Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

October 20, 2009

COBURN REACHES OUT TO THOSE HE LOATHES.... How desperate is Tom Coburn to derail health care reform? He's willing to reach out to the LGBT community.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) penned an op-ed for the online version of the LGBT magazine The Advocate, which was posted Monday and co-authored by Christopher Barron, the chairman of GOProud, an organization for gay conservatives. [...] Coburn, who is a physician, and Barron referenced the example of rationing of certain critical AIDS treatments funded by the government as an example of why the public (or "government-run") option currently contained in House and Senate health proposals would be detrimental.

"These bureaucratic inefficiencies and mismanagement have literally cost lives," they wrote.

Now, Suzy Khimm notes the substantive flaws behind Coburn's argument: "Coburn doesn't explain, of course, how the private market or his own reforms will succeed in making expensive AIDS drugs more affordable than the current Ryan White programs, other than repeating the line that insurers shouldn't be able to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions."

But I'm having a hard time getting over the fact that Coburn feels comfortable presenting an argument in The Advocate in the first place. Coburn isn't just right-wing on social issues; he's arguably the single most anti-LGBT lawmaker in Congress.

During his Senate campaign, for example, Coburn told voters, "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."

Around the same time, Coburn said "rampant lesbianism" forced schools to change their bathroom policies in southeast Oklahoma. As he explained it, school officials will "only let one girl go to the bathroom" at a time. Coburn urged voters, "Think about that issue. How is it that that's happened to us?"

And, of course, it was Coburn's chief of staff who recently declared that all pornography to "homosexual pornography."

Khimm also noted that Coburn has voted against marriage equality and gay adoption, and even authored legislation "that proposed to end anonymous testing for HIV/AIDS, requiring the names of those who tested positive to be reported to public authorities."

And now Tom Coburn wants the LGBT community to take his warnings about health care reform seriously, and take his word on what policies will "cost lives."

I don't understand it, either.

Steve Benen 4:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (28)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Yet another GOP politician with a wide stance.

Posted by: Rathskeller on October 20, 2009 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the ascension of Michael Steele and Sarah Palin enough proof that the GOP doesn't just loathe everyone who isn't old, bitter, white, straight and male -- it's also convinced that all the groups they loathe are stupid and gullible?

Coburn and his buds probably really do think that this commentary will be a resounding success in winning over the LGBT community.

Posted by: shortstop on October 20, 2009 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

During his Senate campaign, for example, Coburn told voters, "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."---

What would abortion have to do with the gay agenda?

Posted by: Dean on October 20, 2009 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Not that it's particularly important to get wonky in this case, but the Ryan White CARE Act is not an entitlement program -- it has a fixed appropriation. Therefore there is no choice but to limit benefits. No relationship to health insurance at all -- it's a grant program.

Posted by: cervantes on October 20, 2009 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Coburn told voters, "Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda."

"What would abortion have to do with the gay agenda?"
Posted by: Dean on October 20, 2009 at 4:26 PM |

Well, you see, it's like this...
When two guys violate the laws of nature, what happens is...
Uh, no, sorry -- it's when two GIRLS violate the laws of nature, they...
Uh...
Wait.
Naw, I got nuthin.

Posted by: smartalek on October 20, 2009 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, like a growing number of evangelicals, Coburn has taken an interest in AIDS in Africa. Of course it is not out of the goodness of his or the Right's heart as they see it as a mission opportunity, mostly.

But the astute reader will see the Coburn discusses AIDS, and not the larger health issues in the GLBT community. It's clear that he's cynically using them for his larger AIDS interest - which is connected to his support of corporate health care.

It's actually pretty manipulative of him.

Posted by: Alexander on October 20, 2009 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Log Cabin Abe

You can fool some of the gay people all of the time, and all of the gay people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the gay people all of the time.

