SHARE
COMMENTARY
Markwayne Mullin
(NonDoc)

(Correction: This post has been updated to clarify Mullin’s place of residence.)

At the end of the day, a man has little more to stand on than holding true to his word.

U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin is on shaky ground.

The three-term congressman from Westville, Oklahoma, has announced he is running for re-election in 2018, thus breaking his previous term-limit pledge.

While a self-imposed term-limit pledge is primarily a stupid political ploy in and of itself, breaking one’s own pledge is even stupider.

It’s like setting a bear trap to catch Bigfoot and ensnaring yourself.

Coburn: ‘I just think it’s really sad’

Whether Mullin’s divinely inspired reversal will cost him his seat in 2018 remains to be seen, but it has already angered one influential Oklahoman who could hurt the congressman’s chances.

Former U.S. Sen Tom Coburn, who also represented Oklahoma’s second U.S. House district years before Mullin, offered public criticism of the congressman last week.

From a story by NewsOK’s Justin Wingerter:

“What it tells us is the arrogance of power has affected his thinking, and when a man’s word doesn’t mean anything, nothing else matters,” former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn told a radio program this week. “To me, I just think it’s really sad.”

Coburn told 1170 KFAQ that Mullin is “a nice young man” but has “drunk the Kool-Aid” in Washington and now owes his allegiance to the capital, not Oklahoma. Breaking his pledge was bad for the state and bad for Mullin, the former Republican senator said.

“If you can’t believe him on term limits, what else can you believe him on, and what can’t you believe him on?” Coburn asked rhetorically.

Mullin’s word stinks like bull pucky

Mullin has drawn previous negative headlines for canceling a town hall over vague safety concerns and for saying the notion that the public pays his salary is “bullcrap.”

Ignoring for a moment that “bull pucky” is a far better term for the sort of cow shit Markwayne Mullin has been selling, eastern Oklahoma voters would be wise to focus on what Mullin’s term-limit two-step says about his character.

Oklahoma’s second district is full of educational, civic, social and faith organizations that try to instill positive values in young men and women. Doing what you say you are going to do is chief among the lessons that young people must learn.

Mullin’s effort to campaign as an average guy who pledged not to become a career Washington politician helped shape his popular image. But now, his defining political decision seems to be the lack of value to his word.

As Coburn asked, if the public can’t believe he will be true to his word on an unnecessary term-limit pledge, how can anyone expect him to be an honest broker of the people’s business in Washington?

They can’t.

That should worry Mullin as 2018 approaches.

SHARE
William W. Savage III holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. He covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for eCapitol.net before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.