To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, April 12, 2021

Observercast

Sullivan’s Tin-Foil-Hat World

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BY KENNY BELFORD

Last Friday in Tulsa, U.S. Rep. John Sullivan said that the nation’s big problems can’t be solved without bipartisanship. He’s correct. It’s unfortunate he lacks the intellectual capacity to understand the words in the speech someone wrote for him. After expressing that lofty statement he went on the attack.

According to the story published in the Tulsa World, “Sullivan opened his remarks to the Tulsa Republican Club by questioning Obama’s nationality and alluding to an ‘enemies list’ being compiled from e-mails critical of the administration’s health care reform proposal. He spent most of the next 40 minutes attacking the president on matters ranging from energy to management. ‘This is a scary time in Washington,’ he said. ‘It’s a very frightening time. I see Barack Obama is creating an enemies list of people who oppose this miserable health care plan. I think that’s frightening. That’s from a guy that can’t even show a long-form birth certificate. I think we all ought to be prepared to fight that.’ Sullivan finished, though, by saying: ‘Everyone demonizes the other side. We need to all sit down and focus on these vital issues. That’s the only way we can address these very, very tough issues.'”

He started and ended his speech with a remark about bipartisanship, yet his entire theme was divisiveness, smears and lies.

It’s a lie that Obama has started an “enemies list.” There’s not one shred of truth to that claim. Sullivan made up that lie based on a request from the White House to Americans that receive distorted e-mails about health care reform to forward them so they can be debunked. It’s the Republicans that are writing these bogus e-mails claiming the health care reform will kill senior citizens, deny coverage, deny an ability to select doctors, even establishing a “death panel,” etc. That’s not new. Republicans sent out volumes of lies about Obama during the election and his campaign established a website to debunk the lies. This is the same concept. Apparently Sullivan takes offense at having Republican lies debunked so he creates another lie claiming it’s establishing an “enemies list.” Maybe if he and his fellow Republicans would quit lying so much there wouldn’t be a need for this concept.

Then Sullivan made a play to impress the Republican “birther” faction with his remark about Obama’s birth certificate. When the wingnuts tried to get the matter before the U.S. Supreme Court, it was immediately dismissed for lack of merit. The state of Hawaii, including the Republican Governor, has repeatedly certified that Obama was born there. There are even microfilm copies of the birth announcement published at the time in two different Hawaiian newspapers. Only the tin-foil hat crowd wants to continue this absurd issue.

John Sullivan must be a member in good standing.

But on the subject of furnishing documentation, I have a suggestion. We know Sullivan has a drinking problem. We know he took a leave of absence, continued to draw his salary, and flew off to Palm Springs, CA to dry out at the Betty Ford Clinic. What we don’t know, because Sullivan hasn’t furnished us with this information, is any official data about his current level of sobriety. I think we all have a right to know if he’s relapsing.

Why hasn’t Sullivan furnished us with the results of a daily blood screening showing he’s sober? How else can we know if our representative is sober enough to continue performing his elected responsibilities? Why has he not furnished this vital information to his constituents? He’s also never addressed whether he was – or is – an abuser of other drugs. Why hasn’t he performed a urinalysis and released the results? All these railings and rants from a man that can’t even show he’s lucid enough to perform his job. I think we ought to be prepared to fight that.

Sullivan, in referring to health care reform, called it a “miserable health care plan.” He has a virtually identical plan, administered by the government. Why hasn’t he opted out if it’s so terrible? Surely he doesn’t want us to think he’s just playing partisan politics and is really just a Republican hypocrite. After all, he’s the one that said we should all practice bipartisanship. Sullivan probably used his government health care insurance plan to pay for his drying out at the Betty Ford Clinic. It’s only a “miserable plan” if we might have a chance to participate in it, but apparently it’s not such a “miserable plan” when Sullivan is feeding at the trough.

At least Sullivan gave us a great example of his version of bipartisanship in actual practice. I think we need a better teacher.

Kenny Belford lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

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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.