Joe Barton: Houston Is Getting Blamed For Him?

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Not one of ours
Look, Houston has enough troubles with this oil-spill thing: BP has its American office here, everyone automatically defaults to thinking of us as pollution-happy, regulation-ignoring money-grubbers, and, you know, we are home to a whole lot of energy companies who probably just as easily could have desecrated the gulf.

But trust us, we're not responsible for Joe Barton.

Chris Cillizza, the highly respected Washington Post political reporter, needs to realize this.

Barton, if you've been under a rock, is this week's poster boy for having his head up BP's ass and apologizing -- to them -- for the way they've been treated by that Muslim foreigner in the White House.

Resulting in publicity like this:

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We could safely laugh, of course, because Joe Barton is, if anything, a Dallas guy. His district runs from the Metroplex down through Central Texas, not even reaching Huntsville on its southern end.

So no worries, right?

Not in today's reader chat with Cillizza, where Barton was a chief topic of discussion.

First there was this from the pundit:

What's scary about the tin ear-ism of Barton is that he apologized to the BP CEO during his prepared remarks -- meaning that someone (and probably several someones) in his office read that comment over and thought "That makes sense."

Um, no.

My guess is that Barton genuinely believes that the Obama Administration is unneccesarily demonizing BP. And, there are plenty of constituents of his (he represents Houston) who probably agree.
Then a reader asked "What's wrong with the people in Joe Barton's district? Does he, his stupid ideas, nauseating attitude and utter contempt for the environment generally and the suffering of the people in the gulf specifically truly represent how the people of his district feel about these issues?? " (A perfectly reasonable question, to be sure.)

His reply:

Well, I think the people in his district would strongly disagree with that characterization.

Houston's economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas. They need/want BP to survive.
Another reader said "Just check out the number of BP employees in Houston and the surrounding 'burbs, and you will realize why Barton said what he said," to which Cillizza replied, "Good point."

Finally, a reader pointed out the mistake.

We e-mailed Cillizza afterwards to find out just why he hated Houston so much.

"Slip of the tongue! i corrected myself later!" he repled.

Yeah, yeah, Joe Barton "corrected" himself later, too.

"I retract my slip of the tongue. Wait, what?"


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