Now and then somebody who’s been in the thick of political wheeling and dealing will give us the real scoop about what’s going on out there in the hallowed halls of power.
Too many political memoirs treat politics as usual as some kind of unalterable law of nature. There are some noble exceptions: John Jackley’s Hill Rat, Mark Sanford’s The Trust Committed to Me.
And now former Congressman Tom Coburn is about to add to their number. Like Sanford, Coburn was a term-limited representative who voluntarily left his job in Washington after three terms. The book isn’t finished yet, so we don’t have many details about what will be in it, but we know what the straight-talking Coburn has said in the past.
For example, he has bluntly noted that the power folks wield in Washington is, quote, “like morphine. . . . People give you positive strokes when you don’t deserve them. It takes a very strong individual to recognize when you’re getting [what] you don’t deserve and not let it go to your head.”
Coburn jumped into the battle to begin with because he was “disgusted with Congress,” as he puts it. “I was disgusted with my congressman. He’d been here 14 years. When he left [for Washington], he was a great congressman. He represented the views of the district. At the end, he represented the views of Washington.”
Coburn says the desire for power is “too important” in Washington. And he has plenty of examples. I, for one, plan to be lining up at the bookstore.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.