TLO’s most sincere and heartfelt thoughts go out to the friends, family and worshippers of former Oklahoma US Senator Dr. Tom Coburn. He passed away over the weekend due to complications from prostate cancer, and / or after learning the US government passed a $2-trillion stimulus spending package.
Back in 2014, I wrote a lengthy, semi-prophetic article about Tom Coburn stepping down from the US Senate, and the men who wanted to replace him. My thoughts about him then mirror my thoughts about him now:
Out of our two US Senators, Coburn was always the lesser of two evils. Unlike Inhofe, you never thought he was simply acting in the best interests of oil companies or defense contractors. You could always trust he would stay true to his ultra-conservative principles and values, play the role of activist obstructionist, and vote “No” for just about every bill that came his way. Also, where Inhofe seems to get crazier and crazier each year he serves, Coburn did the opposite. He became more open-minded, reasonable and rational towards the end of his term. Sometimes he even made sense.
Naturally, we’ve written a lot about Tom Coburn over the years. Most of them were critical. In our last piece about him, we tore Dr. No a new one after he encouraged our state lawmakers to not fund Oklahoma government:
According to The Oklahoman, Dr. Coburn penned a letter to Mary Fallin and other legislative leaders this week encouraging them to not raise revenue to fund our failing government. I guess it’s part of his plan to make sure that Oklahoma cements its status as our nation’s number one dystopian red dirt shithole.
But not every article was critical of the Libertarian meets Theocrat from Muskogee. For example, I thought he did a great job that time he was on The Daily Show, back when it was still must-watch satire:
Tom Coburn has always been the least crazy of our two well-known US Senators. Granted, that’s kind of like being the least creepy Mathis Brother, but it should count for something.
Anyway, Senator Coburn appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night and would you believe it, he didn’t say anything embarrassing.
There was also the time made he made me reconsider, at least for a moment, my views on government surveillance:
Say what you want about Tom Coburn and some of his policies, but he’s much closer to being a libertarian than you and I will probably ever be. He hates the Federal Government, can go against the grain and isn’t afraid to speak his opinion. If he thought the government violated our rights, he’d say so.
My favorite TLO article about Tom Coburn was published in October of 2011. Apparently, Tom Coburn watched an episode of “Taboo” about a man who lived his life as an “adult baby,” and collected $860 a month in federal disability benefits.
Coburn had the guy investigated to see if the disability claims were legit, and the government concluded that they were. The man-baby then screamed and cried for an apology:
The odds of Tom Coburn apologizing to a grown man who sucks on pacifiers and pees in diapers and are about as high Senator Jim Inhofe apologizing to 98% of the world’s scientist who believe in that silly myth called
the Old Testamentglobal warming. That being said, I think our Junior Senator should suck it up and apologize to man.
He basically accused Thornton of disability fraud. This led to a costly investigation by three agencies which ultimately cleared Thornton of any wrongdoing. If I was a cleared of a crime I didn’t commit, I’d probably expect an apology. Nothing wrong with that, right?
Although I disagreed with Tom on most issues, we did have some things in common. For example, we both had unhealthy obsessions with lesbians, albeit for different reasons:
“You know, Josh Brecheen is our rep down here in the southeast area. He lives in Colgate and travels out of Atoka. He was telling me lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they’ll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it. Think about that issue. How is it that that’s happened to us?”‘
For the record, whether straight or on the LGBTQI spectrum, I’ve never had a problem with multiple people going to the bathroom at the same time.
Anyway, we’d like to once again send our most sincerest sympathies to all of Dr. Coburn’s friends, family and colleagues. He was an Oklahoma conservative icon, and for many people, will be missed. RIP.