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Opening Arguments

Mr. Coburn goes to Washington

Let's hear it for Tom Coburn, the freshman senator from Oklahoma, who had the guts to tell "the world's greatest deliberative body" how indecent its spending has become:

He stood on the Senate floor Thursday and committed the unpardonable sin of not going along to get along. He offered amendments requiring that previously approved earmarks favored by colleagues be cancelled and the tax dollars instead spent on hurricane recovery. There wasn't much money at stake in the particular projects targeted by Coburn, but it was the principle that mattered.

For the record, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, our Democrat, voted for Coburn's amendment. Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, our Republican, voted against it. Interesting, yes? Here's a Washington Post account, which includes this:

Sen. Ted Stevens, the veteran Alaska Republican, was dramatic in his response. "I don't kid people," Stevens roared. "If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state . . . I will resign from this body." We can only hope.