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Getting real

Gazette staff August 6th, 2013

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, surprised some hard-liners in his party recently when he denounced efforts by Senate Republicans to “gut” the Affordable Care Act — law of the land for, oh, going on four years now — by opposing any legislation that would fund it.

Credit: Brad Gregg

His reasoning? Well, as much as he’d “love” to kill the omnibus measure, Coburn just doesn’t think it’s sound political strategy.

“I’d be leading the charge if I thought this would work, but it will not work,” he said. “It’s a denial of reality mixed with a whole bunch of hype to promote groups and individuals who are saying, ‘I’m going to give you hope’ for something that we can’t do.”

Whaddya mean, “something we can’t do”? Sure, the GOP-led House of Representatives has voted 40 times (yep, 40 times) to repeal the law. And yeah, their efforts have failed the same number of times. But you never know if No. 41 will be the charm.

Coburn isn’t the only member of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation to throw cold water on the kill-Obamacare strategy.

MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough asked Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, last week if he thought the Republican push was a bit like Confederate Maj. Gen. George Pickett’s ill-fated charge on Gettysburg in the Civil War, a move that resulted in a bloodbath of rebel forces.

Cole didn’t miss a beat: “Pickett had a better chance.”

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