Obama seeks bipartisan accomodation with Republican Sen. Coburn
by hwc, Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 08:55:40 PM EDT
Barack Obama today listed three Republican Senators he is especially eager to work with as a bi-partisan President, including Obama's good friend Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. Here are some of Coburn's political views that Obama presumably thinks he can accommodate in the spirit of bi-partisanship, from an article in Salon:
For Coburn, the imminent danger facing America is apparently not terrorism but the "gay agenda." His thumping about this menace within contributed to the pressure that led to Bush's endorsement of a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage. At a Republican meeting this spring, Coburn warned: "The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power ... That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda."
As far right as Coburn is on fiscal issues, he is even farther right on social issues. "I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life," he told the Associated Press in July. Last week, he told the Hugo [Okla.] Daily News: "We need someone who will speak morally on the issues and not run from the criticism of the national press ... We need to have moral clarity about our leaders. I have a 100 percent pro-life record. I don't apologize for saying we need to protect the unborn. Do you realize that if all those children had not been aborted, we wouldn't have any trouble with Medicare and Social Security today? That's another 41 million people."
A year later, Coburn gained a moment of national attention when he condemned NBC for televising the Academy Award-winning movie on the Holocaust "Schindler's List." According to Coburn, the film encouraged "irresponsible sexual behavior," and he called for outrage against the network from "parents and decent-minded individuals everywhere." He added, "I cringe when I realize that there were children all across this nation watching this program." Even conservative avatar William Bennett felt compelled to rebuke him: "These are very unfortunate and foolish comments."
In 1999, after the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, Coburn opposed President Clinton's proposal for making adults liable if they allow their children to buy guns and harm others. "If I wanted to buy a bazooka to use in a very restricted way, to do something, I ought to be able to do that," said Coburn.
I wonder what elements of the progressive agenda Obama plans to achieve working with Senator Coburn in the spirit of bi-partisan compromise?