To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, May 18, 2022


Bridenstine’s Follies



RichardFricker-2Well, here we are headed into the holidays, all a-twitter and full of expectation. Oklahomans need not fret over meals, even if food stamps are cut. We have our own holiday turkey, Congressman Jim [Tea Party Bobblehead] Bridenstine.

Rep. Bobblehead is a turkey befitting all occasions. One need only look at his latest plunge into the mosh pit of conservatism, the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, to understand his sophomoric approach to the problems of the day coupled with his Tea Party version of reality.

He is currently trying to sell – with his job approval rating politically equal to that of the president’s – that the government shutdown that cost tens of thousands of jobs and pulled millions in profits from the pockets of business and industry was exactly what the Democrats want to happen to America.

And to think he’s against legal marijuana. The congressman obviously does not need wacky ta-bakkie.

The reason OK-1 knows this is because Democrats wouldn’t defund the Affordable Healthcare Act. He went on to tell the assembled that he thought the president would accept the Tea Party proposal, as he was quoted, in a heartbeat.

Did the speaker give this guy an office off planet, with no communicator?

Is this the Tea Party reasoning to life, politics, and everything? No wonder the congressional approval rating, as of Nov. 12, was – and the Oklahoma turkey is a member – 9%.

Continuing his Tea Party bobble, the congressman went on to lament that the president and fellow Democrats didn’t want to acknowledge the legislative process and defund ACA simply because Tea Party minions wanted it that way. It might be noted at this point that there was never any measure on the floor to repeal ACA – that had been tried 42 times and failed.

Noting laws were made by Congress, the congressman demonstrated his own lack of legislative prowess, knowledge and even recent history. Or, perhaps, he felt his audience too ill informed to realize he was as full of “it” as a Christmas turkey.

ACA IS the law. It was passed by the Senate by a 60-39 vote, then by the House 219-212, and signed by the president of the United States. It has been up held by the United States Supreme Court.

Where has Congressman Bobblehead been these last couple of years? There should be a Tea Party 12-step program and rehab facility for these people.

As with most everything the congressman has said of late, it’s all Obama’s fault, while having no accomplishments of his own. Blaming President Obama for all the troubles created by Tea Party ideology is tantamount to an adolescent caught in the closet with a flashlight and Playboy claiming he was only reading the articles.

The congressman’s latest soiree into the land of Tinker Bell is to abolish the income tax. Therein lies a bill that looks good in Tea Party land but back on earth – where there’s atmosphere and gravity – has the trajectory of an anvil.

Bridenstine’s problem is not that he’ll be mugged by liberals on election day. His problem is moderate Republicans may start looking for someone who can get things done instead of calving on an ideology not based in political reality.

The congressman assures us he won’t lie about what he’s thinking. The question is, when is he going to start … thinking.

Richard L. Fricker lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, The Last Day of the War, is available at or at


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.