Making Texans Sound Silly

Is it really too much to ask that members of Congress from Texas not make it sound like everybody in this state is silly? Talking Points Memo reports this about Joe Barton, the Republican congressman from Ennis (near Dallas) who could be chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee come January:

Barton laid out his plan for, essentially, undoing most of what President Obama and Democrats accomplished in the past two years. He laid out the central fronts: the battle to repeal what he calls Obamacare, the fight against the EPA, backing the growing insurgency opposed to net neutrality regulations, taking on “environmental radicalism” and — of course — defending the “traditional, incandescent light bulb” against government regulators who want to replace it with what Barton called “the little, squiggly, pig-tailed ones.”

What? Now it’s “traditional, incandescent light bulbs” that need defending? Is that something like “traditional family values”?

The silly is strong with this one.

12 thoughts on “Making Texans Sound Silly

  1. “defending the ‘traditional, incandescent light bulb’ against government regulators who want to replace it with what Barton called “the little, squiggly, pig-tailed ones.”

    That’s just a Texas metaphor for saying that he’s going to fight against clean energy and support the utility companies raising the rates beyond what most people can pay. You have to be a REAL Texan to know how to understand these things. 😉

  2. Joe Barton has a little, squiggly, pig-tail from gorging himself at the oil companies’ troughs all these years. How else could anyone explain his apology to BP when they were expected to pay for the damage caused by their oil spill?

  3. Obiwan: “The dark rum side of the fruitcake is strong in this one.” One could laugh for weeks were it not so serious.

  4. There is nothing remotely silly about this.

    This is a simple case of “follow the money”. Barton has been well payed by energy companies to guard their short-term profits.

    Any energy conservation effort, means that consumers get more benefit for the money they spend for energy. That means they
    can spend less. Spending less means that the energy companies have less income short-term. For the people who pay Barton,
    this is bad.

  5. My guess is that he’s following the lead of Rick Perry on The Daily Show. CFLs seem to be a real affront.

  6. Texas is going to sound as stupid as it did under Tom DeLay. What is wrong with people voting in these ignorant yahoos who apparently have not one whit of foresight for their children?

  7. What Jim Ramsey said. The Washington Beltway red light district is flourishing (aka the Senate and House of Representatives), and Barton is a slave to Madam Petroleum.

  8. They are mad about the light bulbs because it’s one more example of something they aren’t allowed to do, like dumping their motor oil down the sewer or throwing a mattress or clothes dryer off an overpass…

  9. Irony, business misfeasance.

    1. U.S. bulb manufacturers didn’t strongly oppose the measure to require energy-efficient bulbs. One more club to beat the unions at the manufacturing plants. But
    2. Foreign competitors were better, or the union busting still wasn’t good enough: The last incandescent bulb plant in the U.S. closed earlier this year.

    So, unless Barton jumps on the union’s bandwagon, AND campaigns to get his corporate friends to bring back incandescent bulb manufacturing, he’s just sloshing money from one Chinese manufacturer to another. (See this article for some hope: )

    Can someone check the language in which checks are made out to Joe Barton?

  10. Silly is not a concern of Republicans. What concerns them is maintaining the status quo and benefitting the wealthiest. If silliness is a part of that, their attitude is: So be it.

  11. Eric hit the nail right on the head.

    As some of you know, I have coined the term “Christian Neo-Fundamentalist” to cover that new breed of fundamentalists that has, just in the past few decades, fused various aspects of the Christian faith with right wing extremist politics to create a new and uniquely American “Christian” theology that bends and twists the Christian faith to serve dark politics and meet evil needs in the hearts of conservatives. Two good examples are as follows:

    1) The term “liberal” was once a positive term identified with progressive thinking— and helping people in need as Christ commanded. The Christian Neo-Fundamentalists and their political allies, with a maneuver straight from the Joseph Goebbels propaganda playbook, have succeeded in totally redefining this term in the public mind as a synonym for “pure evil.” In this brave new world, conservatives are the beloved of God who rarely do anything evil. On the other hand, liberals are so evil you cannot trust a word they say on any subject. It is best not to even listen. Anything they say should be assumed to be a lie—even if it looks like the truth and the evidence squarely supports it.

    From the Jim Crow racist playbook, these people have adopted the old “One Drop Rule.” Are you familiar with that old and strictly applied social rule from the late 19th century Deep South? If your body is made up of 999,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 white person molecules and you are found to have just one n-word molecule, then you are considered by “respectable” society to be entirely an n-word. As applied to liberals, it now means this. If a liberal is wrong or sinful in only one thing in his life, then it just logically follows that he is wrong and sinful in everything else that he thinks, says, or does.