Posted by: koreyel on October 20, 2009 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Coburn would do well to stick with the counseling he offers to Appalachian Trail hikers! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on October 20, 2009 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Does this remind anyone of the infamous Perot moment when, in addressing an audience of African American voters, he referred to them as "you people?" The import of what Perot was saying was that in the event of an economic downturn "you people" get hurt first. But the use of the phrase "you people" reminded african americans of how very uninterested people who call you "you people" are in actually helping you unless they have some self interested reason for pretending to do so.

aimai

Posted by: aimai on October 20, 2009 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

I am sure the LGBT will get a good laugh from Coburn's concern.

Is there anything the Senators from Oklahoma will not say or do ? Inhofe is one step away from being declared retarded and Coburn would burn political opponents at the stake if he could.

People are always raging on my Texas, but as a percentage of the population Oklahoma has far more right wing idiots then Texas.

Posted by: ScottW on October 20, 2009 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Well, you see, it's like this...
When two guys violate the laws of nature, what happens is...
Uh, no, sorry -- it's when two GIRLS violate the laws of nature, they...
Uh...
Wait.
Naw, I got nuthin.

I think it's got something to do with all us liberal libertines being in a giant conspiracy to derail traditional American family values. So I, a childless straight woman, am in sinister cahoots with man-rejecting lesbians and wifeless gay men and so forth. Or something like that.

Don't tell them that when you ask five liberals a simple question, you get a minimum of six different answers. Let them go on thinking we're marching in hyperorganized lockstep to bring down Bob and Margie's Temple of Hetero Love and Palace of Insipid Parenthood-Themed Hallmark Plaques.

Posted by: shortstop on October 20, 2009 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

What would abortion have to do with the gay agenda?

My thought exactly.

the GOP doesn't just loathe everyone who isn't old, bitter, white, straight and male --

Add wealthy to that list, shortstop. A lack of wealth indicates a lack of "character" and the disdain of the Almighty in most circles of conservatism.

Posted by: Gaia on October 20, 2009 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Actually, like a growing number of evangelicals, Coburn has taken an interest in AIDS in Africa"

Or like I say AIDSINAFRICA. That's quite popular. It's noble and chaitable to be concerned with AIDSINAFRICA, but chop off the INAFRICA and its a whole new ballgame.

You know, his venomous views are well known. Maybe The Advocate should have said, no thanks.

Posted by: SaintZak on October 20, 2009 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Isn't the ascension of Michael Steele and Sarah Palin enough proof that the GOP... [is] convinced that all the groups they loathe are stupid and gullible?"
Posted by: shortstop on October 20, 2009 at 4:22 PM |

Don't forget that, by appealing to the homophobes among the Black clergy and churchgoers, W took about 11% (IIRC) of the Black vote in '04.
They don't necessarily think any groups are stupid and gullible, just individual members of the groups. And on this, they're clearly right. How long have the Log Cabin Republicans been around again?
Also, such moves aren't necessarily about trying to get GLBT votes per se. Things like this -- and like having more people of color on the stage at every Publican convention than there are among the entire delegation, and like elevating Michael Steele to a post where he damages the Publican prospects every time he opens his mouth, etcetc -- are at least as much about trying to show the low-info "moderate" voter that the GOP aren't entirely the racist / sexist / homophobic / anti-semitic psychotics that anyone who's actually paying attention knows them to be.

Posted by: smartalek on October 20, 2009 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Why the hell did the Advocate post an op-ed by this assclown?

So Coburn went to medical school. Big effin' deal. After Obama's HHS removed the "conscience clause" regulation, Coburn was the author of another "conscience clause" amendment to the budget that would allow everyone from candy stripers and nurse's aides to surgeons to refuse to treat anyone they didn't like based on religious grounds. While the "conscience clause" arose from anti-choicers, doctors in California, and even one of my own doctors in Hawaii, have attempted to use it to legally discriminate against and turn away LGBT patients.

Obviously, having an MD does not automatically make you a good person, or an ethical person. The other crazy Rethug Senator from Oklahoma is baying up the wrong tree looking for support.

