Oklahoma Senators James Inhofe and Tom Coburn are shining examples of the shameless hypocrisy that so many Republican politicians exhibit. They can look into the TV camera and say the most contradictory things without blinking or fidgeting. They must think that their listeners are idiots.
In her column today, Salon.com editor at large Joan Walsh takes the pair to task for their slippery positions on federal aid. Inhofe insists his state deserves unconditional help from Washington in the wake of Monday’s disaster, even though he vehemently argued against aid to Hurricane Sandy victims. Coburn argues that Oklahoma’s disaster relief should be “offset” by budget cuts in the ongoing “sequester.”
Ms. Walsh wonders what cuts Coburn has in mind. Would he like to see “more kids thrown out of Head Start? More seniors losing Meals on Wheels?”
Of course he would. That’s exactly what Republicans want – destruction of the country’s social safety net and “survival of the fittest.” Unless, of course, it’s their own – or their supporters’ – interests that are involved. Then roll out the federal pork barrel.
The Republican dominated House is already slashing food stamps, school lunches and every other form of help for America’s poor. And they’re obviously not done yet.
Ms. Walsh points out:
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.
Fortunately, President Obama is paying no attention to these outrageous arguments. He views the people of Oklahoma not as Republicans or Democrats but as Americans – Americans in need. And in the way we used to expect of Americans, he has come to their aid. No offsets. No conditions. No whining about cuts to federal aid programs – cuts that included a billion dollars from the FEMA budget, cuts the Republicans insisted on.
The tornado victims desperately need help, and the president vows they will get all the help they need.
This is America, after all. In America, we’re there for each other. And it doesn’t matter whether we live in a blue state or a red state. Not to Barack Obama, anyway.