Former Oklahoma Democratic governor takes on state Republicans

Although former Gov. David Walters said his daughters are fond of saying "Don't you know who he thinks he used to be?" the audience's standing ovation at the March 31 Oklahoma County Democratic Party Convention signaled it knew who he "used to be" and who he is today.

Walters said the failings of the Republican Party provide an easy opportunity for humor.

"The meltdown of the Republican Party is driven in no small way by its devotion to a leader whose limitations are historic," he said.

He cited, among other things, meaningless debates, such as who gets to write the state budget, as distractions that take the focus off of what is important.

"We are not going to get better health-care research centers by concentrating on abortion or what else can we do to scare the hell out of gay people," he said.

The former governor advised Oklahoma's predominantly Republican Legislature to cut to the chase and leave out pandering and inflammatory windbaggery.

"Let's begin by making an outcast of the next legislator (who) comes up with some crazy social wedge issue designed to inflame enough people to get him or her elected," Walters advised. "And I mean targeting the most egregious example and making sure that there is a consequence for their hypocrisy. We only have to do one a cycle."

We at Chicken-Fried News, who are observers of the human condition, are so sure lawmakers will take his advice.

In the closing of his keynote address, Walters offered an ecumenical olive branch.

"For my fellow Christians, during this holy Lenten season leading to Easter, may you give up enough vices to afford to give more to good Democratic candidates. "¦ I gave up pole-vaulting," Walters said. "For my Islamic friends and those of other faiths,  "¦ I pray, inshallah (God willing), that your prosperity is shared to also support progressive candidates and causes."

CFN is hoping for a GOP repartee that's witty for equal time for party punditry. The Oklahoma Republican Party's 2007 State Convention is Friday and Saturday at the Meridian Convention Center. Bucky can't wait.


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