Might Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) have some "'splainin' to do" about racial insensitivity? Both Associated Press editor Michael Giarrusso and Politico's Glenn Thrush raised the question in blog posts filed this morning.
Shortly before noon, Giarrusso noted that "Sen. Tom Coburn evoked a 1950s TV show in a quip responding to Sonia Sotomayor’s scenario about what he might do if she -- hypothetically, of course -- attacked him."
For online readers unaware of the half-century-old pop culture reference, Giarrusso explained:
Some of America's leading bloggers had an opportunity to talk with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) Friday morning.
For those unfamiliar, Coburn is a true conservative and straight-talker who is always a treat on these conference calls due to his hold no punches, tell it like it is style.
Beyond the agenda items of the expanding federal deficit, earmarks, and bailouts, the Senator offered participants his must-hear view of who should be recruited by the Republican Party to return it to its conservative, fiscally responsible roots (audio available here).
Oprah Winfrey doesn't want to interview Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin until after Election Day, but she's more than happy to use her program to advance a piece of legislation sponsored by Democrat vice presidential candidate Joe Biden.
At the same time, while she spent her entire show Monday discussing child predators and what can be done about them (video of final segment embedded right), she chose not to address another Senate proposal authored by Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) that combines Biden's bill with legislation sponsored by John McCain.
I wonder why.
As The Hill reported Monday, Winfrey is clearly using her couch in a highly-political fashion that might not only help Democrats, but also assist Barack Obama's efforts to get into the White House (emphasis added throughout):
"McCain Goes Negative, Worrying Some in G.O.P.," the New York Times fretted Wednesday in a headline over a story by reporter Michael Cooper. Times readers learned that while it's perfectly acceptable for the Times to call conservative Sen. Tom Coburn "Dr. No" in a front-page headline, it's bad for John McCain to call Barack Obama the same thing.
Cooper opened his story:
In recent days Senator John McCain has charged that Senator Barack Obama "would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign," tarred him as "Dr. No" on energy policy and run advertisements calling him responsible for high gas prices.
(The headline to Monday's front-page story about Sen. Tom Coburn: "Democrats Try to Break Grip Of the Senate's Flinty Dr. No.")
If the Ethics Bill just approved by Congress had passed this time last year, a media hell-bent on giving Democrats control of that governmental branch would have lambasted the legislation as an election year stunt by Republicans desperately trying to distance themselves from their own culture of corruption.
Yet, twelve months later, with Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) at the helm, it seems a metaphysical certitude Katie, Charlie, and Brian will hail this bill's passage as a crowning achievement of Democrats that vowed to clean up Washington.
In fact, you can already see the self-congratulations in the Associated Press article written shortly after the votes were counted (emphasis added throughout):