Tom Corburn-The Defining Act of a Politician and two Parties

Many questions surrounds why a politician like Tomas Allen Coburn would use his final act as a U.S. Senator to block a bill designed to help ease and/or eliminate the suicides of veterans.  A man who, at many times, have called himself a champion of veterans and large supporter of our troops.

This same question is asked in an article titled “Tom Coburn Blocks Bill On Veterans' Suicide Prevention” by Matthew Daly for the Associated Press.  Mr. Daily reports that “Veterans groups blasted Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn Monday for blocking a bill intended to reduce a suicide epidemic that claims the lives of 22 military veterans every day.  "This is why people hate Washington," said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, an advocacy group. Rieckhoff accused Coburn of single-handedly blocking a bill that could save the lives of thousands of veterans. Coburn, a Republican, is retiring after 10 years in the Senate. In a floor speech Monday night, he defended his actions, saying the bill would not accomplish its stated goal and duplicates programs that already exist.  "I don't think this bill would do the first thing to change what's happening" in terms of veterans' suicides, Coburn said.  The House approved the bill last week. The measure is named for Clay Hunt, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran from Houston who killed himself in 2011. Hunt's parents appealed to Coburn last week to withdraw his objection, but he declined.”

So now the question becomes, why but the answer could be oh so simple.  Pay close attention to the profession that Mr. Coburn returns to and take from that a portion of why he voted no.  Consider whom he surrounds himself with after leaving office and take from that a portion of why he voted no.  He goes back to being a doctor then considers how this bill would have not benefited him in his practice.  He takes a position with any entity that would also not be benefited by this bill passing and there is a portion of maybe why he said no.  Or it could be something else, something that every single politician does when they can no longer seem to find the spine to do the right thing.

It is a last-ditch effort to appease those hiding behind the curtain.  This is not limited to a certain party nor is it limited to certain people.  We all do it at one time of another.  We would rather go along to get along instead of stand up for what we claim we believe in.  It’s the reason we flip-flop on issues even when there is no real strong evidence convincing enough to justify the change.  It is why we cry loud in certain situation and remain extremely quiet in others.  The defining act of a politician and all parties are not limited to Washington or any city or state.  It is an affliction we all share; we just need to ask ourselves, what will be our defining act.


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