conservative, in my view) reaction to what Duane calls for as being “the center” or even close to it!!! You in general agree with him and I do not. I’ll “give” (acutally support) things like gun control or abortion to the left, but on fiscal and national security matters we will contine to strongly disagree.

    Hell I even call for reducing the size of DOD. But we have to do so with really keen insight into what the world really is, not just what we want it to be. We won’t even agree on what the world really is in that sense, and I mean that both internationally and domestically.

    For example, show me ANYWHERE in America a starving child, I mean a really starving child. THEN show me such a child exists because of a LACK of government or social “caring” and programs to back up such caring. In America today, if you can find a really starving child, the child is there for really bad choices by the individuals responsible for feeding the child, not social neglect on the part of America society as a whole.

    Obesity, caused simply by eating too much of the wrong things is a crisis of sorts in America today. I submit starvation is almost non-existant, real starvation and death soon to follow. Going to bed hungry is NOT starvation and when that happens it is usually because Mom does not fix meals for kids (or arrange to have them fixed), while they are otherwise engaged in……… Hell we won’t even agree with the ,,,,,,, You will say “working” and I will say “too drunk or high to cook”, for starters!!!

    Anson

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    • What we know today is that McGovern, an insightful and honest statesman, would have been the wise choice. You’re suggesting that because he won, Nixon was right? Really?
      While some Democrats have moved toward the center to survive the well-funded disinformation and propaganda machines of the Tea Party (John Birch Society) et al, the best society saving stuff is still coming from (and always will come from) the left of center.

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      • Re George McGovern, I feel compelled to note that he was not only a brave politician, questioning the Vietnam war even as the fighting escalated, but also a real hero of WW II. Among other things he flew 35 missions over Europe in B-24’s and came home with four Air Medals. He was seen as something of a traitor at the time by the right, and I’m sorry to say I was among those who did. I was too inexperienced then to appreciate the dstinction between supporting our forces and questioning the political underpinnings of the war.

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        • Jim — I’m sorry to say, I did the same thing in 1972. Dick Nixon is the last Republican I voted for. I’ve never been sorry for having moved out of that darkness.

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        • McGovern always gets a bad rap. His candidacy is usually the reference point for mainstream pundits to say that Democrats drifted too far to the left and never recovered until Bill Clinton’s candidacy and his move to the “center.” It’s all bullshit, of course.

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      • American history, from Lincoln (a man of the left by today’s standards) to Roosevelt and Truman and the civil rights movement (brought to us by liberals in both parties at the time) to some aspects of the Obama administration, proves you are correct, sir.

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  6. ansonburlingame

     /  August 24, 2013

    One more point, General,

    The political center of gravity of any nation has never been, so far, the demographic center of gravity. When the demographic center of change becomes increasingly unbalanced, by and large revolutions result. The “rich and powerful” must be removed violently and will only go down with great turmoil left in its wake. And then a country or region gets things like the immediate aftermath of the French Rev. (1789) or the Soviet Union. Even YOU I hope do not want such in America in the near future. For Duane, however he seems to now be calling for “rotting corpses”. Yikes!!

    Anson

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  7. Pardon me, Anson. Couldn’t find any calls for “rotting corpses” from Duane or myself. My premise is: the GOP is choking itself to death by gorging on the excrement of the Tea Party, the Christian Right and “so-called” Libertarians. Look, I get that the corrupt Lords of the Manor need the status quo to be preserved — in their increasingly narrowing minds because their rancid Randianism is pure, misguided, debunkled Descartes. The GOP is wearing everyone out. Only a political party in the final stages of philosophical Syphilis would nominate a cretan like Ken Cuccinelli for Governor of a state in THIS union. Or — since they love the guns so much — we could say the GOP is in the process of methodically inflicting an elephant gunshot wound to its empty head.

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  8. ansonburlingame

     /  August 26, 2013

    General,

    Post herein on Aug 7, 2013 under the blog title “Sensibel” Extremism: The first paragrajp, written by Duane, with no quotes: (meaning I suppose his own thoughts and desires:

    “Please, God. Purty Please? Let the so-called civil war in the Republican Party—between the establishment extremists and the anti-establishment extremists—continue until both sides are nothing but rotting corpses on the electoral battlefield. Amen.”

    Do you agree with him?

    Anson

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    • Sorry, I missed that image before. Yes, I agree with him. You, however, implied that the liberals and Democrats are some sort of revolutionary proleteriat, ready to rise in rebellion against the GOP. The brain-dead, blind-to-others, cancer-riddled Republicans are doing this to themselves. Thank God and good riddance.

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    • What’s not to agree with?

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  9. ansonburlingame

     /  August 28, 2013

    You, Duane, are at least consistent and speak as a great “union man”. Just run over and beat to death any opposition to your “cause(s)” I guarnatee that if you spoke like that in any union negotiation to me, I would walk out in a heart beat, give a big speech condemning such words or thoughts and call for YOU and your minions to strike to your hearts content and figure out how to feed yourselves in the meantime with NO government “help”.

    I cannot remember, spell or pronouce all the French names calling for revolution in 1789. But I have read enough know that you sound exactly like that MOB of idiots. Next up, go mann your barracades, a la Les Miz!!! You better find some good songwritters to support your cause as well.

    Anson

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    • Anson —
      It’s your moronic old boys who are calling for dissolution of government. Smaller government. No government oversight. The Tea Party IS trying to overthrow our democratic, one-man-one-vote government and replace it with some sort of twisted, entitled, capitalistic oligarchy. Good lord, man. WTF is wrong with your brain? Oh — I know — the creeping GOP zombie plague has infected you, too. That’s why we keep saying, “There are no longer any good Republicans.” The zombie apocalypse has fallen hungrily on the GOP. You keep eating the healthy among you.

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      • King Beauregard

         /  August 28, 2013

        Teabaggers are anarchists too dumb to know they’re anarchists.

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    • What the hell are you talking about? Have you lost your mind?

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  10. ansonburlingame

     /  August 29, 2013

    No one on the right, other than perhaps the crazy white supremacists is calling for the dissolution of American government.

    Many, myself included, call for a far more focused American government, doing things that in fact CAN be done by American government, at the federal level. Federal government, over time in the last 50 years has gone a mile wide and an inch deep. There is hardly any facet of American society that the federal government has not thought about or actually tried to control now. It needs to get its priorities straight, recognize it cannot do all that is “needed” and recognize as well that just throwing money at problems does not resolve many problems. Character, to use the phrase of MLK, does COUNT, a lot. Money does not create good character.

    Anson

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