Obama Names Republicans He'd Work With

Sen. Barack Obama today named the Republican senators he'd work closely with as President. One of them is uber-conservative Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who Obama says "has become a friend of mine."

Via Democratic Underground:

Senator Coburn, who said that lesbianism is "so rampant in some of the schools...that they'll let only one girl go to the bathroom."

Senator Coburn, who claims he can tell if someone is telling the truth because of his medical training.

Dr. Coburn, who said: "You know, I immediately thought about silicone breast implants and the legal wrangling and the class-action suits off that. And I thought I would just share with you what science says today about silicone breast implants. If you have them, you're healthier than if you don't. That is what the ultimate science shows...In fact, there's no science that shows that silicone breast implants are detrimental and, in fact, they make you healthier."

Senator Coburn, who thought Schindler's List was smut, an "all-time low, with full-frontal nudity, violence and profanity.


On gay rights, Senator Coburn said: "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."

Senator Coburn, who objects to legal abortion in cases of rape, and justifies his position by noting that his great-grandmother was raped by a sheriff.

Here is Sen. Coburn's voting record on various issues. What exactly does Obama find in it that makes Coburn worth reaching out to?

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    ok, i think i see a pattern here..... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 06:26:57 PM EST
    Senator Coburn, who objects to legal abortion in cases of rape, and justifies his position by noting that his great-grandmother was raped by a sheriff.

    were they, by chance, related? hey, just kidding! sort of.

    it always fascinates me when supposedly educated people, especially scientifically educated people, claim to espouse positions that are the polar opposite of the education they received. i have to wonder how much is real, and how much is for the benefit of the rubes back home? not, that it ultimately matters all that much, in terms of the harm it does to the entire country.

    that sen. obama would find common ground with such as sen. coburn is............confusing. of course, mussolini did get the trains to run on time, and the nazis kept meticulous records.

    Just because Mussolini could make trains ... (none / 0) (#3)
    by chemoelectric on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 07:41:52 PM EST
    ... seem to run on time doesn't mean Tom Coburn can walk and chew gum at the same time. Because he can't.

    I disagree (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Anonymous Liberal on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 09:39:26 PM EST
    This seems like an odd thing to criticize Obama for.  Clearly he's not going to "work with" Coburn to restrict abortion or outlaw lesbianism or anything like that.  Obama acknowledged that Coburn is one of the most conservative members of the Senate. But that doesn't mean there aren't some issues where you can find common ground.  Obama is clearly refering to this bill, which he co-sponsored with Coburn.

    Obama's point is that there are constructive things you can accomplish even with people who you disagree with about 99% of things. What's so objectionable about that?

    Agree (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Lucidnebula on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 09:47:11 PM EST
    Obama and Coburn are opposite in many issues, but their commonality is fiscal discipline. They both oppose wasteful pork barrels. The worst thing Coburn did was trying to undermine states' medical marijuana laws, which I consider one of his hypocrisy. But other than that, he is a pretty principled conservative unlike the Bush crowd. Sometimes there are good conservatives, Jeff Flake of Arizona is one example.

    Not a smart move (none / 0) (#10)
    by space on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 10:08:56 PM EST
    Leaving aside the merits of the statement, it is an idiotic thing to say in the heat of a primary. One of Obama's selling points is his cross-party appeal.  So, sure, if he were to win the nomination, such a statement might help him win over more Republicans in the general election.

    But how does this get him voted in Iowa or NH?  It doesn't.


    Work with my polar opposite. (none / 0) (#12)
    by dkmich on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 10:32:48 PM EST
    To meet him halfway, one would have to compromise every goal, principle and belief so far that the resolution would be worthless.  Coburn ought to be one of the last voices to the table he is so nuts.  

