A few doctors give the impression that they think they are gods. Nearly everyone has known one or two. It appears that Oklahomans may have one of those as U. S. Senator.
Doctors are usually very bright people. They have to be bright to pass the difficult regimen of medical college and to master the essentials of their profession. The problem comes when they go outside their sphere of knowledge and assume the same confidence of opinion in areas of less knowledge or expertise.
Of late, Dr. Coburn has taken up the practice of substituting his own judgment, or conscience as he puts it, for the wisdom of the entire Senate body. Several times he has blocked Senate consideration, and probable vote of approval, for legislation significant to people. A while back he did that on an issue of medical benefits for veterans. He did that on a humanitarian bill, bringing protests outside his Oklahoma offices by young people.
Now, “Senator No” is blocking extension of unemployment benefits for some 240,000 recipients, labeling it as an insignificant matter not worth its costs. Under the stupid Senate rule allowing him to do this, he keeps the other 99 senators from being able to vote up or down on the measure.
Singlehandedly and arrogantly, Dr. Coburn is assuming an omniscience he thinks the entire senate does not possess, therefore should never get to vote on something he doesn’t like.
Dr. Coburn says that he wants to block anything that is “not paid for,” meaning accompanied by a tax or by a cut in some other expenditure. Noble as that sounds, that is not the history of the senator’s votes. During the past administration he repeatedly voted for legislation, such as Iraq War costs and deficit budgets.
Mr. Coburn has repeatedly voted for tax cuts for the wealthy, although each one of those votes added greatly to the nation’s financial deficit.