    My Bible tells me that ALL men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That includes all conservatives and all liberals. It also includes all Christians. As 1 John 1:8 says, and he is talking about Christians who have already been saved, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” The truth in this case is Jesus himself. Today the truth of the matter is that both conservatives and liberals have sin issues and bad ideas running around in their personal lives and in their political realms. Neither is exempt. Both have some good ideas and bad ideas. With both, the bad ideas do not cancel out the good ideas or make them be all bad. This would be the honest Biblical perspective. The two preceding paragraphs that describe Christian Neo-Fundamentalist thought are heretical in nature, unreasonable, and not within the Christian realm. This is how some conservative men have twisted the scriptures to serve the darker side of their natures for worldly political purposes.

    2) The scriptures say that if Christ has made you free, then you are free indeed. However, as many of us know, true freedom (and this especially applies to Christian freedom) comes hand-in-hand with responsibilities to God and our fellow man.

    This is not the brave Christian Neo-Fundamentalist definition of freedom. If you look at it really closely, their definition of freedom is straight from the playbook of the ME GENERATION. You remember them from the 1960s, right? “It’s not about anyone else. It’s all about ME and what I want.” The term “freedom” has been effectively redefined to mean “whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it, and wherever I want to do it—no matter who gets hurt.” For most of American history, this way of thinking would have been reprehensible and outside the boundaries of any truly Christian thought patterns. However, in our modern times, Christian Neo-Fundamentalist theology has stepped forward with its various ecclesiastical bodies to publicly bless and condone such rank selfishness as the way of Christ.

    How many times have we heard it: “I am a good Christian conservative, and I should be able to smoke cigarettes in my favorite restaurant. State and local governments have stripped me of my basic American freedom to smoke.” Sorry Bud, but as you know, the scriptures say that we have a responsibility to our fellow man. You can kill yourselves with your cigarette smoke, but you do not have the Biblical right or any other right to take everyone else in the restaurant to the coffin with you. That would not be responsible. That would not be Christian.

    Then there was the conservative lady who wrote a letter about “freedom” to my local newspaper this morning. Do any of you remember the United States of America? You know: exceptional place; last best hope of mankind; we the people; my country ’tis of thee; government of the people, by the people, and for the people; we have it better over here. We once thought of our government as a positive thing because it was unique in the world. Only foreign countries had bad governments. We were proud of ours and proud to be part of it. We trusted it because it was OURS. It was not something over us. It was us.

    Then, with another maneuver straight out of the Joseph Goebbels propaganda playbook, the Christian Neo-Fundamentalists and their political allies have now redefined the great and beneficial government created by Madison, Franklin Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, Washington, and all the others. As the conservative lady said in her letter to the editor, our government is now defined as that which TAKES AWAY OUR FREEDOMS. She says that every law-making act of our government or any other government, by its very nature, takes away the precious freedoms of the people. Well, sure. If your brave new Christian Neo-Fundamentalist definition of desirable “freedom” is really just runaway licentiousness with no personal responsibility for your fellow man, I can see how that might be of concern to you.

    But let us get down to the real nitty-gritty basics of this so-called loss of freedom. Let’s take off the gloves and express the real truth here. This is what these Christian Neo-Fundamentalists and their friends are really saying: “Those awful civil rights laws require me to hire members of races that I hate. The government has deprived me of my basic human right of total free choice in hiring. This is just not right!!! If all of us were to think and act this way, maybe we could eventually starve them out and get back to the good ole times when they knew their proper place.”

    There is nothing at all Christian about this way of thinking—not on any issue involving a Christian responsibility to our fellow man. Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Freedom in Christ carries responsibility. How many of these Christian Neo-Fundamentalists and their old white guy politicians would like it if they were denied an opportunity to work at a decent job and feed their families? The number would be too small to count. You may not like certain racial or ethnic groups, but you have a Christian responsibility to put aside your odd personal freedom concerns and hire their members so they can feed their families.

    So, I shall end by reiterating. The Christian Neo-Fundamentalists and their extremist politician friends have cahooted to redefine our unique American government as a thing of evil that takes away our freedoms. Despite what their rhetoric might say (talk is cheap), they do this because they see no real relationship between freedom and personal Christian responsibility. In the final analysis, for them, real freedom is the ability to do whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever they want—no matter who gets hurt. In their heads, all that matters is ME and getting MY WAY. There is nothing Christian about that way of thinking. It is a gaseous belch straight from the heartburn of Hell itself, and the Christian-Neo-Fundamentalists have loosened the esophageal sphincter of the infernal regions so it can reflux its acid all over us and our fellow man.