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Oklahoma’s Finest Legislator

6:46 AM EDT on July 9, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket vs. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Oklahoma has sent some good men to the Senate. Starting with Robert L. Owen and Thomas P. Gore (uncle of Al) who were sent to Washington when Oklahoma first became a state, the state has elected men like Robert S. Kerr, J. Howard Edmondson, David Boren, and even Don Nickles to represent us in the U.S. version of the House of Lords. Now: Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn. My task today is to break down these two men and determine which is better, or more accurately, least bad.  CRAZY IDEAS:

Jim Inhofe:"Global Warming is the greatest hoax ever."  Based on the mantra, "the science is not settled" on global warming, Inhofe has led the opposition to former Vice President and nephew of former Oklahoma Senator Thomas Gore, Al Gore. Now, I understand if you want to be skeptical of the idea that climate change is going to cause catastrophic events in the vein of The Day After Tomorrow. It is an entirely different thing to pretend that the scientific community is arguing the existence of climate change. Sure there are some studies, mostly funded by companies who want to keep polluting, but there are probably some studies related to gravity, as well, but I'm pretty sure that debate is pretty settled. Anyway, what makes this a crazy idea has little to do with your belief in climate change, but rather why Inhofe believes the hoax is being perpetrated. Asked by CNN's Miles O'Brien what benefit there was in proclaiming global warming, Inhofe responded: "What kind of ratings would the weather channel have if suddenly people weren't scared anymore?" Good point, Senator. John Stewart will take that on later.

It's a good thing this guy is not on the senate's science committee. Oh wait, he used to chair that committee.

Tom Coburn: "Doctors who perform abortions should receive the death penalty."Politics aside, this is crazy due to hypocrisy. Coburn, is an obstetrician, so he has been asked many times if he has ever performed an abortion. Strangely, he refuses to answer.Advantage: Push. That's some good crazy.DAILY SHOW COVERAGE: Jim Inhofe:

Tom Coburn: Unfortunately, there is no clip of Coburn's mention on The Daily Show on Youtube. Let's just say it was during a committee meeting related to the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts. Coburn was caught doing a crossword puzzle during debate, then later cried about the importance of the meetings when it was his turn to speak. You can let your imagination go wild with how Stewart covered that.

Advantage: Inhofe. Anything that gets Gary England mentioned on a national stage is worth it, no matter how bad it makes the Oklahoma electorate look.


SELF PROMOTION:

Jim Inhofe: Unless you count his shameless plugging of anti-global warming science to elevate himself as the leading opponent to Al Gore (he's thisclose to producing "A Convenient Lie" in response), Inhofe actually isn't much of a promoter.

Tom Coburn: Right after his election, you couldn't drive a mile down a highway without seeing a billboard praising the work Coburn was doing in the senate. Mind you, he had not been sworn in when these things went up. To this date, there is a billboard on 6th Street in downtown letting me know Coburn is doing a good job. There is nothing you can tell me to convince me that someone in the Coburn campaign is not funding these things.

Advantage:  Coburn. As a megalomaniac myself, I have to appreciate a man who isn't afraid to boast about himself

DIRTY CAMPAIGNING:

Jim Inhofe: In his initial campaign to fill the seat vacated by David Boren, Inhofe stuck to the script of the three G's (God, Guns, and Gays). That wasn't enough for him, however, as he actually hired a heckler to attend his democratic opponent's campaign stops. My favorite Inhofe tactic, though, is how he plays on this state's hatred of all things Clinton (the Presidential family, not the western Oklahoma town). In a maneuver used most effectively in every bar argument ever, Inhofe refers to his opponent as "Bill Clinton's friend." Sadly, it always brings the biggest reaction from his audience. I don't know if that says more about Inhofe (childish debating) or his supporters (swayed by childish debating).

Tom Coburn: Dancing animations of Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy with Brad Carson. "˜Nuff said.

Advantage: Inhofe. He doesn't hide behind "The Club for Growth".

GOP LACKEY:

Jim Inhofe: No one is as loyal to his party as Inhofe.

Tom Coburn: While never being confused with a liberal, Coburn is hardly a shill for his party. Coburn takes pride in being an obstructionist above all else. If that means being the first Republican to call for Alberto Gonzalez' resignation or blocking a wildly popular bi-partisan bill, he's on top of it.

Big Advantage: Coburn.

TALE OF THE TAPE:


WINNER:

It was a close one. Inhofe won the dirty campaigning and Daily Show coverage categories, while Coburn stole self promotion and was less of a GOP lackey. They tied in crazy ideas. Due to the big advantage Coburn was awarded in the final category, he will be the first winner of "Least Bad Senator"


LOSER:

This one is more clear: The state of Oklahoma.

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