The Oklahoman editorial page continues its war against health care reform even as it supports a large escalation of the country’s military occupation in Afghanistan.
Let’s be clear: The Oklahoman editorial page continues to support deficit-increasing military occupations and wasteful defense spending while opposing a deficit-reducing domestic program that would help Americans.
Somehow this position, which contradicts historical conservative values when it comes to deficits, makes sense to the tea baggers, birthers and The Oklahoman. Perpetual military occupations, under this logic, define the essence of “freedom” while domestic programs are un-American, even socialistic.
A recent editorial titled “Government involved in health care? Why not?” (November 26, 2009) makes the overused, Reaganesque argument that government is incompetent. Consequently, government is incapable of managing health care reform or anything else.
According to the editorial in The Oklahoman,: which supposedly points out waste in the federal stimulus program:
lt has become clear the federal government doesn’t really have much of a clue about what’s going on with the money it’s disbursing.
So, according to the newspaper, nothing should be done about the country’s health care crisis because government is a terrible thing.
Compare that to the newspaper’s unqualified support for sending more troops to Afghanistan. A recent editorial, titled “Stakes high as Obama nears pivot on war,” (November 27, 2009) argues the military occupation should go on.
Obama’s decision on Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request for 40,000 additional soldiers, to protect the Afghan civilian population and defeat a terrorist insurgency, is a chance to protect U.S. security interests and reverse a deepening sense the president and his foreign policy are weak.
The editorial doesn’t mention the occupation’s increasing costs. One organization pegs the cost of the Afghanistan occupation at more than $230 billion so far. Oklahoma’s share of that cost when divided among the states is more than $3.5 billion. Adding more troops could cost as much $1 million annually for each soldier. The editorial also doesn’t mention the obvious issue of wasteful defense spending.
None of this financial information deters The Oklahoman from its warmongering mentality. The newspaper was also a strong supporter of the botched military occupation of Iraq, perhaps the second worst foreign policy debacle in the nation’s history. That debacle has cost more than $700 billion so far.
So financial considerations only matter if it’s a national domestic program, according to The Oklahoman. Somehow it’s totally different when it comes to anything related to the military. Rack up the bills without any oversight and then support the views of U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, who wants us to forget the veterans when they come home because, well, it might cost too much. Ignore wasteful Pentagon spending practices.
The newspaper’s editorial page continues to base its credibility on slippery slope arguments, visceral appeals and contradictions. This is what passes as serious journalistic commentary these days in conservative Oklahoma. No wonder the newspaper and others are in serious decline these days.