And yes, evangelicals like to FIGHT AIDSINAFRICA because it gives them a chance to persecute gay men in Uganda, burn condoms, and leech money out of impoverished African nations while selling their hate-disguised-as-religion.

Posted by: Keori on October 20, 2009 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Also, such moves aren't necessarily about trying to get GLBT votes per se. Things...like having more people of color on the stage at every Publican convention than there are among the entire delegation, and like elevating Michael Steele to a post where he damages the Publican prospects every time he opens his mouth, etcetc -- are at least as much about trying to show the low-info "moderate" voter that the GOP aren't entirely the racist / sexist / homophobic / anti-semitic psychotics that anyone who's actually paying attention knows them to be.

Absolutely, and I've said so myself while in a less sophomorically snarky mood than I'm in today. I don't think that's the reasoning behind this, though. Proving their ghey-healthcare-issue bonafides to independent voters (who aren't going around demanding that the GOP show some leadership on HIV/AIDS, as far as I can tell) seems less likely an aim than chipping off a few -- and, yes, I think it's only a few; Log Cabin Republicans are as rare as hen's teeth these days -- LGBT votes.

I just think they think they're being a lot smoother than they seem to anyone not living in their bubble.

Posted by: shortstop on October 20, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the ascension of Michael Steele and Sarah Palin enough proof that the GOP doesn't just loathe everyone who isn't old, bitter, white, straight and male -- it's also convinced that all the groups they loathe are stupid and gullible?

Why not? It's sure convinced that its supporters are stupid and gullible.

Posted by: Gregory on October 20, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

co-authored by Christopher Barron, the chairman of GOProud, an organization for gay conservatives.

Gay conservatives... FTW?!?!

No to taxes, no to the public option, and no to gay marriage???

Talk about self-hatred. That organization is GOPerplexed.

Posted by: Gridlock on October 20, 2009 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Tom Coburn can go fuck himself.

That is all.

Posted by: Terri on October 20, 2009 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Guys, the gays are supportive of abortion for one very simple reason:

Killing off straight-made babies --> More gays than straights --> need for cloning to prevent species extinction --> cloning gays --> gay militia --> overthrow of U.S. government --> brainwashing children --> buttsecks everywhere.

It's pretty simple. I can't believe you guys haven't heard about this... think I saw it in an HRC memo. There was also something in there about creating the need for cloning due to declining population

Posted by: ndcb on October 20, 2009 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

woo, proofreading!

Posted by: ndcb on October 20, 2009 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Being supportive of abortion is payback for denying gays the privilege of adopting: if we can't have children, no one can. Kill them before they can find a decent, loving home, like "we", teh gays, can provide. Or maybe it is just that since all gays are liberals, they all support abortion. It's a one-size-fits-all world. All Liberals/leftist believe the same and therefore all liberals/gays are for abortion. Thus, it is part of the gay agenda. Quite simple, really.

Posted by: st john on October 20, 2009 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Don't believe a word Coburn says. He'll be right back to voting against the repeal of DADT, the Matthew Shepard bill, and against the repeal of DOMA. The republicans only approach a group they normally detest when they want/need something, otherwise, they have no need for any input from the particular group.

Posted by: majii on October 20, 2009 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Coburn's tactic is the same one that Dumbya used when he turned Homeland Security into a political tool for his reelection. Scare tactics. If you can't win over voters with the reasoning of your arguments, scary lies, like code red, or the government will make you die by not taking care of your AIDS disease. What a pile of excrement those men are.

Posted by: candideinnc on October 20, 2009 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sometimes the Enemy of My Enemy is just an Idiot

Posted by: paulo on October 20, 2009 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Flip side: Why would LGBT in GOP want to talk to Coburn or vindicate him?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on October 21, 2009 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Why does "The Advocate" give this guy the time of day?

Posted by: GP on October 21, 2009 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

He's also the prick holding up the extension of unemployment benefits. Tens of thousands are losing them every week because he wants the extension to come out of the stimulus package. Every week delay will further undermine our economy.

Posted by: MIles on October 21, 2009 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly