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Tom Coburn: Cruz’s Defund Obamacare Ploy Is Intellectually Dishonest

Tom Coburn is one of the most fiscally conservative members of the Senate, just has he was when he was in the House, but he’s not at all impressed with Ted Cruz:

Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn criticized Texas’ Sen. Ted Cruz for misleading the American people over Obamacare.

“To create the impression that we can actually defund Obamacare, when the only thing we control, and barely, is the House of Representatives, is not intellectually honest,” Coburn said on Thursday’s Morning Joe.

Coburn was highly critical of Cruz’ effort to defund Obamacare over the last few months. No budget defunding Obamacare would ever pass the Senate, let alone be signed by the healthcare bill’s namesake president, he said repeatedly, so Cruz’ efforts were really just hurting Republicans and misleading the public.

(…)

“The problem with politics is if you create expectations you can’t fulfill, that leads to disappointment,” Coburn said. “Our biggest problem in our country is that people don’t have any confidence in our future, they don’t have any confidence in the leadership, they don’t have any confidence in the politicians-a lot of the institutions they don’t have confidence in. We need to have leadership that pulls us back together and restores confidence, not divides us.”

Here’s the video:

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Of course, Coburn will be denounced as a RINO for this.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    You know, after the 2102 election we had a round of inspection (or introspection depending on your position) of the Republican platform. At that time there was a hint that maybe, just maybe, they’d turn toward serious debate and governance.

    The fact that Cruz could build this momentum suggests that there is no hope (or fear) that will happen before 2016. We can expect another broken primary, with nuts of the week, before some damaged and ultimately losing candidate is selected.

    Coburn and a few like him … well I’m not sure they have a hope. They can grumble but they can’t control their party. Not in time for the presidential election.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  2. Mr. Replica says:

    Intellectually dishonest is just the polite way of saying utter horsesh*t.

    The GOP desperately needs more people like Sen. Coburn, but he’s far too intelligent and sane for the current base. They love their fringe masturbators far too much to listen to reason.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

  3. alanstorm says:

    Coburn is right about one thing – if you don’t try, you will certainly accomplish nothing. And that, it appears, is what he intends to do (or not do, as the case may be) This defeatist flatworm needs to resign and make room for someone with a spine.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 31

  4. john personna says:

    @alanstorm:

    You are absolutely right! He’s a RINO. Cast him out.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 0

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    We need to have leadership that pulls us back together and restores confidence, not divides us.”

    Said the bomb thrower about the arsonist.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 3

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @alanstorm:

    Coburn is right about one thing – if you don’t try, you will certainly accomplish nothing. And that, it appears, is what he intends to do (or not do, as the case may be) This defeatist flatworm needs to resign and make room for someone with a spine.

    What do you recommend, that Senator Coburn buck-up and use a few more Nazi analogies?

    I’m sure that Senate Democrats are their tipping point – a few more Nazi analogies and they’ll be persuaded to appease Republicans and repeal (or defund) ACA.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  7. gVOR08 says:

    I happened to catch this on Scarborough this morning. (TCM had an old B movie and CNN was off on sports or something.) I fear I am guilty of serial flipping off of my TV. Coburn’s as hard core a conservative as Cruz, just more senior and smoother. Lies just as much. More in thrall to lobbyists.

    He intended this as a dig at Obama,

    We need to have leadership that pulls us back together and restores confidence, not divides us.

    My patience with Republicans blaming anyone but themselves for dysfunction ran out years ago. We do need better leadership, but we need it from Boehner, McConnell, Coburn himself, etc.

    But Coburn is establishment and Cruz is Tea Party. This war is great entertainment. Hope it goes on for decades.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  8. Gustopher says:

    No budget defunding Obamacare would ever pass the Senate, let alone be signed by the healthcare bill’s namesake president

    Have we renamed Obama to Affordable Care Act?

    Years from now, when ObamaCare is a success, how will the Republicans manage to claim it as their own? They’ve done everything they possibly could to hide the fact that it is basically the most conservative, private-insurance-favoring way to get near universal coverage and have painted it in the broadest strokes possible as Obama’s (even though it coulda/shoulda been Romney’s…).

    Well done, Republicans. Well done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  9. Tillman says:

    A lot of politics is intellectually dishonest. Because a lot of people are intellectually dishonest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  10. Ernieyeball says:

    To echo the above:
    Why anyone expects politics to be intellectual, let alone intellectually honest is beyond me.
    Sometimes it is painfull to live in a drug free real world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  11. john personna says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    But the big question in my mind is why we are so much worse at it than other advanced nations.

    Look at the list of 10 happiest countries.

    All socialist by US conservative measure, and yet we must be different (and therefore unhappy) because that makes us better, exceptional.

    We are particularly sick puppies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  12. C. Clavin says:

    “Intellectually” assumes facts not in evidence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  13. Moosebreath says:

    And on a similar note, Bob Corker takes aim at Cruz and Lee for having a poor strategy, and the Club for Growth’s VP calls him “effectively a Democrat”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  14. Ernieyeball says:

    @john personna:… why we are so much worse at it than other advanced nations.

    I guess I could be a wise ass and ask why it is assumed we are an advanced nation.
    I suspect the melting pot nature of our country contributes to political intransigence.
    But I’ll go with the latter-day hippies. We are just not spiritual enough (whatever that means).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  15. john personna says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    I think it is anti-intellectualism home to roost.

    We don’t think we really need a good answer. As in Cruz’ performance, a bad answer broadly acted is enough to inspire and attract followers.

    Who cares that it can never work, right?

    In this I suppose Cruz is using his intellect to choose an anti-intellectual game.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  16. Ernieyeball says:

    Just now looked at the List of Ten. This is a joke, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  17. Ernieyeball says:

    @john personna:…a bad answer broadly acted…

    Now you are a Drama Critic. How do you propose to squelch this farce?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. john personna says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    More reporting from LiveScience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. john personna says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    I don’t know what can change it, but I’d think it would have to be at least a generational change.

    The WWII vet cohort would not have put up with this. Will the net-raised generation do better or even worse?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. gVOR08 says:

    @Ernieyeball: About the list I would have expected. Take Canada, for instance. They have good health care and their banking system didn’t implode. Why wouldn’t they be happy?

    Who did you think the ten would be?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  21. James Pearce says:

    We need to have leadership that pulls us back together and restores confidence, not divides us.

    He has a point, but there is no one on this earth who fits this description.

    What we need is compromise. The lack of compromise creates this dynamic where the only possible result is that one side prevails and the other side is defeated. How can we be “brought together” in that climate?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  22. al-Ameda says:

    @James Pearce:

    We need to have leadership that pulls us back together and restores confidence, not divides us.”

    I presume that Senator Coburn is referring to Republican leadership – both in fact, and de facto?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. Ernieyeball says:

    @john personna:…More reporting from LiveScience.

    Well, Boo hoo hoo. I am depressed. Here I thought I was a carefree guy only to find out that I would be far more content living in Iceland or Austria.
    Quite frankly I don’t have any desire to dwell in any of the 16 supposedly more joyful countries on this list.
    I’m sure the denizens of those lands have a fine life. Good for them.
    My desires are not those of Swedes or Danes. And even though they have Major League Baseball and the NBA I have been to the land of the Hosers in the Great White North and will not return.
    I have lived in a small Midwestern town home to a sizable State University for over 45 years. The transient nature of the population has afforded me the privilage to meet people from many countries around the globe. I always ask what they think of Our Town and other places in the United States they have visited.
    Whether they are here temporarly or plan to stay long term a common theme among their responses has been that there are for more opportunities for them in this country than wherever it was they came from.
    Most of the Homeys I have talked to who have travelled abroad are glad they visited the exotic destinations but when I ask them if they would want to live off-shore and abandon America their loyalties are here.
    You are welcome to relocate if you think it will make you feel better.
    And you are welcome to return if Paradise doesn’t work out for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  24. Ernieyeball says:

    @gVOR08: Take Canada, for instance…Why wouldn’t they be happy?

    I am sure they are as happy as the law allows!

