The Norman Transcript

October 10, 2013

Stand up to the Tea Party


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Dear Tom Cole,

I read your letter in The Norman Transcript today and was sorely disappointed. The opening paragraph claims that you believe that linking debate about the Affordable Care Act to the budget bill is fruitless. You said it was “sure to fail.”

I agree with you on this. So, then, why did you go along with this strategy in the first place, and why do you apparently still support it?

Not only do you continue to vote for this futile endeavor, you disingenuously blame the president and the Senate Democrats for not wanting to compromise. Can you really be serious?

In the first place, what does the word “compromise” mean to you, Mr. Cole? Asking for compromise under circumstances in which you manufacture a crisis and try to bully the other side into concessions is a gross misuse of the term. George Orwell called it Newspeak.

In the second place, don’t tell us that the Democrats are unwilling to compromise. You yourself stated that they already have — seven times, in fact. Look at that. When you work within the regular process, you can actually get people to listen to you.

You claim that the president is attempting a “raw power grab,” but that is just untrue and you know it. The ones who are obsessed with raw power are those members of the Tea Party who are willing to destroy things to advance their careers.

To extract yourselves from this mess, you are going to have to be honest as well as courageous. If you really do agree with what you said in your first sentence, then you must stop blaming others for your mistakes. This is not Obama’s fault. The crisis was engineered by right-wing operatives, and too many of you miscalculated and supported them.

I urge you to stand up to the Tea Party rascals. They have no clear vision of what they are doing. Form a committee of responsible members of your party. Pass a clean resolution and put the crisis behind. Then get on with the job you were elected to do: build coalitions and finally pass a sustainable funding bill.

When the people’s representatives misrepresent the truth, seek to advance their own ambitions and deny their own responsibilities, they no longer serve the common good, and it is time to look for replacements.

STEPHEN WELDOM

Norman