Senate

Tom Coburn Resigning From Congress, in a Year

Maybe sooner?

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didn't see his shadow
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Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) announced he would be resigning from Congress at the end of the current session, in January 2015. Coburn's term lasts through January 2017, so his resignation will trigger an election, but maybe not until after the mid-term elections this year. The Washington Post blog The Fix suggests he could tender his resignation early enough to allow Oklahoma to schedule an election concurrent to the November ones. Coburn insisted in a written statement the decision wasn't about his latest prostate cancer, and said in his video statement he would be coming back to Oklahoma to live under the laws passed while he was in office, including "many" he had hoped to stop but couldn't.

Coburn did not vote on yesterday's trillion-dollar spending bill, but did vote against the stop-gap measure.  He voted against the October bill suspending the debt ceiling and ending a partial government shutdown, unlike 27 Republicans who voted for it and then for a resolution disapproving of the president's use of the new authority to suspend the debt ceiling. Coburn might be best known for his annual report on ridiculous earmarks, and a 2007 Reason profile of Tom Coburn starts with a review of the Senator's first earmark battle, over Ted Stevens' "bridge to nowhere." He lost that battle, but his observation about the coming "rumble" of anger from Americans about "out-of-control government spending" was certainly prescient, despite continuing losses. But as Reason noted in 2007, Coburn, a staunch social conservative, is no "libertarian hero," voting on the Patriot Act and other measures running counter to civil liberties, and has defended the NSA's efforts.  The last Republican senator to resign was Jim DeMint, who once insisted you couldn't be a fiscal conservative without being a social conservative. He went on to take over the Heritage Foundation. Coburn, too, says he'll remain in public life.

Watch an extended interview Reason TV conducted with Tom Coburn in 2012 about how both parties helped bankrupt America:

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  1. Is someone taking over the earmarks reports?

  2. Look at that fucking hipster.

  3. I must say I’ll miss him. He’s an idiot and a windbag, but he’s not evil. Whoever replaces him, without question, will be all three.

    Oklahoma has gone all in on maximizing teabagging fucknuttery (which curiously never demands evidence for its efficacy), and Coburn is one of the last people around to serve as some slim evidence that my state possesses a strain of commonsensical pragmatism.

    1. What’s “Oklahoma”? Is is a state or something? I’m familiar with New York and California and Florida and Texas. Those are the important states where important stuff happens. Does anything important happen in “Oklahoma”?

        1. Wow, they totally ripped off Mutual of Omicron’s Wild Universe there.

      1. Is there a musical about Florida?

        1. Yes. Gone With The Wind.
          Wait. That’s Georgia.

        2. Is there a musical about Florida?

          Yes.

          1. My Floridaman: The Musical is due out later this year. I just need someone to write the music and lyrics, now.

    2. I’m from the same state as Tony?!?

      Well, I’m pretty sure you’re not any of the Tonys that I personally know.(Or is it ‘Tonies’? It doesn’t seem write to change the spelling of a proper noun when pluralizing.)

      You’re absolutely right about Oklahoma politicians, though. They’re pretty much all sociopaths.

      1. Tulsa or OKC? If you’re from anywhere else I don’t know you.

        1. Yep, I’m from somewhere else. But I didn’t think there was much chance I knew you anyway. I was mostly just expressive amazement to find another Oklahoman here.

          And I hope my first sentence didn’t come across as insulting. I know you get a lot of abuse from other commenters here, but I’ve never cared for that sort of thing. Sure, I disagree with you on some issues, but so what? I disagree with everybody on something or other.
          Anyway, I just thought I’d say this now since I already happened to be talking to you. I hope you don’t let all the insults get to you and drive you away, as has happened to other unpopular commenters in the past. We need opposing viewpoints around.

          Now I just hope this doesn’t lead to everybody attacking me.

          1. I’m incredibly full of myself, so nothing gets to me. But thanks. I always thought the politeness of Oklahomans was a bit of a myth, but it rings true in this case.

            1. “I’m incredibly full of myself”

              You’re bullshit?

  4. He’s an idiot and a windbag, but he’s not evil. Whoever replaces him, without question, will be all three.

    So you’re throwing your hat in the ring?

  5. Coburn did not vote on yesterday’s trillion-dollar spending bill, but did vote against the stop-gap measure. He voted against the October bill suspending the debt ceiling and ending a partial government shutdown, unlike 27 Republicans who voted for it and then for a resolution disapproving of the president’s use of the new authority to suspend the debt ceiling.

    So he’s no Jeff Flake?

  6. More like Paul Krugburn.

  7. Another polar vortex forecast for next week. Enjoy!

    1. Hmm, any rain predicted for CA? We could use it what with the burning and whatnot.

      1. It’s going to be 80 and windy until at least next Wednesday. After that we might get lucky and see some clouds and cooler temperatures.

        1. Blech, I hope the weather isn’t “smoky” this weekend like it was yesterday. I’d like to go out for a bike ride, but prefer not to aggravate the cough that’s currently on the mend.

      2. California is on fire again? You god damn people.

        1. They stopped playing those Smokey the Bear ads, so now we don’t know any better.

      3. I heard they arrested three global warming suspects in the fire investigation.

  8. Artisanal, deep-dish, circumcised, cisgendered, home-brewed ANKUR BABIEZ!!!

    That is all.

    1. Aren’t cisgendered anchor babies the least contentiously gendered anchor babies on the market?

      1. CONFLICT ANKUR BEBES!!!

        1. Mined from rich African soil by child laborers?

          Sign me up for 10, no make it a full dozen.

  9. Everything is a hate crime.

  10. Sad to see him go. His fiscal conservatism was good enough to override his flaws, at least for me. Thankfully, there’s no chance some idiot Democrat will pick up the seat.

    1. Nope, we’re gonna get a slimy car salesman bible thumping theocrat. But I suppose that’s better than a no-new-taxes conservative Democrat to you.

      1. no-new-taxes conservative Democrat

        Since we’re on the subject of mythical creatures, I’d like to mention I’d prefer an Objectivist Republican to either.

        1. OK used to occasionally elect Democrats who were indistinguishable from conservative Republicans of yore. Now, as in so many other places, it doesn’t matter how apparently corrupt or stupid, as long as you have the (R) next to your name, you win. It has been a remarkably successful marketing coup for the party (R vs. D = good Christian vs. evil heathen). It’s FOX News’s doing, of course. It’s hard not to admire, but it leaves no room for thoughtful consideration of political platforms.

          1. “Thoughtful consideration of political platforms” from the party that does little besides advocate for more spending and demonize all opponents as racistsexisthomophobes who want the poor to die? Yeah, right.

            1. And be on the correct side of every important issue for the past half century. But sure, sleazy racist theocrats do want to cut millionares’ tax rates, and that’s all that matters.

              1. Must be all that red clay getting to Tony. I thought he said Team Blue was on the right side of every important issue for the past century.

                Ends justify the means and that’s all that matters.

                1. Offhand, I’d say Team Blue was wrong on the USSR, urban renewal, the Vietnam War, the War on Poverty, the cost of every single program they’ve ever promoted, the claim that the Civil Rights Act would never lead to quotas, and every single claim they’ve ever made for Obamacare.

                  But other than those things, they’ve been right every time!

        2. Since we’re on the subject of mythical creatures

          Zing!

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