Monday’s devastating tornado outbreak is now being blamed for at least 24 deaths in Oklahoma according to the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner, including seven children who were killed at the Plaza Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, which was reported by CNN—with the death toll expected to rise as search and rescue responders continue to comb through the rubble looking for survivors and recovering the dead. Initially, the medical examiner had stated that their were 51 deaths.
According to KFOR-TV News Channel 4, the tornado was estimated to be about 2 miles wide during its height.
The massive storm steamrolled communities throughout the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, which includes Cleveland County, McClain County and Oklahoma County according to Department of Emergency Management representative Terri Watkins.
Preliminary reports issued by the National Weather Service have estimated that the Moore tornado was probably an EF-4 with winds reaching from 166 to 200 mph.
President Obama was notified about the devastation and called Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and told her that the federal government “stands ready to provide all available assistance,” as was evident by Governor Fallin’s acknowledgement of Obama’s concern during her comments at Monday evening’s emergency press conference.
Now the political side of this story will be the fact that Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) voted against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill back in January, even though it is almost inevitable that in light of the current destruction in Oklahoma—federal disaster aid will likely be needed, applied for, and hastily utilized by the state of Oklahoma.
Now what are the chances that Coburn or Inhofe will vote no on Oklahoma’s highly probable need for federal aid? The answer to that question is probably slim to none.
Governor Fallin has already begun lobbying for federal aid, as she mentioned it during the emergency press conference.
In other words, people living in glass houses should not throw stones. People living in glass houses should not going bowling in their living rooms, kitchens or bathrooms. And, people who live in and represent “Tornado Alley” should not vote no on disaster relief just because they are sipping sour, presidential election grapes because their candidate lost convincingly.
After all, it is no secret that spring storms usually show up at least once a year—right before hurricane season.
So Senator Coburn and Senator Inhofe should not be surprised if they are faced with a Joseph R. McCarthy moment, when someone quotes Boston lawyer Joseph Welch and asks them: “Have you no sense of decency?”