Has Joe Barton Been Laundered Yet?

I've noticed that disgraced Republicans tend not to remained disgraced for very long, at least not in the eyes of their fellow conservatives. When Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You Lie" during a presidential address to Congress, he was quickly forced to apologize. But within a couple of weeks, the episode had morphed from career-defining embarrassment to fundraising opportunity. Today, Wilson is not only a Republican in good standing, but a sort of C-list GOP celebrity. (Maybe he'll get an infomercial.)

When Joe Barton issued his apology to BP last week, Republican leaders jumped on him as quickly as they had Wilson and forced an apology (it took a couple of tries). I happened to be talking with a buddy at the time, and bet him that Barton wouldn't remain a pariah for long. I admit to having had a twinge of doubt when I read that the GOP leadership was considering forcing him to step down. But it looks like my original hunch is going to be vindicated--and that the half-life of a Republican gaffe is becoming even shorter.

The Miami Herald reports that Barton will be a "Special Guest" at a fundraiser next week for Florida Republican Cliff Stearns. Wow. It's been less than a week and Joe Barton has already been laundered.

(h/t TPM)

Presented by

Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In