To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, December 6, 2023


Dr. No’s Middle Name Is Hypocrisy



I wish I could say I was surprised at the decision not to indict Darren Wilson, but I hope today I get a surprise and the networks decide not to make a hero of Darren Wilson, but they probably will. There should be no interviews with him. I was on a federal grand jury in the 1980s and I know how they work. I also lived through the 1960s as a teenager and I am seeing flashbacks.

I watched the president’s comments last night asking for calm and I saw the look in his eyes while he was saying them. I have seen it before when Martin Luther King Jr. asked for calm because he knew how hard it is to keep calm when your color puts a target on your back or the top of your head, as in the case of Michael Brown.

I remember what it took to get us to this point, but we are still so far from the goal. I am not sure how long it will take, but right now the GOP is working actively in the opposite direction. I don’t care how much you think your vote doesn’t matter, you must vote because they will continue doing anything in their power to deny as many people as possible the right to vote.

We saw the opposite of the president’s take on violent reaction a couple of days ago from what I have as a “representative” in DC, and he won’t be there long, but his replacement has the exact same attitude. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, was interviewed on Capital Download with a response to the president trying to do what all the Congressional Christians have said should be done and that is “keep families together.”

Ronald Reagan did almost exactly what President Obama did this week, except for one major point – Reagan included amnesty. “Amnesty,” the dirtiest word in the GOP’s already dirty and and hate-filled minds, was used by Reagan and George H.W. Bush and they had no problem with it because … ?

Beats me, I don’t know, because Obama has prosecuted and sent back so many illegals he lost votes over it.

Sen. Coburn said: “The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation. You’re going to see – hopefully not – but you could see instances of anarchy. … You could see violence.”

Coburn is not condemning violence in this statement. He is not saying what the president said last night. He is saying he “hopes it doesn’t happen” – but if it does he will understand.

The reason people think what the president is doing is outside the authority of the office is because people, like Coburn, who did not condemn Reagan or Bush are telling them that it is – but just for this president of color. Obama is half white, but only 1/16 makes you black.

Coburn says he has had a personal relationship with President Obama and he is “someone who … sticks to his principles.” President Obama needs to mark Coburn off his friends’ list, because he is not a friend. Friends don’t tell people to arm themselves because his friend is out to take their guns when he knows he isn’t advocating that. Friends do not publically lie like a bedsheet about their friends.

Coburn sticks so close to his own principles that he helped create nearly 600 clouture votes. Coburn is what could be called a “bully’s bully.” The man did everything he could to block aid for Sandy victims and the victims of the F-5s in Oklahoma. Heaven forbid asking anyone who can actually afford to pay more to pay more. His friends need all the money they can get to get people elected, but not one penny will help any of them stuff camels through the eyes of needles.

“Instead of having the rule of law … in our country today, now we’re starting to have the rule of rulers, and that’s the total antithesis of what this country was founded on,” Coburn says. “Here’s how people think: Well, if the law doesn’t apply to the president … then why should it apply to me?”

And he is one who thinks that way and he has no problem with nearly 600 cloture votes to prove it is Coburn’s way or the highway, even if Coburn was elected by a lot fewer votes and represents a lot fewer people than the president. But he has, on numerous occasions, stopped any kind of vote or action he has chosen and he can do it all by himself and he can do it in secret. Coburn doesn’t have to justify his actions and he doesn’t have to answer to anyone and he isn’t called Dr. No because he is a compromiser.

“If I were in his office, I’d say, if you want to have a successful second term, dig down, swallow your pride, get what you can get, compromise on everything you can for the best interests of the country,” Coburn says. “Bring us back together.”

Hearing Dr. No suggest that anyone swallow their pride and do something for the good of the country is like the height of hypocrisy. Coburn has been in office because of 1,760,114 votes total – three House and two Senate terms from a state with one of the lowest turnout percentages in the country. It is astounding that on numerous occasions 1.7 million votes from rightwing Okies can trump the 135,414,312 votes in two elections that President Obama received.

It is possible to check on the president’s supposed abuse of power. The rightwing screamed all over the Internet that the president had signed 923 executive orders in 40 months – a complete lie that, as far as I know, not one Republican has disputed even though it is on the public record that he has signed 193 compared to Reagan’s 381. President Obama has vetoed two bills.

According to Coburn, “Regardless of what the president thinks the law ought to be, our Constitution dictates that Congress makes the law; it is the president’s duty to faithfully execute those laws. If the president takes an executive action that violates his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the immigration laws passed by Congress, we will take action to hold him accountable.”

I wish it were possible to find out how many times Coburn, all by himself, has prevented a majority vote in the Senate from creating a law. According to the Constitution a majority of 100 is 51, but too many times Coburn, all by himself, has forced it to be 60.

We can’t know how many times Coburn has contributed to the nearly 600 cloture votes since Obama has been office, but besides blocking the passage of laws, he blocks nominees.

In his last election 716,347 Okies put Coburn in office [2010] and 65,915,796 U.S. citizens in 50 states and territories put Obama in office in 2012. Yet Coburn, all by himself, gets to have the upper hand? He gets as many pre-emptive vetoes as he likes and only Okies get any control at all because he is not on the ballot in any other state.

This is the same guy, an OB-GYN, who considered Schindler’s List too sexy for TV, claimed lesbians are so abundant in southeastern Oklahoma that girls were only permitted to go to the school restroom one at a time, and DC can’t decide to use tax money to pay for birth control for poor women because some forms of birth control can cause spontaneous abortions or miscarriages as they used to be called in the old days.

I have always wanted to ask if he has ever prescribed any of those types of birth control methods.

Be prepared – the guy taking Coburn’s seat used to run the Baptist youth camp and was elected by even fewer Okies. I predict he will be every bit the bully Coburn is with a lot less education and even more sanctimonious, judgmental self-righteousness.

Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a frequent 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.