by Steve Fair

“Washington is broke,” U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, (R-Muskogee) said as he opened his town hall meeting in Duncan on Monday evening. “We have too many career politicians in Congress who have no real world experience,” Coburn said. At the town hall, Dr. Coburn fielded questions ranging from illegal immigration to gun rights. Several in the audience were concerned about Coburn’s public support of expanding background checks for gun sales. “No one has a stronger record on the second amendment than I do,” Coburn said. ”I do think we need to make sure we are trying to keep guns out of the hands of known criminals and those who have mental illness that has them living in an alternate reality.”

First, Washington is broke- both fiscally and operationally- and it is broke because the American people have elected politicians who have broken it. We don’t have to look any further than in the mirror to find out who is to blame. People stopped paying attention to their government and holding their elected officials accountable. It appears there is some ‘awaking’ in the citizens of our country- aka Tea Party- and that is encouraging, but unless these new ‘experts’ on politics stay hooked up, we can only expect the same government we have always had. Washington is broke, but we can’t permanently fix Washington without fixing what is broke in our own city, county and state. Permanent change must begin from the bottom up. We need to flush out career politicians from the courthouse to the Whitehouse. As Coburn correctly said- “they(career politicians) have no point of reference in life other than government.”

Second, the 2nd amendment is critical to our country’s survival- even to those who hate guns. Those who are furiously protective of the second amendment understand that. The second amendment isn’t about duck hunting- it was put there by our founding fathers to insure us the right to protect ourselves against our own government. Even if you don’t own a gun, you should stand up for the 2nd amendment and applaud those who seek to defend it. If it weren’t there, it’s likely America wouldn’t have survived 230 plus years. Our founding fathers understood the nature of man and how that power corrupts, hence they included the 2nd amendment as a means for citizens to protect themselves from an overreaching, tyrannical government.

Third, Oklahoma and America is going to miss Tom Coburn in the U.S. Senate when he completes his second term in 2016. Senator Coburn is a rare politician. He doesn’t really care if he doesn’t get re-elected, but he really cares about America. Dr. Tom served three terms(six years) in the U.S. House representing the people of Little Dixie (SE Oklahoma). He then came home to Muskogee in 2000 to practice medicine when he could easily have won re-election and stayed in Congress. While Senator Don Nickles decided to not seek a fifth term to the Senate in 2004, Coburn jumped in late and easily won the GOP primary.

In a field that included the popular Mayor of Oklahoma City, a sitting Corporation Commissioner and the good doctor, Coburn made one of the shortest but most effective campaign speeches ever at the 2004 Oklahoma State Republican Convention. His two worthy opponents had waxed long and eloquent detailing their political pedigrees and credentials to the weary delegates. When it came time for Dr. Tom to speak he stepped to the microphone and simply told the OKGOP delegates; “You know who I am and you know what I’ll do.” As he left the stage he was given a standing ovation. I whispered to then State GOP Chairman Gary Jones, “The primary race is over.” Why did Coburn evoke such a response from a seasoned crowd of politician groupies? Because Coburn is a rare politician- he really does what he says he will do. He has never made votes or decisions on how it will impact his ‘likability’ numbers or his donor base.

Senator Coburn has served Oklahoma well- by the time he leaves the Senate, he will have given eighteen years of his life serving Oklahomans in Washington and not only Oklahoma, but America owns him a debt of gratitude.

Steve Fair is National Committeeman for the Oklahoma Republican Party. He can be reached by phone at 580.252.6284 or by email at His blog is