“It is crass for critics to play disaster aid politics when first
responders are pulling victims from the rubble,” his office said in a
memo to reporters.
Wait, you’re holding potential
disaster relief for your own constituents hostage to budget cuts and
your critics are playing “disaster politics”? Really? The person making
the conditional demands is the one playing politics, because they’re
using the disaster as leverage. I’m really hoping this statement’s the
most bass-ackward thing I read today, because anything worse may
actually cause brain damage.
His office explains his hostage-taking.
“Dr. Coburn has opposed disaster aid bills in the past because he
believes disaster funding should be used to pay for disasters, not a
wish-list of parochial or backlogged priorities that have nothing to do
with helping victims,” his office said. “If an additional emergency aid
package is necessary Dr. Coburn will not change his long-standing
position on offsets.”
Of course, this is complete BS. Coburn
has pulled this hostage-taking before and when his demands weren’t met,
he went ahead and shot the hostage. Of course, you can’t come right out
and say that without seeming like a villain, so he makes up excuses. But
his demands are villainous.
“Especially in the wake of the
sequester cuts, the notion that the federal budget is larded with easily
eliminated spending is ludicrous,” writes Joan Walsh at Salon.
“Would Coburn like to see more kids thrown out of Head Start? More
seniors losing Meals on Wheels? The federal deficit is shrinking faster
than at any time since just after World War II, but Coburn is going to
insist that someone, somewhere, must lose their federal help so Oklahoma
can get it instead.”
And what exactly does Coburn — and the
rest of the GOP, for that matter — have against taxpayer money going
back to the taxpayer? That’s what all of their cuts are about, whether
it’s disaster relief or Medicare. This is money that you and I pay in
and Republicans seem to believe it should all just disappear —
preferably into our bloated military and its corporate contractors.
He’s not lashing out like this because he’s getting a ton of praise
for his stance. I went out of my way to try to find defenders. I didn’t
have a lot of luck. He’s trying to turn the criticism around on his
detractors by trying the strategy conservatives so dearly love — playing
the victim card. I doubt anyone will bite.