To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Observercast

Women Have Karens. Us Weaker Sex Are Thankful For Kevins.

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Especially us Democrats and, specifically, for Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, Congressional Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Oklahoma County Commissioner Kevin Calvey. Without these three, the odds of gaining ground by us donkeys on the elephant herd would be even more challenging.

Rarely have I seen three different “public servants” with the same first name do so much damage, all at the same, to the constituents that elected them.

Statistics don’t lie so let’s start with the top dog in Oklahoma, our one-term governor, to see who is still saluting his less than stellar performances over the last three years.

1- Recently I have been searching around for whatever passes these days as Gov. Stitt’s political base. First, I checked with the medical types who often cast their ballots for the Repubs, usually based on tax issues. Well all 16 professional medical groups that are represented at the state Capitol can’t stand the guy because he has sold his soul to the insurance companies over the issue of managed care. He’s zero for 16 … not a good start.

2- Educators? Never. Even before he announced his opposition to the 2018 tax package that gave them their first pay raise in a decade, classroom teachers were wary of Stitt due to his devotion to private schools while he homeschooled his own half dozen. The fact that mortgage magnate Stitt didn’t bother to vote very often probably didn’t engender much confidence from them as well. He hasn’t disappointed. Without a question he is the most anti-public education governor in the history of Oklahoma, with the exception of maybe Alfalfa Bill Murray who only wanted, by comparison, to close most colleges and universities.

3- Native Americans. Comprising nearly 10% of our state’s population, members of our 38 federally recognized tribes have been treated as second-class citizens from the get-go by the Stitt Administration. He has sued them over multiple issues, ranging from gaming to criminal justice, and has yet to win a case. And Native Americans with long memories thought President Andrew Jackson was bad …

4- At least 200,000 low income, working folks and uninsured children have been denied health insurance due to Stitt’s opposition to Medicaid expansion and I can’t imagine why a single one of these struggling Okies would mark the ballot for Gov. Scrooge.

Now it is true that some legislators still like him but come election time in June 2022 they may have their hands full in their own races. Also it didn’t help his case with them when he said they had thrown in with that old socialist Joe Biden in opposing Stitt’s insurance scheme.

Next up Kevin No. 2 comes to us directly from the largest mental health facility in America. That would be the United States Congress and specifically the Republican House Caucus. The Kevin in this case is, of course, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California who, in the name of expanding his base, will orchestra the removal of his colleague, Liz Chaney, from her No. 3 spot in the lineup. She is being punished by a large majority of her colleagues for, get this, telling the truth about the 2020 presidential election. In other words, Biden won, Trump lost. Our five House members – Lucas, Cole, Mullin, Hern and Bice – may vote to remove her but we’ll never know. It’s by secret ballot, never to be revealed to Chaney nor us, the American people. There’s democracy at work for you.

And finally where would we Democrats be without our local Looney Tune jailer down at the courthouse, County Commissioner Kevin Calvey, an interesting duck I’ve known for over 20 years. Space does not allow me the flexibility to opine on his service in the Legislature. Suffice it to say he threatened once to light himself on fire in front of the Oklahoma Supreme Court Building over a ruling concerning the national issue of abortion. If you know how the Oklahoma County Jail Trust conducts itself, that’s all you need to know about how my No. 3 Kevin operates.

Dictatorial, domineering and arrogant are the kindest words that come to mind when thinking of his work so far on behalf of county residents, but he’s especially well known by the involuntary occupants of our death trap, the county jail. Over the years dozens have died there, including one recently who was killed by his cellmate, a man brought there by the police after he was arrested for throwing rocks off a bridge in northwest OKC. The attending mental health professionals urged police to treat him for that obvious disease but they refused and the outcome was then all but predictable. Within hours the unstable new resident of the 10th floor had managed to do that which most professionals would never have allowed: Mixing in the general population.

Where is he now? Awaiting execution in McAlester.

P.S. I’m not at the Choctaw casino. Don’t know where that came from.

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