According to Politico, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) may already be as good as out as Ranking Member/Chairman if the Republicans retake the House this year. But there’s another part of this story. A number of publications have noted that Barton gets tons of money from the oil industry. Indeed, his biggest donor is a part owner of the well that caused the spill.
But, as is often the case, I think donor amounts actually miss the point. Because the most striking thing about the whole episode yesterday is how beyond the call of duty Barton’s whole performance was. Indeed, to me at least, no one seemed more pained by Barton’s outburst than Tony Hayward, whose company has clearly made the decision to go for a deal on the cleanup costs rather than fight the whole thing tooth and nail. So, yes, Dems take lots of oil money too. But while Dems have one night stands with the oil industry or relationships, with Republicans like Barton it’s a committed and loving relationship. Even when it’s not even helpful.