No one watching the footage of the tornado that devastated Oklahoma could fail to be moved by the tragic destruction it left in its path. It breaks everyone's heart to see the hopelessness and despair on the faces of Oklahomans as they try to cope with the enormity of the loss they've just suffered. That being said, I have mixed feelings about my tax dollars being spent to help the state recover from this natural disaster, particulary if the recovery money's offset by cuts to other needed programs, as Oklahoma's two senators are suggesting.
Sympathetic as I am, it's hard to forget that Oklahoma in general and it's two elected senators in particular haven't shown the least inclination for spending tax dollars on anyone else's recovery from devastating acts of God, no matter how many people were killed, hurt or left homeless.
Of all the states in the union, Oklahoma is the only one where not one single county in the entire state voted for President Obama in the last two elections. While this in itself doesn't mean anything, among the state's many objections to the president is that he is a socialist, hell-bent on destroying our country through such commie government give-aways as Obamacare, financial aid to the poor and disabled, affordable housing, senior programs and federal disaster aid to places like New York and New Jersey in response to Hurricane Sandy.
Year after year, they re-elect knuckle-dragging troglodyte, James Inhofe, who probably couldn't pass a standardized middle-school achievement test, to represent them in Congress just so he can vote against such assaults on the American way as a minimum wage, climate change legislation, equal pay for equal work, regulation of our banking and financial institutions, any and all of President Obama's nominees and disaster relief to any other needy state that's not Oklahoma. Throw in his commitment to every conspiracy theory the right-wing fringe thinks up, including the laughable idea that the president is buying up all the ammunition in the country to better enslave the American people, and you pretty much get the picture of who the good folks in Oklahoma think should be the face and voice of their state.
His partner in the senate, Tom Coburn, while certainly more intelligent than Inhofe (which can also be said about the stapler on Inhofe's desk) is no less conservative in his voting record, and just as proudly voted to deny disaster relief to the above-mentioned New York and New Jersey. I'm assuming he hasn't bought into Inhofe's ammo conspiracy theory, but I can't actually swear to it. At any rate, both Senators have stated repeatedly that government is the problem not the solution, reflecting the opinion of a large majority of Oklahoma residents.
So now the people of Oklahoma are facing the state's worst calamity in recent memory and find that they need help from a federal government they despise and distrust and a president they loathe. How exactly does that work? Do they suddenly say, "Hey, you know all those nasty things we said about government and the Kenyan born president hating the constitution, trampling on states' rights and promoting socialism? Well, we were just kidding, send us the money!"
And of course we will send them the money because that's what we do whenever a disaster strikes somewhere in our country. The majority of Americans, including me, don't think you play politics with a community's pain and suffering no matter how tempting it might be. However, I can't deny that I have mixed feelings. Maybe if we got an agreement in writing from Oklahoma to at least throw James Inhofe out of office, I'd feel better about cutting them a check.