But that was twenty five years ago, before the Republicans traded the Laffer Curve for the sign of the cross. Conservatism these days is a burnt out hulk — intellectually adrift, compromised by power, hopelessly hooked on pork, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the voters (not to mention the Justice Department.) And that's what the conservatives are saying. If there's no honor among thieves, there is even less among the political whores who've inherited the House that Tom built:
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, joined other lawmakers yesterday in condemning high oil prices by taking aim at oil companies. Barton said his committee will hold hearings into the imbalance of supply and demand. He added that "it troubles me" that Exxon Mobil Corp.'s chief executive received a large pay and retirement package "while refinery capacity continues to lag behind demand in this country."
Of course, those monster pay packages never bothered Joe when he was sucking up Big Oil's money — more than a half a million bucks of it during the last four election cycles. If an honest politician is one who stays bought, then Exxon Mobil has done as much as anyone can reasonably expect to keep Joe on the side of the angels.
I don't imagine Barton's purchasers are worried about getting their money's worth, despite his little kabuki play. They understand as well as Joe does that a little CEO bashing is ultimately in their own interest, if that's what it takes to keep the chairman's gavel in the hands of such a valued employee. No one seriously expects the Republicans to do anything about oil company profits, even if they could. But the fact that even a mindless corporate hack like Joe Barton feels compelled to pander shamelessly to old-fashioned economic populism shows how low the "revolution" has sunk.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Is There A Full Moon?