    Criticism of Canadian censorship:
    Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, prior to becoming Prime Minister, stated “Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society … It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.”[23]
    PEN Canada, an organization which assists writers who are persecuted for peaceful expression, has called on “the federal and provincial governments to change human rights commission legislation to ensure commissions can no longer be used to attempt to restrict freedom of expression in Canada.”[24]
    According to Mary Agnes Welch, president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, “[h]uman rights commissions were never intended to act as a form of thought police, but now they’re being used to chill freedom of expression on matters that are well beyond accepted Criminal Code restrictions on free speech.”[25]
    Keith Martin, a Liberal Member of Parliament from British Columbia, introduced a motion that called for the deletion of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, arguing that it is in violation of Section Two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees each person’s freedom of expression. Mr. Martin said that hate crimes, slander and libel would still be outlawed under the Criminal Code, while his motion would stop human-rights tribunals imposing restrictions on freedom of speech using taxpayers’ money. “We have laws against hate crimes, but nobody has a right not to be offended,” he said. “[This provision] is being used in a way that the authors of the Act never envisioned.”[26]
    A group of several dozen professors from the 7,000-member American Political Science Association contend that recent free speech precedents in Canada put academics at risk of prosecution. The group includes Robert George and Harvey Mansfield, and they have protested holding the scheduled 2009 APSA annual meeting in Canada for this reason.[27] The leadership of APSA selected Toronto as the meeting location.
    There have been multiple lawsuits claiming that censorship violates multiple Basic Human Rights, such as Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which protect the fundamental freedoms of thought, belief, and opinion. These accusations have been of the violation of the rights and freedoms through certain types of censorship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  25. mantis says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    Here I thought I was a carefree guy only to find out that I would be far more content living in Iceland or Austria.

    No, because the study isn’t the top ten nations Ernieyeball would be happiest in. Taking it a bit personally, aren’t you? Or are you just assuming that all Americans live in the same circumstances as you do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  26. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    You realize that this list isn’t saying “if you don’t live in one of the top 10, you aren’t happy” right? It’s a broad aggregate measure on a relative scale. Not a list of paradises versus hellscapes.

    Lighten up, Francis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  27. Ernieyeball says:

    @mantis: Or are you just assuming that all Americans live in the same circumstances as you do?

    God I hope not!
    I live in 1977 model 14 by 70, 2 BR, 1 and 1/2 Bath Trailer House on a 1/2 Acre hillside in Makanda Township IL. Fortunately my humble abode and the dirt it is tied down to are paid for.
    I am well aware and grateful that my Social Security and Pension Benefits have me flying high above the one person poverty line by about $300/mo.
    I am a lucky guy!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  28. James Pearce says:

    @al-Ameda:

    I presume that Senator Coburn is referring to Republican leadership

    Maybe he was.

    To my ear it doesn’t sound like a critique of his Republican colleagues, so much as an entreaty to vote for more Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. Ernieyeball says:

    Here I thought I was a carefree guy only to find out that I would be far more content living in Iceland or Austria.

    OK. Let me rephrase this.
    Here I thought I was a carefree guy only to find out that I would be far more content living in The United States with a political system that duplicates the social services provided by the 10 grand governments beating the USA on the Happy List!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  30. PJ says:

    @john personna:

    Look at the list of 10 happiest countries.

    All socialist by US conservative measure, and yet we must be different (and therefore unhappy) because that makes us better, exceptional.

    The people in the libertarian paradise Somalia are so happy that the country isn’t even ranked!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  31. gVOR08 says:

    @Ernieyeball: Not really responsive to my question. But, how about a little introspection? You have a view of the world. A piece of data showed up that contradicts your view. And your response is a re-evaluation of your world view? Can we say “denial”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  32. john personna says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    Ah, but are you casting yourself as a happy guy Ernieyeball?

    Is America making you so happy that the Danes don’t have you beat?

    Or … you really strike me as a bit of a cynic. Are you unhappy, but unwilling to accept any other path?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  33. Ernieyeball says:

    @gVOR08: Not really responsive to my question.

    One of the great advantages of living in the USA is that I just don’t have to respond to your questions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  34. Jeff Edelman says:

    What’s disturbing to me is Coburn refers to obama as his friend. Haven’t heard him say the same of Cruz. Coburn is big about telling us there is waste in government. Duh! What the good doctor doesn’t say is that waste is inherent in government. He implies that government can exist without waste. Now who is intellectually dishonest? Nothing comes to mind that he’s accomplished. I look around and things are definitely not better since he’s become a senator. The last time a Conservative filibustered Coburn dined with his friend obama. I’m a fellow Sooner. I’ve voted for Coburn several times through the years. At times, he deeply disappoints me. Maybe its the Texans large ‘nads that bothers the doctor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  35. Ernieyeball says:

    @john personna: So you want to play therapist with me?

    Yes I am cynical about your assumed ability to analyze my state of mind by reading the posts I make on the internet.

