That’s Senator Tom Coburn, announcing his retirement.
Coburn’s question is a good one. How indeed can a country doctor with no political experience make it to Washington and participate — some might even say participate in a way that’s directly responsible for some of the dysfunction — in what many people would suggest is the most dysfunctional Congress in anyone’s memory? How indeed. I can only imagine that when the good people of Oklahoma sent Dr. Coburn to Washington without a shred of political experience, they expected precisely what they ended up getting … like the blockage of the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, or holding up passage of legislation to create the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act, or placing a special hold on the Veterans’ Caregiver and Omnibus Health Benefits Act, or protesting NBC’s decision to air “Schindler’s List” in prime time because it contained nudity, violence, and profanity.
Anyhow, fare thee well, sir.
Now which brave soul will step into the breach and take up the mantle of desperately trying to stop political scientists from receiving federal funding to study American politics?