U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn has been in Oklahoma recently terrifying what he calls his “petrified” constituents.
This is because, well, among other things, “She (U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan) is scary. She believes precedent trumps original intent. That really scares me. That says our wisdom is so much greater now that we don’t have to pay attention to the founders.” These remarks (“Americans are petrified about their future,” July 11, 2010) were given to The Oklahoman editorial board recently. The board serves as a de facto propaganda ministry for Coburn.
So, in essence, Coburn meets with his constituents in town hall meetings, scares them with right-wing anti-Obama hysteria and fear mongering-“that really scares me”-and then tells the media how scared everyone has become. Now that’s a political trick to be scared about.
Coburn told The Oklahoman:
The emotion in the country is really interesting. You hear a lot of people talk about anger. It’s not anger. It’s absolute fear. People are petrified about the future about everything from health care to judicial nominees.
Are conservative people really “petrified” here about judicial nominees given recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions supporting the Republican agenda from gun laws to allowing corporations more influence in the political system?
Note this be-scared press release about a supposed report issued by Coburn and fellow right-winger U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) on the new health care reform initiative. What the senators claimed is that illegal immigrants will receive free care while citizens pay high premiums or a tax. Scary stuff. Of course, this is a distortion. The new health care law specifically excludes illegal immigrants. Coburn and Barrasso deceptively conflated the new law with current emergency room polices at hospitals. Scary stuff this distortion.
How about the below “get-scared” statement from Coburn about a failed vote to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions without specific legislation passed by Congress? Coburn said:
It’s no wonder the American people have lost faith in government when we take dramatic action to combat phony emergencies while ignoring true emergencies. While welfare systems around the world are collapsing under the weight of crushing debt, a significant bloc of American leaders is more interested in pandering to Hollywood actors and producers.
My gosh, welfare systems-what does he even mean here?-seem to be, well, collapsing, and those Hollywood actors and producers are scary, scary people. Are you scared? Run for your lives. Avoid movie theaters.
Coburn’s current modus operandi is to scare people with distortions and GOP talking points into not voting for Democrats in the 2010 election. It may well be that some people are “petrified” because of the recent downturn in the economy-manufactured by Republican market fundamentalism ideology-but Coburn’s antics are pure political manipulation.
Then we have this statement Coburn gave to The Oklahoman editorial board about “defining success in Iraq”:
If you measure success on taking down a dictator and re-establishing a semblance of democracy if it actually progresses and functions, then from that standpoint, yes. If you measure it from the lives lost and what we accomplished and what we spent, I don’t think so.
So Coburn has finally admitted that the Iraq occupation is a bust when measured appropriately, but he wants to bring back into the power the supposed ascendant GOP, which started the failed military action based on lies and deceit in 2003. A new Tea Party-loving GOP back in power in Congress after the 2010 elections? That’s what should make people petrified.