    Why dont you just shoot him... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Richard in Jax on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 09:47:35 PM EST
    My God Jeralyn...he said he could WORK WITH the guy. He did not say he was going to adopt his form of thinking. For crying out loud can we stop the GOP style manipulative, fake and disingenuous attacks on our own candidates?
    If Obama can WORK WITH these guys, (did you consider he means he can make them come over to his way of thinking) then GREAT!!!  The gridlock in congress has stymied effective conservative and liberal legislation. What is wrong with "working with" people.
    You list a bunch of winger crap this Okie GOP'er has said over the years and it seems..that you want to attach such thinking to Obama buy mentioning it this article. Jeralyn, do you think Obama sympathizes so much as one IOTA with this type of thinking? Of course not. He just said he can work with this guy...maybe he can change him.

    Richard, I like the Lincoln model (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jamie on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 02:44:58 AM EST
    That is, to work with those whom we disagree with.  But, there are numerous Republicans Obama could have named, notably, moderate Olympia Snowe.

    Yet, he named Coburn.  Coburn is a divisive, despicable Senator who is part of the blame-liberals-for-all-of-America's-problem-crowd.  Why didn't Obama extend his hand to Karl Rove while he's at it?  What would you have said then?  

    Nowhere in Jeralyn's piece does she insinuate that Obama subscribes to Coburn's extreme ideology and unfortunate foot-in-the-mouth disease.  

    What is evident is that Obama made an unfortunate alliance with a man who used his rhetoric to spread bigotry.  


    Accountability and transparency (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by joejoejoe on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 09:49:02 PM EST
    Sen. Obama has already worked to good effect with Sen. Coburn.

    (WASHINGTON, D.C.) - U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Barack Obama (D-IL) today hailed the Senate's passage of the "Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act," a bill that will create a Google-like search engine and database to track approximately $1 trillion in federal grants, contracts, earmarks and loans.

    "Every American has the right to know how their government spends their money, and then to hold elected officials accountable for those decisions. I applaud my colleagues for unanimously supporting a bill that will aid the American people in that effort," Dr. Coburn said. "This bill is a small but significant step toward changing the culture in Washington. Only by fostering a culture of openness, transparency and accountability will Congress come together to address the mounting fiscal challenges that threaten our future prosperity."

    "The group that deserves credit for passing this bill, however, is not Congress, but the army of bloggers and concerned citizens who told Congress that transparency is a just demand for all citizens, not a special privilege for political insiders. Their remarkable effort demonstrates that our system of government does work when the people take the reins of government and demand change," Dr. Coburn said.

    "By helping to lift the veil of secrecy in Washington, this database will help make us better legislators, reporters better journalists, and voters more active citizens," Obama said. "It's both unusual and encouraging to see interest groups and bloggers on the left and the right come together to achieve results. This powerful grassroots alliance shows that at the end of the day, Americans want to see Congress work together to get something done and not continue to engage in the partisan gridlock that so often brings Capitol Hill to a grinding halt."

    More than 100 organizations ranging from Americans for Prosperity and Taxpayers for Common Sense to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Greenpeace have endorsed S. 2590.

    What Obama actually said... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Richard in Jax on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 10:13:57 PM EST
    ``I would also seek out people like Tom Coburn, who is probably the most conservative member of the U.S. Senate. He has become a friend of mine.''
    He only said that. He did not say he wanted to adopt this winger's ideas or ideology. Only that he would "REACH OUT" to him. This thread's tenor, set by Jeralyn, in no way deals with the reality of Obama's statement. What is the point in beating our candidates up on such tendentious criteria?
    Jeralyn..and all you other folks..may I ask a question? DO you feel the GOP has a candidate that is a better choice then ANY of our candidates? Any? If so then rip the guts out of the Democratic candidate and perhaps your superior Rudy, Mitt ot McCain will win. IF you are sane enough to see the extreme threat to America that any of the GOP's candidates pose then STFU with the crap aimed at the Democrats. THERE WILL NEVER BE A PERFECT DEMOCRAT..!!! Never. So, as the song goes, if you cant be with the Democrat you love, just love the one you are with.

