Enter Charles P. Pierce, covering this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. for Esquire’s The Politics Blog. Halfway through Gov. Mary Fallin’s speech, he nearly lost it.
Recalling the Land Run of 1889 and the drilling of the first oil well in Oklahoma, Fallin said the state’s pioneers risked their own money and that “President Obama wants us to believe that Oklahomans owe that success to the federal government.” She then delivered the smackdown: “Mr. President, we know better.”
Pierce wrote that Fallin’s speech was “perhaps the most singularly dishonest speech I have ever seen a politician give … and Willard (Mitt) Romney was once my governor.”
Pierce noted that “Oklahomans wouldn’t even have Oklahoma without the federal government, without the Homestead Act of 1889 or the Railroad Act — both, by the way, achievements of a Republican presidents. … And the land wasn’t exactly ‘empty,’ Governor. It got emptied by a big-government program called the United States Army.”
Without the feds, Congress and soldiers, “You know what Oklahoma would be?” Pierce wrote. “Sand, with a whole lot of pissed-off Native Americans.”
Chicken-Fried News probably doesn’t need to point out all the federal projects that have benefited Oklahoma, including:
• Depression-era farm relief and work programs,
• military bases and
• many reservoirs that provide drinking water to the governor’s mansion.
Lest we forget, Fallin recently touted giving state taxpayer money to Boeing, which would provide services to — you guessed it — the federal government at Tinker Air Force Base. Or the recent press conference in which Fallin crowed about Oklahoma being selected as a test site for drones that would later be used by the federal government. Or Fallin asking the federal government for money for disaster relief.
Why? Because along with the all the sand and “pissed-off Native Americans,” political hypocrisy is just another part of the state scenery.