To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, December 4, 2023


Boren’s Vote Unforgivable



An Open Letter to Todd Goodman, Chair, Oklahoma Democratic Party:

After reading your note on the passage of the health care bill, I felt an uncontrollable urge to respond or put you in time out for the duration.

I hope you didn’t have to drive home after drinking whatever you were drinking during your celebrating over this “take this or nothing” bill and I did support the passage and might live to regret it because I have good health insurance. I know how youthful enthusiasm works and I am old enough to be your mother. If you really think this will end all the rhetoric, shouting, insults or extremism over health care you need your rosy-colored spectacles cleaned.

Your forgetter is a whole lot better than mine. I still haven’t forgotten watching John Lewis being spat on, beaten up and hearing him called n—– in the ‘60s when I was in high school, and you were not even a gleam in your mommy’s eye. Back then, I can’t picture Strom Thurman or Jesse Helms mouthing “not true” – which is the same as “you liar” – where it might have been caught on camera, during an LBJ or JKF State of the Union, much less it coming from a Supreme Court justice.

Yesterday, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives [Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-TX] yelled “baby killer” at another member while he was trying to speak. This isn’t the House of Commons and Bart Stupak is about as anti-women’s rights on the issue as they get.

I am afraid that the GOP saying “well, emotions are running high” isn’t going to cut it as a means of condemning the offenders. I have a gay brother and a lot of gay friends who suffer from taxation without representation, so calling one of the few voices they have in Congress offensive names is not forgettable or forgivable.

Todd, you are such a kidder. I haven’t forgotten the “procedural shenanigans” when the GOP used them for war, torture and tax cuts for the wealthy. I am pretty sure I won’t forget their condemnation of the use of the same “procedural shenanigans” when done by the opposition. I don’t think I am the only one suffering from this lack of forgetfulness. It’s like reverse amnesia.

Will I “forget the disagreements?” Will I “forget the shouts of ‘NO?’” I doubt it. Todd, who am I supposed to remember “standing up for us” and saying “yes?” Was it a member of the Oklahoma delegation? You are going to have to help me on this one. Which side of the aisle were they on – or was it that “Little Dixie” DINO dynamo [Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee] who keeps running from side to side like the Energizer Bunny on overdrive?

I am sure it wasn’t him saying “yes” because he was telling FOX he would rather have his arms broken and his dead body walked over than to vote “yes” on even a watered down version of a health care bill that isn’t even close to being universal or socialistic and includes many of the amendments the GOP wanted. It would be different if he thought it wasn’t enough, but he seems to think everyone having some kind of affordable health care for all is like Russian tanks in Poland.

“They can break my arms. They can do whatever they want to. They’ll never get my vote – ever. They’ll have to walk across my dead body if they want my vote on this issue.”

It isn’t good to say “whatever they want to” to me. He will see it on at least one poster at every event of his that I can make it to. I am thinking of selling shirts with it on there. “Thanks for Nothing, Dan” on the front and his quote on the back. Please, will you let me know anytime he is going to be within a 100 miles of Moore? How much is a billboard?

If this health care thing works it won’t be because of anything Boren has done. I do remember the fight over Medicare and Medicaid and I have read about the fight over Social Security. I also remember that the GOP was wrong on all counts and what they said then is the same thing they, and DAN, are saying now.

When the GOP put our lives and health care on a profit footing it made our lives and health worth only what HMOs and their stockholders were willing to pay and it isn’t that much for most of the haves and zero for the working poor and have-nots. I have good health care, but it isn’t cheap and I am not one of those who thinks that as long as I have it, to hell with those who don’t. The GOP is still pushing to let Wall Street do to Social Security what it did for retirement accounts in 2008.

Will Dan stand up for us, then? I would not bet on it, especially in an election year.

Todd, if you think this vote was not about “fear and saber-rattling,” you weren’t really listening when House Minority Leader John Boehner was saying. I got a clue when he said they will work to repeal health care if they get control back. He didn’t say we will improve on it or tweak it – he said we will repeal it. He also said, “Hell no,” we can’t tell our constituents that it was done in the open, even after all those televised meetings and debates where President Obama made them look like they forgot to read the assignment.

Let me scrub those rosy glasses for you Todd. There will be icicles on The Guardian’s spear on the Capitol dome on the 4th of July before I forget what Dan Boren did on this one and I will do my best to remind everyone else, who will listen, when they start forgetting.

I know some will demand that I refrain from condemning Dan while condemning the GOP for what Dan is doing, just because he has a “D” after his name, but save your energy.

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


Arnold Hamilton
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.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.