Please take the time to watch Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn bid farewell to Congress' upper chamber, in which he's served since 2005. Sen. Coburn, a medical doctor, is a truly great and honorable man, something that cannot be said of many people who reside in the Beltway cesspool. Throughout his career, he has been a fierce defender of conservative values, while also championing compromise and bipartisanship wherever possible. Coburn choked back tears throughout his closing remarks, including in this message to his colleagues, clipped by the Heritage Foundation:
"Your state isn't mentioned one time in [the oath of office]. Your whole goal is to protect the United States of America, its Constitution and its liberties. It's not to provide benefits for your state. That's where we differ."
The full speech is embedded below. It's worth a listen; this man has earned your attention. His tearful expressions of gratitude to those who have helped him, his ode to the brilliance of our founders (~8:00), his moving tribute to his father (11:00), his dismay at Washington's waste (23:00) and his exhortation to "convene" and work together (26:00) are especially worthwhile. When he yields the floor, Coburn receives a prolonged standing ovation:
They don't make 'em like Tom Coburn anymore. He is a genuine, ardent believer in limited government, and one of the few legislators who never seemed to grow accustomed to the DC milieu. He was sent there to do a job, entrusted to him by the people of his state -- nothing more, nothing less. The Senate and the country are poorer upon his retirement from public life. May he live a long, healthy and happy life back in Oklahoma. I'll leave you with a stirring tribute to Coburn from Delaware's Tom Carper, a liberal Democrat whom Coburn praised fulsomely in his speech: