Monday, September 22, 2014

Own Goal?

Oklahoma's senior senator, Republican Jim Inhofe, has never impressed me. His election in November is pretty much a done deal -- the state's Democrats never seem to mount a serious challenger against him. But I still can't come up with much of a reason to vote for him.

Yes, electing his opponent, Matt Silverstein, would provide another vote to keep the Senate Majority Leader's office disfigured by the dingy gray smear that's been dirtying it up for several years now. Yes, Sen. Inhofe often goes beyond a normal proper skepticism for unproven theories about climate change into overload.

But Mr. Silverstein's latest attempt to indicate why he's preferable to Sen. Inhofe kind of goes awry. I don't mean the research failure that gigs the Senator for missing 200 some votes during his career but overlooks how 27 of those misses happened during his heart surgery and following his son's death in a plane crash. Or how having a miss rate of 4.1 percent compared to the Senate median of 2 percent is not "missing twice as many votes as any other Senator" for anyone who knows how to do math (Hint:  if the median is 2 percent, then a significant number of senators have a miss percentage higher than that, and Sen. Inhofe's 4 percent can't be twice theirs -- such as the 2004 presidential nominee from Mr. Silverstein's own party. Or his running mate. Or the 2008 and 2012 candidate. Or his running mate. Or this potential 2016 nominee).

No, where I think Mr. Silverstein doesn't get it is when he complains that Sen. Inhofe has written and proposed a paltry number of bills and policies for the Senate to consider as legislation. Given that the frequent result of such proposals is all too often a new law, and given what kind of laws both the Senate and the House of Representatives seem prone to pass, I find it hard to see the scarcity of such as a problem.

In fact, by doing this research and highlighting the information, Mr. Silverstein's campaign may have performed the next-to-impossible task of giving me a reason I might want to vote for Sen. Inhofe.

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