    Jeralyn, (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Ramo on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 01:38:58 PM EST
    I really like your posts in general, but you're being dishonest here (likewise on the Michelle Obama matter).  Obama worked with Coburn on earmark transparency.  Not gay rights.  Not abortion.  Not the miscellaneous bad stuff that you're putting in Obama's mouth.  Coburn is a nut, but he's pretty decent on clean government-type matters (in contrast to, say, the Senior Senator from Oklahoma).

    A couple years back, there were a bunch of articles on Clinton's comity with right wing Republicans; she has worked with folks like Lott.  Where's your post condemning her support for such unsavory characters?

    Senator Obama, (none / 0) (#2)
    by clio on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 07:11:36 PM EST
    Tom Coburn?  I am aware that you must have met him in the Senate, and I am sure that he was polite to you.  He's probably charming in person. Many patricians are.

    However charming Mr. Coburn is in person he is an unreconstructed racist, sexist and homophobic bigot in practice.  You sound naive and credulous saying you would reach out to him and work with him.  A bit like baby George looking into Putin's "soul."  Putin was, and is, KGB.  He must have found Bush's trust hilarious, and has taken full advantage of it.

    If your judgment of people is swayed by charming party manners what else are you willing to believe?

    Not So Different (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 08:33:49 PM EST
    From Hillary's appeal to the right which was something like:
     People would vote GOP if a there is a US terror attack therefore I am the best candidate.

    Thet are jockying for position.

    Why is every story that is a little (3.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Jamie on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 02:31:40 AM EST
    bit negative about Obama has to involve Hillary?

    This story doesn't even involve her yet there's someone ready for an anti-Hillary snarky comment?

    Who needs the Fox News when those on the left are quite capable of eating their own.


    Because Jeralyn is a pro-Hillary partisan, so it's (none / 0) (#21)
    by Geekesque on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 09:59:11 AM EST
    more than fair to assume that she's trying to tear down Hillary's main opponent.

    Obama is different from (none / 0) (#13)
    by koshembos on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 12:03:45 AM EST
    I once heard a radio announcer posing the following question: "what is the difference between a duck?" This is the full quote and my guess is, it was supposed to be a joke.

    Well, Obama seems to try very hard lately to be different from. In his case it is not a joke. Me make a big deal with Coburn, but can you work with Warner and his stupid withdrawal of 5000 soldiers from Iraq by Xmas? Why not 50 soldiers, that will offend Bush even less. And Lugar who says one thing and votes for its opposite.

    Obama will invade Pakistan (fine just a little invasion) following Tenet's replacement word. He will also do a Republican on teachers' pay by using merit pay so he doesn't (God forbid) have to pay teacher decent salaries.

    If it look like a duck and sounds like a duck it must Obama.

    It's not a surprising revealation... (none / 0) (#16)
    by fafnir on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 08:14:46 AM EST
    when you consider that Joe Lieberman was his mentor during his first year in the Senate.

    The Gipper II (none / 0) (#17)
    by JoeCHI on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 08:46:48 AM EST
    Barack O'Reagan strikes again!

    he could probably work (none / 0) (#18)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 11:38:42 AM EST
    with david duke also, but should he? surely there must be other members of the opposition, equally fiscally conservative, who don't also lack a functioning right-side of their brain.

    as mom used to say (and still does), "you're known by the company you keep." sure, i could work with satan, and probably accomplish some good things. in the end, i'll still be damned, and go to hell.

    that's how it works in real life.

    honestly, i'm not worried about the current crop of republican candidates. they are such a huge pack of losers; from rudy and his coat-of-many-marriages, and lies about his work after 9/11, to mitt and his magic underwear, they are a political horrorshow. none will come close to being elected.

    i am concerned about the dem candidate(s). it's this kind of thing that highlights sen. obama's lack of experience.

    All three (none / 0) (#20)
    by Dulcinea on Sun Aug 26, 2007 at 01:48:50 PM EST
    Bush Iraq enablers.