Tahlequah Daily Press


October 9, 2013

Shutdown hurts Republicans, too

TAHLEQUAH — It’s considerate of Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin to offer to return his salary during the federal government shutdown. Since he’s one of the movers and shakers behind this daft stalemate, it’s the least he could do.

We understand Mullin’s disgust at government bloat and spending. What sensible American wouldn’t be incensed by the billions wasted each year by various governmental entities through ineptitude, cronyism, and personal greed? We also realize that most folks in Mullin’s district opposed “Obamacare,” and his resistance simply mirrors the will of many constituents.

But holding hostage the entire federal government and the people on its payroll just to make a point about the Affordable Care Act is puerile and counterproductive, and ultimately transmits yet another negative message to the rest of the world.

Mullin and others in Congress are blaming Democrats and Obama for “not listening to what Americans want.” But to which Americans do they refer?

Difficult as it may be for some to accept, the majority still rules in this country – and the majority wants at least basic health coverage for this country’s citizens. That majority may not be in Oklahoma, or even in Cherokee County, but it includes the largest bloc of Americans – the same bloc that returned President Obama to office last year. Signing petitions to secede from the union, calling health care supporters “treasonists,” or stooping to the rankest possible partisan politics won’t change that.

Nor will this divisive behavior improve public sentiment for Congress. A recent Washington Post/ABC poll shows a 70 percent disapproval rating of Republicans in Congress, with 51 percent “strongly” disagreeing with their strong-arm tactics. Their Democratic counterparts aren’t much more popular: 61 percent in the poll gave them the thumbs-down. Meanwhile, Obama’s rating, while only 45 percent, is nevertheless up from 41 percent last week.

Many Republicans are watching with consternation, if not horror, as events unfold. The GOP may stand for smaller government, but Republicans also hold federal jobs – which means they are also suffering through the furloughs and layoffs that are decimating family budgets and taking critical dollars out of the private business sector. Notably not among the suffering are Mullin’s staff members, who have been declared “essential” and are thus getting their checks.

Someone’s going to pay for this outrage, and it won’t be Obama, who has only three more years to accumulate wrinkles and gray hair until he retires to the lecture circuit. It may be members of Congress – from both parties – who evidently forgot that government of, by and for the people is, in fact, the people themselves.

That’s why most of our so-called “public servants” need to be sent packing at the next opportunity, so they can gather their expensive toys and go back home – if their constituents will have them.

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  • NSU needs to be more candid when its plans go awry

    Many area residents were disappointed to learn this week that the NSU Fitness Center, and its all-important indoor lap pool, won’t open next month, as originally announced.
    This latest delay is no surprise.

    July 28, 2014

  • Higher premiums a just reward for drunken drivers

    Over the past several years, Oklahoma has slipped in many of the polls that count. This week, we learned Tulsa is No. 4 on a list of cities with high rates of fatal DUI accidents. Is anyone really surprised?

    July 25, 2014

  • Maybe it’s time to think about having another BalloonFest

    The 18th annual BalloonFest was the last one held, in 2010. In summer 2011, when the Daily Press staff hadn’t heard anything about the much-anticipated event, we started asking questions.

    July 23, 2014

  • If you see a drunken driver, take the time to call in a report

    If you see something, say something. You’ve heard the warning, and seen it imprinted on placards at airports. In the wake of 9/11, it became a national mantra, mainly aimed at spotting potential terrorist activities. But it’s good advice anytime, and for any reason, even at the local level.

    July 14, 2014

  • City officials should stop squabbling and try to work together

    It’s bad enough that the Chamber of Commerce scandal has given Tahlequah a black eye. But if the bickering among city officials doesn’t stop, the community will have a complete set of shiners for its public face.

    July 11, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    Despite pressure from some quarters, neither the Press nor anyone else who values full disclosure will be clamming up until all the facts are known, and those who are responsible meet with justice.

    July 10, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    A few board members for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce are saying they’ve heard nothing but positive things lately – about the chamber itself, and presumably, about themselves.

    July 9, 2014

  • Employer-sponsored insurance may now be a ‘hostage’ situation

    When the fallout settles from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, many Americans might decide they’re better off with health insurance that doesn’t come from their boss.

    July 7, 2014

  • With confidence in Congress at 7 percent, time for a new slate

    Note to Congress: We don’t like you. Not at all.
    A Gallup poll released Monday, June 30 confirmed what most of us already know: the American public is disgusted with the House and Senate. The survey recorded the lowest level of confidence since Gallup began asking the question in 1991: a whopping 7 percent. That’s not a typographical error; it’s a single digit.

    July 2, 2014

  • New chamber head needs to be free from scandal’s taint

    Every time another layer is peeled off the unfolding saga of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce embezzlement case, those going through the records hope they might see a light at the end of the tunnel. So far, that hasn’t happened.

    June 30, 2014


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