Leslie Osborn, labor commissioner, and at least one more Republican telling it like it is
The sad truth about Oklahoma?
You know, until Democrats get their brand back, the one that built the state in the first place, which won’t ever happen if the only time Dems think about elections is election time — how’s that worked out in our last four gubernatorial contests, the winner of each a bullied dunce or a self-congratulating, first-to-applaud-himself corruption artist — wait, where was I?
Ah, yes . . .
The sad truth about Oklahoma?
In so deep, reflexively red, trained by idiots to vote like idiots … it’s going to take Republicans to save us.
Can’t be done, you say?
An impossibility, you say?
Have you seen the ridiculous bullshit bills they continue to submit for crying out loud, you say?
Well, all that’s true and then along comes an attorney general like Gentner Drummond, who clearly missed the memo suspending all oversight upon our-unfortunate-governor Kevin Stitt, the one that until the last few weeks allowed him to govern — if you can call it that — like nobody’s watching because, hey, but for a few reporters with dwindling readerships, nobody was.
Then again, maybe we should have seen Drummond coming.
Because not everybody in that party can be pro-corruption, anti-rule-of-law, hate and live in fear of women or be cuckoo-for-Cocoa Puffs like Ryan Walters, can they?
And now, even better, it’s clear Drummond has a confederate to join him in these trying one-party-rule times and would you believe it’s another statewide elected person of power just like him and her name is Leslie Osborn, labor commissioner if you didn’t know.
Maybe you voted for her.
Maybe you voted against her.
Maybe you’re one of them and you wouldn’t have voted for her if you knew how she really felt.
Whatever, where Drummond’s made it his business to attack government corruption wherever it may lead — which you can read about here — Osborn has made it hers to attack the outright stupidity, idiocy, ignorance and brainlessness coming out of the state legislature.
As she told host Ginnie Graham in a Tulsa World produced podcast after writing a guest editorial appearing in both the World and The Oklahoman, her department scans every proposed bill in every legislative legislative session to remain on top of things and Jesus Christ, have you seen them?
To be fair, that’s a paraphrase.
What she actually said was this:
“We just kept noticing how many social issue bills there were and it was overwhelming. I mean, it feels like half the bills filed are to save ourselves.”
Then she went further.
“I believe America was founded on the separation of church and state, that those are issues we used to lead to personal freedoms.”
I know what you’re thinking:
She can’t be a Republican.
But she is.
And, get this, the 747,037 votes she received was almost 100,000 more than Walters and 107,000 more than Stitt.
The editorial she penned was short, sweet and packed haymakers.
She mentioned no names, nor even the names of the two parties, but in a state legislature that includes 40 Republican Senators to 8 Democrats and 81 Republican House members to 20 Democrats, who do you think she was talking about?
Appearing Jan. 31 in The Oklahoman and Feb. 6 in the World, Osborn opened by asking what the role of state government is in the first place?
“The Oklahoma Constitution only requires one thing be done every year in the legislative session: pass a balanced budget to fund the core services of government,” she wrote.
“Yet this year we have over 3,000 bills filed in advance of the start of session.”
Ticking off what government ought to be providing, she played the hits:
Infrastructure; public education including career techs and higher ed; public safety and “a working medical system for quality physical and mental health care across the state.”
Then, gloriously, she began kicking real ass and, who knows, maybe shame a tiny percentage of the embarrassments who have control of her party.
“Yet instead, we seem to be becoming exactly what the women of Iran are bravely and valiantly fighting against: a growing morality police state,” Osborn wrote.
And to think, State Question 755, passing in 2010, banned Sharia Law.
Perhaps Drummond will remind the theocrats in his party about that.
Osborn, though, was only getting started.
“We want to punish businesses who don’t agree with us,” she wrote. “We want to whitewash our history (Fast fact: It’s not all pretty. But we have to teach it so we do not repeat it.)”
Every time I’ve said Republicans are not capable of critical thinking (or in favor, even, of teaching it), it now appears what I really meant to say was all but two of them.
Fine, maybe more.
“We are banning books and limiting freedoms on a daily basis … I suppose the desired result is a homogenous society where we all look alike, love alike, worship alike,” Osborn wrote, “read the same books and think the same thoughts.”
If she’d handed it to me, I would have left all the words, but moved a few of her last paragraphs around, because I’d have this flourish her closer:
“There was a time of freedom in our great country when all of these issues were not legislated, and we trusted individuals to make decisions without government interference.
“There was a time when we focused on small, efficient, good government. Those issues were discussed in churches, at dinner tables and left to individuals.
“Now, half of our time is spent on saving souls, not our job, to the detriment of our state.”
To say nothing of the fact that the most certain of saved souls — just ask the bags of skin and bones they belong to — are the most insufferable souls of all, so why’d anybody want any of them passing laws in our statehouse?
That and bully for Osborn.
Maybe she torpedoed her political future. Maybe she propelled it.
Clearly, she was happy to do either swinging, which some call leadership.
Should her and Drummond’s brand of Republicanism eventually carry the day, it’s not only good for everybody, but even the Dem brand, too.
Because we’ve been here all along, fighting much the same fight, for all Oklahomans, not just the gravy-chain chasers in the governor’s and state superintendent’s phones and in Osborn’s and Drummond’s brave new Oklahoma, others might see that.
Perhaps vote for them.
At least be happy they’re around
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