How Coburn Made a Difference

The retiring senator blocked more bad ideas and lousy bills than most Americans will ever know.

Kimberley A. Strassel
The Wall Street Journal

Members of Congress come and go, and many leave Washington no better or worse than they found it. A few make a mark, and Congress is losing one of them: Tom Coburn.

The senator doesn’t leave behind him a stack of legislation with his name, or grand bipartisan deals. He doesn’t leave stunts, public tantrums, an adoring press corps, or, for that matter, many adoring GOP colleagues. Mr. Coburn didn’t really “do” legacy. Which is why this rather humble Oklahoman will have one.

What Mr. Coburn does leave is a more informed electorate and a better Republican Party—two groups that benefited enormously from his focus on first principles: adhering to the Constitution, limiting federal government, and protecting individual liberties. In his three terms in the House and 10 years in the Senate, he became most known for forcing Congress (in particular his own caucus) to reconcile its actions against those principles. His long-term efforts to decode the federal government—voluminous reports on waste and fraud, demands for more transparency—were likewise aimed at giving voters the tools they need to hold members true to those principles…

…Mr. Coburn was elected to a second Senate term in 2010 and vowed to abide by self-imposed term limits. He’s had health concerns and is leaving early. But he has no regrets. This citizen-legislator had a full life before Congress, and he’s brimming with plans for life after Congress. If all those new, incoming Republicans senators are looking for a model—this is their guy.



The complete article is at The Wall Street Journal.



Related:  Senator Tom Coburn’s Parting Message: DHS Is Dysfunctional

…According to Coburn, the DHS has five main tasks and it is not performing any of them adequately, as noted in a January 3 press release about the report…




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