    The only reason I am ever unhappy this time of year is that the Cubs have not won the World Series since my grandfather was 21 years old (1908) and will not win yet again this year. I feel really bad that my daddy, a life long Cubs fan, lived to be 85 and never saw them win a World Series.

    Is America making you so happy that the Danes don’t have you beat?

    What does that even mean?

    …unwilling to accept any other path?

    The path that I will be taking Jan. 1 will be to the clinic here in Illinois to sign up for newly legalized medical marijuana. They are limiting scripts to 2.5 oz a week. I’m pretty sure that will be enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  36. Ernieyeball says:

    @Ernieyeball: Dnvote after midnight. Who is up this late besides me?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ernieyeball: Ernie, not to argue with you one way or the other, but I do want to point out that here in the US, happiness is equated with money and possessions. Seeing as only the top 5% seem secure in their lives, that leaves the other 95% feeling somewhat… Anxious, ergo less than “happy”. (whatever that means)

    I don’t know about all of the top ten, but most of them have social safety nets that ensure all of their citizens a level beyond which they can not fall. In the process, they pay higher taxes. This is a sacrifice they are happily willing to make.

    Because they aren’t greedy sob’s like so many in the US are. Or to put a different face on it, they don’t measure happiness by the size of their portfolios.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  38. Rafer Janders says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    I suspect the melting pot nature of our country contributes to political intransigence.

    Yeah, but that can’t be it — Canada is a melting pot as well. Canada has a mix of many different races, religions, ethnicities, and yet they get along very well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  39. Rafer Janders says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    The transient nature of the population has afforded me the privilage to meet people from many countries around the globe. I always ask what they think of Our Town and other places in the United States they have visited.
    Whether they are here temporarly or plan to stay long term a common theme among their responses has been that there are for more opportunities for them in this country than wherever it was they came from.

    Ummm…you are aware of the reporting biases of a small, self-selected group, aren’t you? You’ve asked (i) foreigners who’ve moved to the US and (ii) foreigners who’ve chosen to travel to the US whether they like the US, and they tell you, an American, that yes, they do. But you have no idea what all the many billions more foreigners who’ve neither moved to the US nor travelled to the US think, nor whether the ones in your hometown are just being polite to you and giving you the answer they think you want to hear.

    It’s like asking someone drinking a Coke if he likes Coke — sure he does, because he bought the Coke in the first place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. Ernieyeball says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..not to argue with you one way or the other,..

    Go right ahead…oh…you already have.

    …happiness is equated with money and possessions.

    Speak for yourself. With a retirement income of less than $20,000/year I should be so miserable and insecure by your measure that I should come apart at the seams.

    …greedy sob’s like so many in the US are.

    Maybe you could produce some surveys to back up this claim. Start by telling us all how many “so many” is.

    …they don’t measure happiness by the size of their portfolios.

    My portfoilo…HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. You sure are a joker!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. Ernieyeball says:

    @Rafer Janders: I did say contributes to…I do not claim it is the the full explanation.

    …yet they get along very well.

    On a good day…
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/UKgypybNsow/USV2IwWiSlI/AAAAAAAAAFI/DHMOr2WzL5M/s1600/flaghead7.png

    Sometimes I drink Coke because it is all that is for sale. Pepsi or RC Cola just aren’t always available.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Ernieyeball says:

    I gotta try this again. I thought it was kinda cute.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UKgypybNsow/USV2IwWiSlI/AAAAAAAAAFI/DHMOr2WzL5M/s1600/flaghead7.png

    there it is

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Rick Almeida says:

    @gVOR08:

    Who did you think the ten would be?

    USA!
    USA!
    USA!
    USA!
    USA!
    USA!
    USA!
    USA!
    USA!
    Texas!

    Duh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  44. Rafer Janders says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    Sometimes I drink Coke because it is all that is for sale. Pepsi or RC Cola just aren’t always available.

    And similarly, maybe those foreigners moved here because it was the place they could get to, not the place they really wanted to be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  45. Ernieyeball says:

    @Rafer Janders: And similarly, maybe those foreigners moved here because it was the place they could get to, not the place they really wanted to be.

    Maybe. Why don’t you go interview them and find out.
    At least I’ve heard what they have to say. You are just blowing smoke.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. Terrye Cravens says:

    Coburn is an honest man. Whether you agree with his politics or not. He tells it like he sees it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0