Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Shut Up, Senator Coburn

In the first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts yesterday, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn almost burst into tears in his opening statement, while mourning the divided state of our country.

"When I ponder our country and its greatness, its weaknesses, its potential, my heart aches for less divisiveness, less polarization, less finger-pointing, less bitterness, less mindless partisanship which, at times, sounds almost hateful to the ear of Americans," said the Republican Senator, his voice choked with emotion.

I'm sure you'll all forgive me for not rushing to give Senator Coburn a hug, but I'm much more inclined to tell the sniveling hypocrite to just shut the hell up.

Republicans like Coburn would love to have us forget that it was they who stooped to record lows to keep Bill Clinton from getting elected in 1992 and, when they didn't succeed at that, they spent the following eight years making his life a political hell.

This is the same Republican party that smeared the patriotism of Max Cleland, a triple-amputee, Vietnam Veteran so they could get Chickenhawk Supreme Saxby Chambliss elected in his place. Senator Coburn's party also spread a litany of lies about Al Gore in 2000, disenfranchised 50 million people who voted for Gore and stole that presidential election.

It was also this Republican party that funded the Swift Boat Liars who went after highly-decorated Veteran John Kerry in 2004, who lied to take our nation to war in Iraq and who have been systematically covering up Karl Rove's outing of a covert CIA agent. Now, we are just beginning to figure out how many people have needlessly died in Louisiana and Mississippi because Coburn and his neoconservative colleagues successfully cut funding to repair levees in favor of further tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Until Air America came on last year, the Republican party had been able to mercilessly dominate the national dialog via the radio airwaves – not to mention having their own news network in Fox News -- and even provided a White House press pass to a right-wing, prostitute from a non-existent news service to throw softball questions at Scott McClellan.

If Senator Coburn wants to whine about the partisan divisiveness in our country, he should stop crying about it in public and take a walk over to the Republican National Committee so he can complain right at the source.

And Senator Coburn personally? Well, let's just say that he thinks gay people are the focus of evil in our society. "The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power," Coburn once warned ominously. "That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda."

So to see Coburn – or any Republican, for that matter – starting the waterworks in a public venue and lamenting the lack of civility in our public discourse, makes me want to laugh almost as much as it makes me want to sock him in the nose.

Democrats reached their hands across the aisle to Republicans for a very long time before finally getting a clue that, when they weren't being laughed at behind their backs, those hands were being bitten almost every time. Given that Coburn's Republicans are allegedly the party of personal responsibility, he should quit his crying and accept responsibility for the situation they have created.