BY RICHARD L. FRICKER
As the first decade of the new millennium fades with the next few rotations of the home planet there remains a bit of housekeeping to attend to. Namely, Sen. James M. Inhofe, climate change and healthcare reform need to be addressed one last time before single digits become the teens.
Back in September Sen. Inhofe pledged to reporter Robert Costa to take a “Truth Squad” of legislators to the United Nations Copenhagen convention on climate change. Global warming is a hoax according to SenJim. It is, he says, the greatest hoax ever, surpassing the Iraq-Al Qaeda connection, the Saddam missile myth, or the secret nuclear plants in the Iraqi desert – all of which SenJim believed.
He also wanted it known that passage of a cap and trade bill would be nearly impossible in the Senate this year. The latter point may have merit, but not from any insight Inhofe provided; rather, health care has left senators exhausted and political capital expended, a natural legislative occurrence.
A few weeks ago the senior senator from Oklahoma backed off on his Copenhagen pledge, saying he needed to be present to vote against healthcare reform, a bill he claims he need not read to be against. Thus the nearly 100 heads of state gathering in Dane-land would be deprived of the senator’s wisdom, or not.
As senators bargained and beguiled for a final bill Inhofe, and a couple of aides mounted their chargers – actually they flew commercial, no mention of who paid for the tickets, for the nine-hour flight to Copenhagen. The results were less than stellar.
The senator arrived with only one reporter present. They headed for the convention hall, only to be met with a wall of apathy sprinkled with confusion. Few, if any, of international reporters had ever heard of Sen. James Mountain Inhofe of Oklahoma.
The flight bringing the bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation was a few hours behind the senator. He had not been invited to represent his government.
After aides managed to roundup a few idle reporters the senator mounted the landing between flights of stairs to deliver his tirade on global warming. He told the assembled that climate change is a hoax originated in the U.N. and supported by the Hollywood elite.
After a few confused questions about the Hollywood elite a reporter from the German magazine Der Spiegel said, “You’re ridiculous.“ So much for Oklahoma enlightenment. Inhofe left as hurriedly as he had arrived.
As life and politics would have the world, junior Sen. Tom Coburn encouraged his followers and minions to pray that not all the Democrats would make it through the snow to the Senate floor for the late-night vote on healthcare reform. It was implied that he was speaking of 92-year-old Sen. Robert Byrd.
Byrd made it to the vote, the bill passed. Then everyone noticed that one senator, in fact, did not make it to the floor, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. Oops!
Coburn’s deity provided the bad weather. But, did the prayers ricochet? Or, was the deity telling Coburn to keep his mouth shut? We’ll have to wait until Coburn’s next load of theological entreaties to see if he has the holy cosmic connect he would have others believe.
Back to Inhofe, the spectacle of Inhofe standing atop a flight of stairs to address the international press conjures the 1950 noir film Sunset Boulevard. Norma Desmond [Gloria Swanson] stands, like Inhofe, atop a flight of stairs. The delusional Desmond thinks the cameras and reporters are there for her new, non-existent film, not because she’s just pumped three slugs into her boyfriend and left the body in the pool.
Ridiculed and dismissed, Inhofe, like the delusional Desmond, descends the stairs for the flight home thinking he has delivered a message to the world. Desmond descends her stairs to embrace the cameras, saying, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”
Costa asked Inhofe who would join him on his European crusade. Inhofe replied, “I’ll see who’s willing to come.” The answer from Copenhagen? No one!
Fade to black.
– Richard L. Fricker lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer