Sow the Wind, Reap the Worldwind: Okla. Senators Oppose Disaster Relief for OTHER States

In the wake of the tragic Moore, Oklahoma tornado comes another story of stupid Republican hypocrisy: the state’s two senators, Jim Imhofe and Tom Coburn. Says the Huffington Post in an article on the topic:

They voted against Sandy relief, of course. And guess which state ranks third in the nation in terms of receiving disaster relief funding? Oklahoma!

Do Oklahomans DESERVE disaster relief after voting these two clowns into office? Sounds like the Republican voters of Oklahoma are on the hook for extreme hypocrisy, too.

What’s the hypocrisy, exactly?

They vote to deny disaster relief funds to other states, but will come begging the federal relief funds to Oklahoma because, y’know, that’s DIFFERENT.

Oh, forgot to link to the Huffington Post article. Sorry about that.

‘Will’ come begging, or ‘have’ come begging?

Ok, read the article. I see what you’re getting at, but neither Senator appears to be opposed to the concept of federal disaster relief, they’ve objected to specific outlays of specific relief efforts in the past. From the article:

Again, opposed to wasteful relief spending (how accurate that characterization is is unclear based on the article), not all spending. If they support an OK relief bill that contains the same sorts of spending that they previously called “wasteful”, fair enough, that’s hypocritical.

As for the FEMA funding bill, from the linked article in your article:

So, not opposition to FEMA existing, but rather quarreling over where the funding should come from. That article also points out:

So, the Senators’ own states were the ones most likely to be adversely affected by funding problems with FEMA.

I’m not seeing in your articles where they begged for specific bills to be passed to increase funds for their states. They’ve asked for FEMA to expedite funds that were already approved and were part of FEMA’s budget.

Not seeing hypocrisy here.

They CLAIM that other states’ spending is “wasteful” but let me give you an idea how shallow and insubstantive their claims are: in a television interview, Imhofe said the Sandy relief was wasteful because it included things like putting roofs back on houses in the US Virgin Islands. Well the fact is, Sandy came through the Virgin Islands on it’s way to New Jersey. So that spending is legitimately part of Sandy relief. But Imhofe is either too ignorant an asshole to have bothered to learn that fact before he opened his ignorant mouth, or he figured his constituents are that ignorant. I opt for the second theory, because he kinda tried to make it sound like some New Jersey scammers were getting money for renovations on their vacation homes while they were at it.

Imhofe’s claims of wasteful spending are clearly a cover-up for his actual lack of concern for the welfare of OTHER states.


I am guessing it is this:

Here’s the thing though about all that pork:

So, basically, republicans put pork in the bill for Sandy Aid and then complain that there was pork in the bill for Sandy Aid.

That’s an overly simplistic reading. Inhofe was part of a group that wanted to budget $23.8 billion for immediate relief, and assess longer-term needs in future bills, as opposed to budgeting $60.4 billion that was a mix of immediate and long-term projects.

Inhofe didn’t want there to be no Sandy relief, he objecting to allocating all the funds in one go, but was part of a group that was proposing an immediate relief fund of $23.8 billion. You can reasonably disagree with that position, but it’s not ‘opposing disaster relief’.

Here is Coburn and John McCain’s joint statement on spending in the Sandy bill they considered wasteful.

Different Republicans. The Coats amendment that Inhofe supported was deliberately anti-pork.

Its pretty hard to reconcile Inhofe’s position on relief for Sandy versus relief for Oklahoma.

Just as it is hard to reconcile Ted Cruz’s position onrelief for Sandy versus federal aid for West, Texas.

The Republicans don’t think anything is an issue until it affects them (see Portman’s and Cheney’s position on gay marriage). Its a general lack of empathy.

Here ya go. It’s a video, Imhofe’s quote can be heard at 5:48. Stay for Cenk Uygar’s rant, it’s fun! Or you may be ok with the link Whack-A-Mole provides.

Why is that? He wasn’t opposed to Sandy relief, he wanted an initial authorization of $23.8 billion for immediate relief, with longer-term relief being dealt with after it had been analyzed.

The articles on this are pretty awful, most are reporting that Inhofe “opposed the Sandy relief bill” or that he “opposed using federal money to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy” without noting that he backed a rival relief bill.

This is partisan dishonesty at full tilt, and it’s wrong no matter who does it.

So, when Inhofe says (about the pork), "That won’t happen in Oklahoma,” why is that?

Sounds to me like Inhofe does not expect a need to “buy off” (so to speak) red states with pork in order to obtain relief funds.

That does not make Inhofe principled in my eyes.

Because he’s opposed to pork of this kind, I assume, now as he was with the Sandy bill.

He voted against what he saw as a pork-fest, so he’s principled on that level if nothing else. It’s unclear whether Congress will need to act in this case, FEMA has something like $11 billion in their relief fund already. Inhofe may or may not get the chance to vote on a relief bill for Oklahoma, which may or may not contain the same sort of pork spending he was opposed to in the Sandy bill. Until then, calling him a hypocrit is unsupported by the facts in hand.

Cite, please.

Not the best vacation itinerary I’ve ever heard.

From the HuffPo article I already cited: