US Congressman John Sullivan (R-OK) spoke Tuesday at the Tulsa County Republican Woman’s Club (RWC) answering strong questions – many with criticism implied, but that was not the only hot exchange as some of the most politically powerful local pundits and area activists gathered.
Sullivan said the race for president is much closer than the national media present and told the crowd, “The differences between the two candidates could not be greater. Barack Obama wants to raise taxes and redistribute wealth – he says he doesn’t, but he does … In the next big issue of Iran, do you want John McCain as our leader or Obama who says he will negotiate without preconditions?”
The crowd answered with applause and shouts of “McCain.”
Sullivan was quizzed on the recent financial bailout. The written questions were harsh and the answers as unclear as the future. He said it was the hardest vote he has taken to date in his many years of service. Sullivan said he voted against the first bill, but was swayed by US Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to vote for the second.
“Senator Coburn explained it as having a patient in cardiac arrest – first you put the paddles on to jump start the heart and keep them alive, then you figure out and fix the root causes of the problem,” Sullivan said.
Before and during the meeting protesters held a banner identifying themselves as “Former Sullivan Supporters” and demanding the historic “No Taxation without representation.” In fact, this group was comprised of Ron Paul supporters and other Libertarians of the Tulsa County Republican Party.
Asked why at a time when the differences are so extreme between the parties they would protest the official closest to their heartfelt positions, they offered little coherent response beyond saying, “The bailout was wrong” and “it’s bad.”
Sullivan acknowledged that many in the room most likely opposed his vote, but asserted, “The cost of inaction would have been far greater.”
The funny thing about the protesters is that they should know that party functions such as the RWC provide opportunity to make a point or more during conversations with elected officials. Elected officials really do want to hear from constituents on issues of importance. The protesters accomplished disgust in many who attended the meeting, but did not achieve their apparent primary goal of attracting media attention – beyond this report.
KJRH covered the event, but primarily to interview the fringe John Birch Society candidate for Tulsa County Commissioner Sally Bell. Their story is available online (click here for more) and shows, in itself, the disingenuous nature of the Bell effort. Embittered over the loss of an insider contract at Tulsa County’s Expo Square, Bell (formerly of Bells Amusement Park) is running as the “against” Tulsa County candidate. Bell told KJRH her race is not about Bells, but later states she wants to “see some changes made at Expo Square.” Her words suggest changes of revenge more than community service as the purpose for her campaign.
Tulsa Today has covered the Bell effort in a two part interview (click here for Part One and click here for Part Two) and with an analysis of her campaign (click here for “Bell doesn’t ring true”) prior to the primary. Many of her most vocal supporters seek to end Tulsa County government or at least disembowel it in favor of the ward politics of the City of Tulsa. Tulsa Today disagrees editorially as we note Tulsa County accomplishes more with a $60 million annual budget than the City of Tulsa does with an $560 million annual budget.
This writer approached a Sally Bell campaign operative at the meeting and offered, in behalf of Tulsa Today, full publication of a bylined article by Sally Bell to answer any and all criticisms previously published. This is our standard offer. Tulsa Today provides a platform for diverse views and dissenting opinions even if we think they are wrong.
However, Sullivan recognized Sally Bell from the podium saying, “Karen Keith (Bell’s Democrat opponent) wants to get along with people, but Sally Bell wants to stir things up.” By applause, the crowd must have believed his statement to be a recommendation or they were at least polite enough not to hold a mild applause.
Regardless of any other fact in this current election cycle, Republicans have shown themselves to be a diverse group of differing opinions. Beyond that, they show a remarkable optimistic spirit personified by a t-shirt taped to the podium. It featured Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin as a working woman flexing her biceps under the title, “We can do it.”
There was also much talk around the tables about national media and cultural clowns insulting Palin. One RWC member said, “Liberals don’t have a clue that the more they insult a pro-life, honest advocate, working mother, that is more qualified than Obama for public office – the more we know traditional feminism as represented to date has been a fraud. We will fight for Palin all the stronger the more they attack.”
Yes, Republican Women are strength if not a significant backbone for their families, friends, faith, community, and nation. As this group demonstrates each moth, they care about issues. They will work door-to-door to support candidates. They even welcome men as associate members. To reach the Tulsa County Republican Women’s Club e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author:
David Arnett began his career in professional journalism in 1985 and has published Tulsa Today online since 1996 – years before Al Gore invented the Internet. He has won two national awards as a First Amendment Publisher. Arnett is a Constitutional Republican, Public Information Specialist and Conservative Media Critic. He is also an associate member of the Tulsa County Republican Women’s Club saying, "I am a conservative bachelor and greatly enjoy talking with very intelligent, attractive, charming, powerful, and successful conservative women."