All five of Oklahoma’s incumbents in the U.S. House — as well as Sen. Jim Inhofe — are expected to file for reelection next week. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, officially announced today that he’ll seek a fourth term in the district that includes Norman, Lawton, Chickasha, Duncan, Ada, Ardmore and part of Midwest City.
Cole isn’t expected to face strong opposition in his district. His challenge has been up here in Washington, where he heads the campaign committee that’s supposed to get Republicans elected to Congress. He’s been under fire from some after three losses in special elections this year in districts that had been held by the GOP.
Republicans are expected to lose even more seats this fall.
The GOP controlled the House for 12 years before Democrats took over again in 2007. And for six of those years, from 2001 to 2007, they also controlled the White House (and the Senate for some of that time).
But in his reelection announcement, Cole blames Democrats for not doing anything on immigration, energy and other issues and says Washington is broken.
Though the deficit and earmarks ballooned under Republicans, and they added the Medicare prescription drug program to already high entitlement spending, Cole blames the Democrats, who have been in power less than two years, for the national debt and the spiraling costs of health care and entitlement spending.
Keep in mind too that no substantive immigration legislation made it to the president’s desk before Democrats took over and that a loud complaint around the country was that the Republican administration wasn’t enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.
Cole’s reelection announcement is somewhat interesting, not only because of its unique take on recent history, but because Cole has been among the Republicans who have conceded their problems stem in part from getting away from their conservative values — the ones Cole espouses in his statement today.
Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan had an hilarious line in a recent piece. She quoted the comments of Cole and others complaining that Republicans were losing to Democrats who were pretending to be conservatives. She wondered what was wrong with Democrats doing that since “Republicans pretend to be conservatives all the time.”