66-year-old conservative Republican senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma says that a political firestorm may not be the only consequence of President Obama taking executive action to enact US immigration reform, as civil disobedience and even acts of violence could follow.
“The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation,” Coburn told Capital Download. “You’re going to see – hopefully not – but you could see instances of anarchy. … You could see violence.” Not that Coburn is ever particularly anti-Obama, having had a personal relationship with the president for many years and telling USA Today that he genuinely likes him.
This respect is mutual, given that Obama called Coburn “someone who speaks mind [and] sticks to his principles” in a TIME magazine tribute that he wrote last year. This history perhaps adds more gravitas to Coburn’s assessment of the current situation, in which he accuses the president of disregarding the constitution and making up his own immigration laws in the manner of an autocratic leader.
“Instead of having the rule of law handling in our country today, now we’re starting to have the rule of rulers, and that’s the total antithesis of what this country was founded on,” Coburn claims. “Here’s how people think: ‘Well, if the law doesn’t apply to the president … then why should it apply to me?’”