While I won’t miss his presence in the U.S. Senate, I am sorry to hear that Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is suffering with cancer and will retire. I hope he makes a full recovery. He is endorsing Rep. James Lankford to succeed him, and that is just a frightening prospect. I took at a look at Lankford’s Wikipedia page and he is wrong on literally everything. I mean everything. I am going to condense it down for you:
Lankford supports simple budget austerity through lowering taxes and reducing government spending. He took the taxpayer protection pledge promising to support no new taxes. He supports the repeal of the income and estate taxes and supports a sales tax to tax consumption and not savings or earnings. Lankford supports prioritizing spending (if the debt limit is reached) and the Cut-Cap-and-Balance Pledge. He supports a balanced budget amendment. He supports compensatory time-off for overtime workers. Lankford wants to loosen restrictions on interstate gun purchases. He opposes Firearm microstamping, a controversial method of imprinting casings with a unique marking to match it with a specific firearm, and would allow veterans to register unlicensed firearms. He supports extending the Patriot Act and expanding roving wiretaps occurring in the US. Lankford supports the prioritization of security, starting with military bases. He supports expanding exploration of gas and oil both domestically and on the outer continental shelf. He opposes the EPA regulating emission standards as he believes it hinders economic growth. In addition to barring the EPA from regulating emission standards, Lankford believes manure and other fertilizers should not be classified as pollutants or hazardous. Lankford has stated his belief that federally funded healthcare is unconstitutional and has made a statement that he will oppose in and all moves for a federal healthcare system. He supported an initiative to allow Medicare choice and also institute budget cuts. Lankford opposes abortion rights. He supports banning all federally funded abortions and believes Congress should recognize life at the moment of fertilization. He opposes any federally funded healthcare or coverage programs that allow for abortion, as well as Planned Parenthood and other similar groups.
On a personal level, Rep. Lankford is rather impressive. For much of his childhood, he was raised by his mother alone in modest conditions, and got an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He followed that up with a master’s degree in Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. From there he became the program director of the largest Christian camp in the United States. And, of course, he was elected to Congress. He’s not quite 46 years old, and he’s been very successful.
He could be with us for a very long time.