Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Maybe Lee was 'so drunk' . . . again

We have to give Lee Terry the benefit of the doubt for his support of BP's best buddy as chairman of the House energy panel. Maybe that lady lobbyist got him "so drunk" again.

Or maybe the congressman from Omaha is just such an expletive-deleted that he figures he can get re-elected no matter how much contempt he shows for justice, ordinary citizens or the environment. At least it looks that way from this article on Politico:
Eight Republicans Wednesday began circulating a letter indicating support for Texas Rep. Joe Barton in his longshot bid to lead the House Energy and Commerce committee.

Texas Reps. Ralph Hall and Michael Burgess joined with Rep. Lee Terry (Neb.), Cliff Stearns (Fla.), Joe Pitts (Pa.), Steve Scalise (La.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and John Shimkus (Ill.) on a “Dear Colleague” letter, signaling that they are recommending their “friend and colleague, Joe Barton, for the Chairman of our committee in the 112th Congress.”

“You know Joe,” the letter reads. “He has provided unyielding conservative leadership during our protracted partisan battles over cap-and-trade and health care reform.”

It’s the largest measure of public support for Barton, who is term-limited out of the chairmanship this Congress. His staunch lobbying has irked members of the Republican leadership, throwing further into doubt any chance he had at obtaining a waiver of the term limits rule.

What’s notable is that the co-signors are all members of the committee, and are drawing a clear line in the sand against Michigan Rep. Fred Upton. Furthermore, Shimkus and Stearns were both considered contenders for the gavel.

Barton’s main argument for a waiver, something Republican leadership seems averse to, is that his time as ranking Republican on the committee should not count against the term-limit rule – a point Republican leaders thinks is peripheral, and long-settled.

It’s been an ugly fight. Anonymous opposition dumps – which Barton denied having a hand in – have circulated around Capitol Hill, saying Upton is not conservative enough. The Republicans supporting Barton made that point in their letter.
IT'S CLEAR. Only two things matter in Congress anymore -- money and ideology. Matters of right, wrong, people and nation are just the detritus of the modern political process, to be discarded along with your empties after "policy discussions" with the lobbyists.

Maybe you can fool all the people all the time. Until you can't.

The question, however, is whether that "can't" moment in American history does or doesn't arrive before the "It doesn't matter anymore" moment.

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