To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, December 8, 2021


‘A Platform Of Mean And Selfish’



When U.S. Senate candidate T.W. Shannon says, “I am the most conservative speaker of the House in Oklahoma history,” I don’t think he is aware of what that means to a lot of us.

That would mean he is the most anti-working man, anti-poor, anti-women’s rights, anti-gay rights, anti-affordable health care, anti-food aid, anti-school lunch, anti-public school, anti-living wage, pro-Koch brothers, pro-millionaires who promise to create good-paying jobs but don’t do it, pro-tax cuts to people who will never have enough money, speaker of the House in Oklahoma history and we could go on.

Just gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling for the guy, doesn’t it?

On top of that he is the “our freedom and rights do not come from the Constitution, they come from God” guy. I am still waiting for the scripture reference for the “I love the wealthy and will give them anything and couldn’t care less about ‘the least of these’ which means I don’t care about Jesus, either” stand.

Maybe next he will be promising needles with bigger eyes or creating more sick, poor people who will dip their finger in water to quench the unending thirst of the guys who choose money over charity.

Oh, wait, he is already doing the later by deciding there are those who do not deserve health care.

He stands by his wife when she has breast cancer, but he has government health care and he doesn’t seem to care if you or your wife has cancer without any health care. If you need proof, check to see how many bills he or the senator he seeks to replace, Tom Coburn have gotten past their GOP cohorts, with regards to even a smattering of health care for the needy. That would be zero, as far as I know. Coburn worked to deny the women of DC birth control coverage, while claiming that lesbians are running rampant in Eastern Oklahoma.

Shannon claims U.S. Rep. James Lankford is too liberal because he voted to raise the debt ceiling which means Shannon doesn’t have the slightest idea what raising the debt ceiling means or what it would do to not only our economy, but the rest of the world’s economy. He wasn’t paying attention during the time the government was closed down.

The debt ceiling has been raised, with very little opposition, 78 times since 1960, 49 times during Republican administrations and 29 times under Democratic ones. His hero, Ronald Reagan, raised it the most times, and George W. Bush doubled the borrowing cap.

Then, of course, it is not a good idea to start a war for bogus reasons, in Iraq or anywhere else, when you can’t pay for it, but believe the spoils of war will pay for it. I like the recent quote from Sen. Bernie Sanders: “If you think taking care of veterans is too expensive then don’t send them to war.”

It sounds like, to me, if you need help under T.W. Shannon you should go in person, get down on your knees and beg him for it. And then he would tell you how many hours, in addition to what you already work that you will need to work, while finding someone you can afford to take care of your kids and then he will let you have food.

We all remember “welfare to work” under Bill Clinton, which meant “we will train you and get you a job, but when the GOP, under Bush, starts extra wars and tanks the economy, you will be the first laid off. And since under the program your government aid is limited then you and your kids are on the street with no recourse.”

Don’t let anyone kid you – I am not a fan of Lankford, either, but then I don’t usually use Biblical stories to defend my vote. The more a politician tells me how Christian he is while denying the poor and rewarding the rich, the less likely I am to vote for him and I don’t care who he is running against.

Some people have said, “Karen, just give it up,” but they might as well be whistling in the very strong Oklahoma wind because I won’t hear their music.

I still remember commenting to some reporter after Right to Work For Less passed in Oklahoma back in the ‘90s. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” I said, and I still haven’t seen it. Former Gov. Frank Keating and current Gov. Mary Fallin said there were corporations lined up on the Oklahoma border with $12 an hour jobs, with benefits, just waiting to have “Right to Work” pass.

It didn’t happen, and Fallin has now decided not to allow our citizens the Medicaid expansion for purely political reasons. She decided to charge people for the use of the sun and the wind, because the dirty energy people are suffering with huge profits. And she decided to level the playing field at $7.25 cents an hour and to deny citizens the right to vote on it because she knows a minimum wage raise will pass.

Since she and Keating made their promises, we have gained Dollar Tree [which Keating used as glittering example] where no one, not even the managers, make $12 an hour and we have lost GM, among others.

It could have to do with the idea that our public schools are given what we used to call “the hind teat” at the funding trough, unless we let churches decide what kind of science should be taught and make sure no one – but no one – has any idea of how to use safe sex to prevent unwanted pregnancies and therefore prevent abortion. And when you finish school and start work they want your boss to decide what birth control you can use or if you get any at all on your insurance.

The Oklahoma GOP and the national GOP have turned me into something I never was before: I would vote for a yellow dog, a pink flamingo, a green lizard, a purple pansy, a blue plate special or a rainbow trout before I would vote for another Republican – ever. And that goes double for anyone willing to claim to be Tea Party.

I do not vote for a platform of mean and selfish. I don’t even have to look at the other side of the ballot.

Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer


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Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.