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Scheherazade On December - 23 - 2009

From Think Progress:

After Coburn Asked Americans To Pray ‘Somebody’ Misses Health Care Vote, Inhofe Skips Today’s Roll Call

Just before the Senate vote on the first of three procedural motions to move its health care reform bill toward final passage, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) appeared to urge Americans to pray that a member of the majority caucus would not show up to vote, thus leaving the Democrats one vote shy of breaking the GOP filibuster:

COBURN: What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can’t make the vote tonight. That’s what they ought to pray.

As it turned out however, all 100 U.S. senators voted on the measure, which passedon a party-line 60-40 vote. This morning, the Senate health care reform bill jumped the second procedural hurdle, with all 60 senators in the Democratic caucus voting to pass the measure. However, only 39 Republicans voted against passage. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) was the Republican who missed the vote.

On C-Span this morning, a caller wondered if perhaps Coburn’s prayer request had “backfire[ed]” against his own party:

CALLER: Yeah doctor. Our small tea bag group here in Waycross, we got our vigil together and took Dr. Coburn’s instructions and prayed real hard that Sen. Byrd would either die or couldn’t show up at the vote the other night.

How hard did you pray because I see one of our members was missing this morning. Did it backfire on us? One of our members died? How hard did you pray senator? Did you pray hard enough?

While Barrasso didn’t answer the question directly, he said he didn’t know why Inhofe missed the vote. Both Coburn and Inhofe’s offices did not respond to inquiries from ThinkProgress for comment. Watch it:

(UPDATE) Roll Call reports that Inhofe “was absent to fly his wife home to Oklahoma in advance of the Christmas holiday but that he is headed back to Washington, D.C., for this week’s remaining votes.”

Talking Points Memo also reports:


Teabagger calls into C-Span in tears, worried that his prayers for Sen. Byrd’s death may have ricocheted through the prayer chamber and hit Sen. Inhofe instead.

–Josh Marshall

Categories: News & Politics, The Media

15 Responses so far.

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  1. Emerald1943 says:

    Whether it was a prank or not, the fact remains that most of the people who would be listening to this drivel would believe that it was for real. These so-called Christians are two french-fries short of a Happy Meal!

    If it was a prank (which I am inclined to believe, based on Scheherazade’s points), then it was a really good one! Wish I had thought of that! :-)

    But what a despicable thing to do…pray for the death of an elderly and infirm Senator so that they could defeat the President! Makes you wonder just how low can they go???

  2. Scheherazade says:

    From TPM Editors Blog:

    Spoof or #prayerfail?

    A lot of you have been watching the video of the Tea Partier who called in sobbing to C-Span mortified to think that his prayers for the death of Sen. Byrd (which would have deprived Senate Democrats of their 60 votes) might have gotten misrouted through the prayer exchange and taken out Sen. Jim Inhofe. But was it a spoof or the real thing?

    Like most grand philosophical questions, there probably is not sufficient evidence to definitively answer the question one way or another. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a fun day before Christmas Eve parlor game. So we want your opinion. Listen to the tape and let us know what you think. To get you started, here’s TPM Reader JW’s analysis of the evidence which tells him it was a hoax …

    Although there is no way of telling 100%, the call pretty clearly appears to be from someone trying a “Borat”-style attack on teabaggers, not an actual teabagger.
    Several clear (to me at least) giveaways:

    1) The caller says he’s from a “small tea bag group.” I believe most tea party / teabaggers avoid using the “tea bag” term when referring to themselves. Not to be obscene, but “small tea bag” has a double meaning that is a pretty clear indication this is a prank.

    2) The caller seems very interesting in getting Republican Sen. Barrasso to say he was praying for Sen. Byrd to die. This looks like an attempt to catch a Republican Senator in a grisly faux pas, not a genuine expression of concern.

    3) The point of the call is that the caller is worried (crying even!) that his prayers for the death of one guy he dislikes accidentally hit a guy he likes. How many genuinely religious people would think that way? Obviously there are certain religious folks who believe God would try to kill their enemies, but how many would believe that God could “miss” and hit a someone they like? I mean, c’mon!

    I have to say each of these points are pretty suggestive of fakery, though in different ways. I’m not totally convinced on Point 1, because quite a few Tea Partiers find their way into “tea bag” references or just use the phrase in general. Remember, it wasn’t mocking Dems who started using the phrase. Still it’s a suggestive point. Two, for my money, may be the best example of fakery, since, yeah, the purported Tea Partier does seem to want to goad Barraso into a discussion of how hard he prayed for Byrd’s demise.

    But again, what do you think?

  3. PepeLepew says:

    I’ve already read some people claiming this call was obviously a prank…

    I don’t think it was! I think it’s for real.

  4. AdLib says:

    God was amused by this and asked me to post this for him.

    Very amusing. Just to be clear, I know it’s hard for some folks to differentiate between their guns and prayers but if you shoot me a prayer and I’m not looking, it does not bounce off my chest like it was a bullet and I’m Superman. And it certainly doesn’t ricochet to hit someone else.

    Guilt, however, is a whole other thing.

    • kesmarn says:

      Please, AdLib, consider making your God-channelling posts a regular feature here on the planet. Just think about it, wontcha? Could we have a Friday night “Ask God” session some time?

      Some day I’d like to write an article: “In Praise of Guilt.”

      Guilt has its good points. Republicans should explore what it is like to feel guilt…it would be most salutary and edifying for ’em. 😮

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Oh, I like that idea! I can write volumes on “guilt” and all things religious, having been raised as a Southern Baptist! (Now, a converted Jewish Buddhist atheist…what a combo, huh?) Let’s just say that I made the rounds! :-)

        The only part I cannot comment on is the Catholic Church’s brand of guilt, although I married one of those and saw his self-recriminations on a daily basis for years. And for what the Church didn’t lay on him, his Italian mother filled in the blanks!

        Adlib, I vote to have an “ask God” feature! This oughta’ be good!

        • kesmarn says:

          Emerald, thanks for your vote of support on the addition of an “Ask God” feature here! I just found it! Let’s lobby hard for this.

          Also, the idea of an article on guilt, written by a sort of committee, is a very appealing idea, as well. I mean, here you are, knowledgeable on Southern Baptist guilt, as well as, maybe Buddhist guilt (IS there Buddhist guilt?) We probably have experts on Jewish AND Italian mothers’ guilt here. I can fill in on Catholic guilt, and pinch hit for Methodist guilt as well, if no one else is available. There’s GOT to be some kind of atheist guilt out there somewhere, dontcha think? Maybe not. Well, AdLib can sort it all out. In his spare time….

  5. PepeLepew says:

    Where did all the sane Republicans go?

    There *used* to be sane Republicans, once upon a time…

  6. escribacat says:

    To quote an old saying, They are their own worst enemy.

  7. ibkozi says:

    How they still have the gall to call themselves Christians is beyond me. Do they really think God is some kind of hit man who kills for you if you pray enough?? I think this is a prime example of how twisted their minds are. Think about this, if their view of Christianity is this twisted, how twisted is their view on reality?

  8. nellie says:

    Oh. My. God.

    When progressives say they’re so discouraged that they’re not going to vote, I hope they remember that THIS is the alternative.

    • boomer1949 says:


      I decided a long time ago that the whole lot of them are dumber than a box of rocks. Come to think of it, the damn rocks are smarter!

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