I never knew much about former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn. The few things I had read in years gone by led me to believe that the Republican was kind of a middle-of-the-road guy. Not conservative, but not full on establishment. This is no longer my position.
ThinkProgress, as we know, is about as far left as one can get without falling off the edge of the earth. I usually glance at their site just to see what the extremist extreme left is up to, but then I saw this title: “Former GOP Senator Trashes Party Presidential Field: ‘Scares Me to Death,’ ‘Not Ready for Prime Time.’”
Okay, that intrigued me enough to read on, only to find that the GOP Senator is the aforementioned Coburn.
Back in 2011, the New York Times wrote that “Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma was a Tea Partier long before the movement even had a name, the family physician who came to Washington to hammer on Democrats and Republicans alike. His years of bill blocking earned him the nickname Dr. No.”
Now fast-forward to 2015 and MSNBC quoting Coburn as saying: “I think Hillary’s experience would make her a very effective president, I think, if she were to win. First of all, she’s been on the inside of politics for a long time, so she knows the inside game inside and out. She also knows the relationship game. Her husband was great at it.”
They also wrote that “Coburn was friendly with Obama in the Senate and said he was ‘proud’ the country elected its first black president in 2008.”
So I stand corrected about the whole middle-of-the-road Republican thing, for it seems Coburn has gone over to the dark side, although it seems he’s been flirting with it for quite a few years.
ThinkProgress writes that during an interview with Andrew Wilkow last week “Coburn trashed nearly every GOPer running for president, calling them ‘not ready for prime time,’ lacking ‘integrity’ not ‘capable,’ and saying he wouldn’t support one of them even if he won the nomination.”
Of Rand Paul, Coburn said he “Scares me to death on international foreign policy. Know him well, very smart. Think he was totally wrong on NSA. Would not vote for him for president.”
Regarding Scott Walker: “not ready for prime time, in my opinion. You look at what happened in Wisconsin in terms of him beating the recall and everything else, he didn’t do that. The Republicans around the country did it for him.” (It will take these Republicans “around the country” to get someone like Walker elected. Also, Republicans “around the country” didn’t vote in Wisconsin, at least not for a Republican.)
That sounded just like Obama and his “You didn’t build that,” exclamation. What the heck happened to this guy? And of course we Republicans helped. What’s wrong with helping a fellow conservative who is being viciously attacked by every leftist group in America? Why shouldn’t others come to his aid?
Of Ted Cruz, Coburn said simply: “Not ready for prime time.”
Rick Perry: “[G]ood guy. I don’t think he’s capable at that level.” Yes, he can be the chief executive of a humongous state, but he’s not capable at the federal level.” Sure.
Okay, are we getting the picture? Now what’s his opinion of the progressive Republicans conservatives would never vote for?
Of Mike Huckabee, Coburn said: “Possibility. Good guy, well-rounded. Could fit in the middle and could attract votes from both sides.”
And although he doesn’t say it, I’m sure he likes Jeb Bush but states: “I don’t think America will elect another Bush. I talked to a lot of liberals all the time. They still loathe George Bush.”
Well, considering where he’s coming down on all the candidates, I guess I’m no longer surprised that Tom speaks to liberals all the time.
And finally, the worst of the worst Republican candidates, Lindsey Graham. Coburn says: “Love him, but he’s right in the middle, so I don’t see how he builds a coalition.” Lindsey Graham is right in the middle. Really? Maybe in the middle of left field.
So what’s the deal? Why is Republican Coburn trashing all our best candidates? Even ThinkProgress seemed surprised as they wrote: “Regardless of their actual feelings, politicians tend to praise their colleagues in public as a matter of decorum, especially those in the same political party.”
So is Coburn looking for a job in a Clinton administration? It sure appears that way. Is he that desperate to get back to Washington that he’ll sell his soul to the Clintons, figuring Hillary has the best shot?
Frankly, I have no idea. I’m not sure which is more odd — Coburn’s behavior or me quoting the New York Times, MSNBC, and ThinkProgress.