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Roll Call

Heard on the Hill: Time to Drop the ‘Gang’ Slang?

The Senate these days has more gangs than “West Side Story.” The “gang of 14.” The “gang of six.” The other “gang of six.”

At least one Senator, though, has been scared straight.

Sen. Tom Coburn dropped out of the bipartisan gang of six, which has been negotiating a compromise to raise the debt ceiling.

All this gang talk is getting a little goofy.

Coburn, a tough-on-crime Oklahoma Republican, even told a reporter Tuesday that he was a “member of a gang.”

We asked a real gang expert for his thoughts on that statement: Lt. Keith Jackson of the Oklahoma City Police Department’s Gang Intelligence Unit.

“Well, a member of what kind of gang?” he replied. “That’s the question.”

Jackson said he doubts whether Coburn actually has it in him to “go out and cause crimes,” however.

Maybe it’s time to drop all the gang talk. Maybe the gang of six, now minus one, should just change its name to “five guys.”

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