To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Observercast

‘The Weak Get Beat’

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Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying that way back in the late 1990s, shortly after Boris Yeltsin named him as his successor. Although Putin today is known as the greatest threat to the survival of the world, he fooled many people and presidents for decades. George W. Bush said he had “looked in his eyes” and saw a man he could trust; Obama also underestimated Putin’s evilness and, of course, Donald Trump thought Putin was the best leader in the world, other than himself.

Putin’s traits are now being replicated here in Oklahoma by our governor, Kevin Stitt, because he took the words from the position that “the weak get beat” and has driven those who question his administration into the ground or political oblivion.

Read on for the evidence:

  1. Dictators surround themselves with cronies and remove otherwise strong and capable people who are viewed as competition. In Stitt’s case, simply examine the credentials of officials who now have him in hot water. They are almost all graduates of OSU with failed backgrounds in the energy business. The most recent two are Jerry Winchester and Gino DeMarco of the Swadley debacle and the latter also for losing $2 million worth of COVID-19 supplies when he was the state Czar controlling the stuff. Putin? He put his pals from St. Petersburg, his ancestral home, into key and powerful positions in the Kremlin.
  2. Both Putin and Stitt have become very wealthy, or wealthier, in public office by utilizing people who have also gained much during the two leaders’ time in government. In Russia they are called oligarchs. In Oklahoma they are called maximum donors.
  3. Stitt and Putin have made The People’s elected bodies mostly irrelevant … the Legislature in Stitt’s case and the Duma in Putin’s. Can you name anything either has done to stand up to the two dictators? Nope. In Stitt’s case he was given broad appointment power to unilaterally select agency heads and made their boards and/or commissions mere figureheads by passing legislation designating them advisory only.
  4. As an example of No. 3, Stitt is so brazen he takes a guy – DeMarco again – who is under investigation for both administrative and criminal activities and places him on the board that controls most of the spending on medical care in Oklahoma and fires the highly respected doctor he had previously put there. The way Putin does it is different. The person replaced is simply not found again.

5. Funny how the least informed, the least educated, the least knowledgeable people are usually the tyrants’ strongest allies. It holds true in this example. Impoverished rural and isolated Russians adore Putin, though they and their military serving sons suffer disproportionally under his yoke. And in Oklahoma under Stitt? Again, country folks, many poorly educated and often unwell, vote heavily for Stitt even though he has personally led the efforts to close their schools and hospitals and reduce the number of health specialists willing to live outside of Tulsa, Edmond, OKC and Norman. I recognize this paragraph is somewhat general but it is also somewhat generally true.

No need to go further except to say: In Russia, only Putin and oligarchs are truly happy. In Oklahoma, Stitt must be because he wants four more years at the taxpayers’ trough while the main folks excited about that idea are those who have benefitted so dramatically in his first term through either high ranking appointments or direct handouts in lucrative lobbying contracts [for example, Donelle Harder, former DC staffer to Republican bigwigs, has been the recipient of two fat checks thanks to COVID dollars Stitt can unilaterally distribute.] She now, of course, is hard at work on his re-elect effort.

This is the way it works when people who should know better don’t step out, then step up and stop the behavior of people who think they have been elected as God, not governor or president.

The bumper sticker for these two tyrannically driven demigods is identical: “The weak get beat.” Don’t let that be you this coming November. Stand up, speak out, be counted. After all what’s the worst thing that can happen to you here in Bright Red Oklahoma?

That’s right. So get that goof below in the front left seat out of the plane by sending him back to writing questionable mortgages for the unknowing and uncaring. The guy in the right? That’s up to the Russians.

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Cal Hobson
Cal Hobson
Cal Hobson, a Lexington Democrat, served in the Oklahoma Legislature from 1978-2006, including one term as Senate President Pro Tempore.