Sunday, August 26, 2007

An Obama odd couple

By Rick Morris

As has been established, I am not a Barack Obama supporter -- the only one of our Dignitaries on the program to endorse him has been Burrell Jackson, although Jason Jones has noted several of his statements approvingly. But I want to give credit where it is due, because he made a pronouncement in the past few days that has gained little notice but would be immense in its implications if he is elected president.

While asked to cite specific Republicans with whom he would seek to conduct serious business if elected president, he named among others Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. The foremost enemy of federal pork and business-as-usual in the Senate, Coburn is as unpopular among his Republican colleagues as he is among the Democrats because he's in town not to make friends, but to make serious changes. Republican members of the Senate also resent him because he's ideologically driven as opposed to being a simple partisan -- he has worked with Democrats inclined toward certain changes, including Obama last year when they co-sponsored the new Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. This law mandates full disclosure of all entities receiving federal funds and creates a free database for the public to search. By taking an unprecedented step towards making the gargantuan federal budget transparent to the American people, Coburn and Obama advanced the cause of a more just national government.

In short, if a President Obama would work seriously with Coburn and throw his weight behind him in the admittedly limited circumstances in which they agree, he would do more to establish reform credentials than any president in the last century. Most promises from politicians get jettisoned quickly upon their assumption of office -- let's hope that this is an exception to that rule.

No comments: