GOP Maverick Found Dead

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Photo Courtesy of Lauren Siegert via Creative Commons License

An iconic Republican has sadly passed away.

Former Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has died at the age of 72.

Stopping Government Overreach

As conservatives, we always want to see the role of government reduced.

Coburn won his seat for the first time in 1995 as the representative for Oklahoma’s 2nd District.

He would hold that seat until January 2001, where he would retire from the House after a self-imposed three-term limit.

During his hiatus from government service, Coburn penned Breach of Trust with ghostwriter John Hart.

That book made it quite clear that Coburn despised career politicians and he was very critical of some iconic figures in the Republican party, such as Newt Gingrich.

This created a bit of a rift in the party, with “career” Republicans still in office hoping Coburn would not return for a Senate run.

Their greatest fears came true when Coburn decided to run for the Senate in 2004, an election he would win.

Coburn’s career as a Senator started in January 2005 and he would win his re-election in 2010, with his second term beginning in January 2011.

Sadly, Coburn would retire from office two years early in January 2015 due to continuing health problems.

Coburn was not necessarily liked by anyone in office on either side of the aisle, but he was respected.

When Coburn retired, Obama stated,  “Even though we haven’t always agreed politically, we’ve found ways to work together — to make government more transparent, cut down on earmarks, and fight to reduce wasteful spending and make our tax system fairer.

“The people of Oklahoma have been well-served by this ‘country doctor from Muskogee’ over the past nine years.”

When Coburn retired, he also expressed his apologies to those he “offended” during his career.

He stated, “To those of you over the years that I have offended, I truly apologize.

“And I think none of that was intended because I actually see things different.

“I believe our founders were absolutely brilliant and far smarter than us. I believe the enumerated powers meant something.”

Rest in peace, Mr. Coburn. While people may not have supported your policies or your perception of our political system, you did earn their respect. Politicians today could surely learn a thing or two for your career, especially when it comes to self-imposed term limits.

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