Friday, July 25, 2008

With McCain Never Around Anymore, The Least Liked Senator Is Tom Coburn (R-OK)


Courtesy of Photo Tune

Last night a supposed Republican staffer left a comment on a post from a couple days ago about Tom Coburn's reputation as a clown and a gadfly.
I work on the Hill and I know plenty of Republican senators and everyone has the utmost respect and admiration for Senator Tom Coburn. He's considered a hero in Republican circles. Where do you get these crazy notions? When he stops a bill its for good reason and the whole caucus rallies around him.

It may have come from one of Tom Coburn's relatives. It sure didn't come from any staffer, at least not from one with any knowledge of the U.S. Senate. For example, among the bills that Coburn is holding up now, are a wide array of universally supported pieces of legislation by his Republican colleagues. Here, courtesy of Josh Orton at MyDD:
Senator Thad Cochran - introduced - Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act (S. 999/HR 477)

Sen. Christopher S. Bond - introduced - Vision Care for Kids Act (HR 507/S. 1117)

Sen. Sam Brownback- introduced- Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act (S. 1810/HR 3112)

Sen Domenici, Pete V - introduced - Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Reauthorization and Improvement Act (S. 2304/HR 3992)

Sen Vitter, David - introduced - Enhancing the Effective Prosecution of Child Pornography (S. 2869/HR 4136)

Sen Lugar, Richard G. - introduced - Reconstruction and Stabilization Civilian Management Act (HR 1084/S. 613)

Sen Coleman, Norm - introduced - Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act (HR 1678/S. 840)

Sen Stevens, Ted - introduced - Ocean Exploration, Mapping & Research (HR 1834/HR 2400/S. 39)

Sen Snowe, Olympia J. - introduced - Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act (S. 950/HR 2342)

Sen Voinovich, George V. - introduced - Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 2008 (S. 496)

Several of these Republicans are in dire shape electorally and are desperate to show their constituents back home that they are getting something done instead of just obstructing the work of the Senate. Coleman, Cochran and Stevens have lost patience with Coburn's antics. And David Diapers Vitter knows that if he doesn't get some anti-porn legislation passed his affairs with a string of call girls is never going to be excised from the minds of Louisiana voters. But Coburn-- for no logical reason, is blocking every one of those bills. And harry Reid is bringing them all to the floor-- there are 35 of them-- as the Coburn Omnibus.

One has to wonder how some of the Republican incumbents staring at polls that show them losing in November, especially inveterate rubber stamps like Gordon Smith (OR), Ted Stevens (AK), John Sununu (NH), and Norm Coleman (MN), are going to respond to legislation protecting children from porn and blindness. And next week, we'll find out. Meanwhile, pray.

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