To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, October 3, 2023






Dining on politics from the reddest state is an unending, yet moveable, feast. When state politicos are not making fools of themselves, and by extension bringing Oklahoma to the national fore such as Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn are want to do on a regular basis, there is always the congressional delegation.

This flummery is akin to three-way chili, state politicos, Inhofe and Coburn, and the piece de resistance — the congressional delegation. As these elements march headlong into not just the last century, but a century that never existed in this or any other reality, one marvels as to how they manage to dress themselves daily.

Their latest gyration of buffoonery was the House vote to repeal the health care package passed by the last Congress. The bellowing from the house floor was filled with hyperbole, with shamefully lacking facts or data to back up the apocalyptic claims.

Their party line is mired in factual muck. Recent polls show, as various aspects of health care kick in, people want to keep the parts that impact their families. The real game plan was to keep the anti-Obama train moving.

The GOP has no plan, has never offered a health plan, and likely can’t muster the gray cells to produce a plan. This repeal vote was nothing more than a charade by insurance and pharmaceutical industries sucklings.

The adjunct effect? Payoff the Tea Bag people. The GOP desperately needs these folks in line and co-opted before they attack inward. It appears the GOP has abandoned truth and the national wellbeing for the aroma of power and privilege.

The Oklahoma House delegation must be viewed with dismay. Imagine lackeys wearing fools hats drooling at the feet of the tea bag people, adorned with tinkling bells to announce their coming to insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists.

Tulsa’s native son John Sullivan, R-Toady, joined the chorus saying the health care bill was, “Bad for patients, bad for the nation, bad for doctors, bad for small business and terrible for our troubled economy.” The congressman never defined “why” all this was bad for anyone.

Sullivan told of “daily” phone calls from people fearing they will lose their businesses because of high healthcare costs. Interestingly, he never identified any of the businesses. It would be reasonable that, if he’s getting “daily” calls, he would have a list to support his claims.

Sullivan did not address that the “troubled economy” was the result of wrongheaded policies by the former Republican administration. Nor did the Congressman endeavor to explain just how the current national healthcare plan was “bad” for anyone. It appears that in Sullivan’s mind just calling something “bad” makes it so, without explanation.

A reasonable assumption would be, if businesses were on the brink of destruction and the healthcare plan was “bad,” a congressman of Sullivan’s tenure would have no end of data to support his position. But Sullivan, caught with his data down and fear-mongering up, soldiered on in the name of a conservatism void of policy or ideas.

However, the congressman voted on party lines, not once but twice in as many weeks, to withhold from the public whether or not HE is availing himself of public health care. Twice since the new Tea Bag congress convened the Republicans have rejected rule amendments requiring them to disclose if they were using government health care.

The questions for Sullivan seems to be: Are you using government health care? While the congressman has no problem regaling the home folk with tails of his Blue Cross Blue Shield bill he never directly answers if this is a supplemental coverage or answer directly about government health care insurance. Perhaps these are questions that should be posed to the entire Oklahoma delegation.

John Sullivan, District #1

Dan Boren, District #2

Frank Lucas, District #3

Tom Cole, District #4

Frank Lankford, District #5

These are simple questions; they should know if they are using taxpayer healthcare. The answers should prove interesting at best.

It is also worthy of note that Rep. Dan Boren, DINO-Dist. #2, voted with his Republican brothers to not disclose who was using government healthcare. DINO Boren also voted to repeal the national health care plan. Why the Oklahoma Democratic Party continues to carry this guy on the books remains a mystery.

Will there be a Dan Boren parade April 1st?

Republicans, and Boren, are telling constituents that they have repealed healthcare. This simply is not true, and they know it is not true. They have voted a measure calling for the repeal. But, any actual repeal must pass by both chambers of congress and signed by the president.

It seems unlikely the Senate will join the House repeal effort. It seems further unlikely the President would sign any legislation undoing the cornerstone of his first two years in office.

The Republican effort seems more involved with breaking the administration than actually helping the American people. This is one of the rare times when a political party dedicated to bringing down an administration simply for power than for any dispute over what is best for the nation.

The Sullivans and Borens of congress appear to forget they, too, are the government. The mandate they feel they possess has little to do with governess, rather is power centered for power’s own sake.

The next 24 months will be difficult for this country. The least they could expect is to be told the truth. The GOP and fellow traveling Tea Bag people seem either unaware of the truth, have complete disregard for the truth or don’t care as long as they can achieve a level of power beyond that granted by the Constitution.

These are the times that will try men’s souls.

Richard L. Fricker lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer, providing both essay and video commentary [see Observer home page]. His latest book, Martian Llama Racing Explained, is available 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.
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.