After 22 years in Washington, Jim Inhofe still doesn’t seem to know what it means to be a public servant.
Last week, Inhofe once again demonstrated his "take his ball and go home" approach to governing. From the Environment News Service wire:
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing today to review the Bush administration's record on public health and environmental matters, but it was conducted in the absence of Ranking Member Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a Republican and former chair of the committee.
Senator Inhofe was not ill or out of town, he boycotted the hearing, and he asked the two government witnesses scheduled to honor his objection. Neither one attended the hearing nor did any of the Republican committee members.
In no way is this kind of political stunt good for Oklahoma.
Inhofe has demonstrated time and time again that if he doesn’t get his way, he’d rather walk away from the table than try to make tough choices. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who has witnessed up close several of Inhofe’s political stunts, today made it clear in an email that she’d rather see Andrew Rice in the U.S. Senate than Jim Inhofe:
Senator Inhofe has blocked every piece of legislation I have fought for to reduce the dangerous greenhouse gases that threaten our planet. And of course, the longer we wait to do something, the harder it will be to prevent the ravages that come from global warming -- ravages that have been laid out by the world's leading scientists.
So today, I'm asking you to support Andrew Rice, who is campaigning hard each day to replace Jim Inhofe in the Senate and bring strong leadership to Oklahoma this November.
Jim Inhofe thinks he’s above reproach – and he thinks that’s a good quality in a U.S. Senator. Yet Inhofe, one of the most partisan Senators (he’s voted over 90% with his party during his career in Washington), liberally accuses others of doing one of his favorite things: playing partisan politics.
"I was hopeful that a bipartisan approach would yield the best results - not only for our doctors, but for our elderly. Unfortunately, during an election year, partisan politics often trumps sound policy. As a result, Democrats seized on an issue where they saw an opportunity to score political points and refused to reach across the aisle to allow for a strong bipartisan victory."
Inhofe release, July 9, 2008
"While many in Washington seem more interested in election year politics, it is simply irresponsible to delay action on this important issue because of political squabbling. Without quick Congressional action, it's the American people who will pay the price."
Inhofe release, June 12, 2008
"Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats have been playing politics with the SCHIP re-authorization bill, using it as a vehicle to advance their long-standing agenda of socializing healthcare and creating a new middle-class entitlement."
Inhofe release, September 28, 2007
"It's unfortunate and disheartening that some in this body continue to jeopardize our soldiers’ well-being by playing politics with vital military funding."
Inhofe release, September 20, 2007
In a press release issued this weekend, the outgoing Republican chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee questioned the Democrats' motivations for blocking the EPA nominees. "Clearly the Democrat's tactics have little to do with the qualifications of these nominees and everything to do with partisan politics," said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Environment and Energy Daily, December 11, 2006
"It is hyper-hypocritical of Sen. Kerry to accuse anyone of playing politics after a 'performance' like his today. The fact is Sen. Kerry owes American soldiers and their families an apology and his scoffing at that suggestion is merely another example of his elitist and out of touch frame of mind."
Inhofe release, October 31, 2006
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate panel, argued Democrats were playing politics with Wehrum's nomination. He cited Wehrum's work on air pollution regulations for power plants and diesel engines. "The bottom line is the air is cleaner because of Bill Wehrum," Inhofe said.
Greenwire, April 26, 2006
"If the environmental community is serious about protecting the environment, it will stop playing politics with carbon dioxide, which is not a pollutant, and work with Congress to pass Clear Skies," Inhofe said.
Waste News, November 24, 2003
Inhofe accusing others of being purely partisan creatures reminds me of the phrase, "It takes one to know one." This is the man who refused to let Al Gore respond to his questions during an EPA committee hearing in 2007, who worked to block all presidential nominations in protest of one Clinton nomination, and who in June led a nine-hour stunt in the Senate to block the Warner-Lieberman Climate Security Act.
Andrew Rice is more than happy to let Jim Inhofe take his ball and go home – all the way home to Oklahoma, once and for all, where he can play all the games he wants in his retirement.
The end of the financial quarter is Tuesday. Can you spare a couple of bucks to help bail Oklahomans out of our critical lack of leadership in the U.S. Senate?
- Karina Henderson,
Rice for US Senate