HE'S become a raging demonizer, but Wallace Collins is the one wearing the horns. The chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party regularly descends into the rhetorical abyss. He did it again by linking the modern tea party movement to Timothy McVeigh.
Collins is part of a long line of ineffectual state party leaders. With few exceptions, these leaders have distinguished themselves not by what they got done but what they said.
After the Democratic presidential primary last month, Collins declared that Barack Obama's relatively weak showing was an indication that “racism is alive and well in Oklahoma.” Since only Democrats voted in that primary, the chairman of their party was demonizing his own voters!
Collins is back with more overheated rhetoric with the McVeigh-tea party link. When you don't have an argument, trot out a monster. Hitler, Mussolini, McVeigh — doesn't matter.
The knock on mainstream conservatives at the time of the Oklahoma City bombing was that they were “anti-government.” The tea party is painted with the same brush today. Supporting a smaller, less-indebted government is not anti-government any more than supporting Obamacare is pro-communist.
Any connection between McVeigh and the tea party resides only in the minds of Collins and other intellectually bankrupt partisans. Collins heads a party in serious decline here. Rather than demonization, he should be working to retain the only congressional seat Democrats hold in this state.
Instead, he insulted Democrats in that district with the racism claim.
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn got nowhere with previous efforts to reduce what government agencies spend on conferences. This time around, Coburn's colleagues in Congress like the idea. Credit goes to reports about the General Services Administration spending $823,000 on a training conference in Las Vegas in 2010. With that as the backdrop, senators this week approved an amendment by Coburn, R-Muskogee, that would cap spending on conferences and require that such spending be detailed through quarterly updates on the Internet. Coburn says the government spends at least half a billion dollars a year on conferences, and expects his changes will save taxpayers $65 million per year. Coburn has been pushing this idea for at least four years. Better late than never.
“Featherbedding” is a term for a union's ploy to force the hiring of more workers than are actually needed to accomplish a task. The U.S. Senate seems intent on imposing a form of this practice on the U.S. Postal Service, with rules that restrict the closing of post offices that clearly need to be closed. Built in to the closure criteria are layers of exceptions such as economic impact, access to broadband Internet (one of the things that has devastated first-class mail), proximity to the nearest post office, etc. USPS wants to close 3,700 post offices. Senators apparently want to shrink that number to two or three. Perhaps a dozen or so underused post offices in affluent areas with high-speed DSL and another facility within two miles might be found and actually closed. Stamp the Senate's micromanagement plan with this watermark: What a joke!