As a person who lives in a coastal region greatly affected by last year's devastating Hurricane Sandy, I was dismayed and appalled by the stringent and blatant partisan efforts of some members of congress to not only slash the much needed disaster relief to the victims of the same storm - but who have also opposed increased funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers federal disaster relief.
As is often the ironic after-effect of bad behavior (AKA karmic), it's clearly documented that two of the senators, both – sans surprise –Republicans, who voted against the relief and FEMA are indeed from Oklahoma - Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn (out of the 180 votes against the relief funds for Sandy, only one was cast by a Democrat by Congressman Jim Cooper.)
Do I believe that federal disaster relief funding should be withheld from the good people of Oklahoma now struggling with this life-shattering storm? Of course not. That is what FEMA is for - to help our fellow citizens when ruinous events take place.
Do I think that Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn should be called out publically by the people and the press for their obvious hypocrisy which stems from their flagrant, partisan and obstructionist actions by attempting to deny help to innocent victims placed in peril as the result of surviving a wildly monstrous act of nature?
Yes - absolutely.
Don’t lose track of the fact that the majority of the area devastated by Hurricane Sandy also served as home to voters who overwhelmingly supported President Obama during the last presidential election. In my opinion, it doesn't seem far fetched that the 179 GOP senators who voted against assistance for the victims of Sandy were potentially doing so not only as some kind of warped punishment for their actions at the voting booth, but also as a purposeful way to damage Obama’s presidency – no matter how well they may try to convince the public (and themselves) that they did not.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Or, more appropriately in this case, the lack of it.
Though unlikely, I hope their faces burn with shame when asked to explain why the situation in their state is somehow different than that of those who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy.
I also hope that come re-election time, that the voters of Oklahoma will understand what a bad idea it is to elect people like Inhofe and Coburn and it is my sincerest wish that they never hold public office again.
The shamefully small percentage of the population of this country that actually votes needs to fully understand that when they do so that there is often much more at stake than the upholding of a few tenants of a political party.
I can't imagine that the wise people of Oklahoma - especially as citizens of a state well accustomed to the devastation that comes with violent weather - would say "yes" if asked if they would knowingly vote to elect a person who would refuse assistance to a family left homeless, with nothing but the clothes on their back, without power or transportation, potable water, food to eat and clean sanitation because they happened to be the innocent victims of a catastrophic storm.
Yet - that is exactly what some Oklahomans who voted Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn did when they elected them to office.
My hope is that they will never do so again.
Here is a good list of ways to help the victims of the May 19th, 2013 Oklahoma tornadoes -
For more information on this situation - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/20/oklahoma-senators-disaster-relief_n_3309234.html