Republicans. And Oklahoma

[My dear friend Peter Mark, Wesleyan University Professor, has just sent the following remarks to The New York Times, minus the passage on the Oklahoma representatives. I am honored to post them in this little space of mine. My heart is out to the many great people I have met in my short time in Norman, after the devastating tornado. MV]
20.10.2012, Berlin,Bundestag SPD Veranstaltung Europäisches IndustrieforumNate Silver, the reliable Democratic statistician, writes today that in spite ofsupposed “scandals,” Obama’s approval rating remains relatively high (49%-51%). Historical perspective may add another insight: the last Democratic President to be reelected also faced a “scandal” during his second term; Bill Clinton’s poll numbers also remained high, even during the Republican-generated impeachment hearings. In both instances, CongressionalRepublicans sought to thwart a 2nd-term Democrat from pushing through his legislative agenda by putting him (Clinton then; Obama now) on the defensive. The politically-motivated reappearance of the Benghazi issue, and the effort to blame the IRS situation on the White House, are both  efforts to thwart a 2nd term progressive agenda while also playing to the Republicans’ own far-Right base. It appears that outside of that Tea Party base, the public sees through this politically manufactured “scandal.”


And now, regarding federal disaster aid for Oklahoma we have this:

Don’t you love the Republicans. One Oklahoma Senator asks for 11 Billion 

20.10.2012, Berlin,Bundestag SPD Veranstaltung Europäisches Industrieforumdollars in federal disaster assistance, but calls for the money to come from cuts to some other, already budgeted funds. In other words: “Help me, at the expense of Americans who live somewhere outside of my circumscription.” The other Okla. Senator, who is the lead Senate dinosaur still denying the fact of human-engendered climate change — it was a huge tornado we are talking about — says that aid to Oklahoma is different from aid to New Jersey. He is right:”That was them; this is me.”

What ever happened to “Love thy neighbor”?

“The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small.”


  1. ButterSugarFlowers

    My sister also lived in OK for a few years awhile back. She pointed out that the state tends to vote against taxes and against education funding, so here is a state in tornado alley where only a handful of the public schools have tornado shelters. (It seems like that should be illegal!) This makes the recent disaster both incredibly sad and very frustrating.

  2. maurizio vito

    Exactly. Then again, in a film titled “Red State” I saw a while ago you could see ex-Walmart employees talking about how bad were the unions, and yet unable to figure out why they were laid off and helpless about how to protect their own rights. You make your own bed…


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