Rice Calls Out Fallin

Image of Andrew Rice

State Sen. Andrew Rice (D-Oklahoma City) has called out Gov. Mary Fallin for helping to create “this frankenstein” among the far right in Congress that could lead to the country defaulting on its debt.

In a particularly strong statement issued Wednesday, Rice, pictured right, noted Fallin’s recent comments that she was concerned about what would happen in Oklahoma if Congress doesn’t raise the debt-ceiling limit. Fallin was quoted in a Wednesday article in The Oklahoman about the issue. She said, “It would have a huge impact on our state. It would hurt our ability to borrow money. It would hurt municipalities' ability to borrow money. It would raise interest rates.”

According to Rice:

It's odd to see the remarks and concerns by Governor Fallin about the debt ceiling dispute in today's OKLAHOMAN. It was just 18 months ago that then Congresswoman Fallin was proudly waving a yellow "Don't Tread on Me" flag in the balcony of the U.S. House chamber alongside anti-government extremists.

The simplistic, anti-government ideology that Governor Fallin happily supported as a Congresswoman is now a threat to the economic stability she is worried about here in Oklahoma if the federal government defaults on its debt. Gov. Fallin helped created this "frankenstein" among the far right in Congress, and her concerns now from afar are "too little, too late."

Of course, right-wing hypocrisy is nothing new here in Oklahoma, but Rice’s remarks were especially strong and immediate. Just because hypocrisy is a defining element of right-wing extremists, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be pointed out in specific terms. Rice is absolutely correct in his assessment of the issue, and Fallin should take his advice, which includes the need for her to “take personal responsibility” for her role in creating political gridlock. Rice said:

It seems Gov. Fallin is trying to have it both ways. She pandered to the Tea Party for support in her campaign against Randy Brogdon in the Republican primary for Governor in 2010, but now is seemingly going against the tea party stance of "no compromise" on the debt ceiling. Do Oklahomans really think Fallin would be raising these concerns if she were still representing the 5th district in Congress? Who does the Governor stand with: those willing to compromise or the Tea Party?

A good start would be for the Governor to take personal responsibility for her own support of the identical gridlock and red-meat pandering she engaged in during her years in Washington DC, and then earnestly call out Oklahoma's GOP congressional delegation to quit putting the nation's economy at risk with their inflexibility and eagerness to satisfy a small political fringe."

What are the chances Fallin will even partially concede she’s contradicting her previous political positions in her recent remarks about the debt-ceiling issue? It’s seems unlikely, but if she did, we would know that in at least this one instance she was putting the state’s interests above her political career.