What's Joe Barton Reading? A Story That Validates His BP Apology

When Congressman Joe Barton was forced by House Republican leaders to retract his apology to BP, it seemed he had been fully chastened by the top Republicans in the House. As one House Republican aide said, Barton "was told, apologize, immediately. Or you will lose your position, immediately" that same day.

It was unclear whether Barton would remain the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but, now that we find out he apparently will retain his senior position, it looks like Barton isn't feeling the heat so much: as the DNC press office points out, Barton's congressional website, on the front page under a section about what he's reading, points to an article at The American Spectator entitled "Joe Barton Was Right," about how the congressman was correct in accusing the administration of strong-arming BP. (The link is to his page at a site called Amplify, where he links to the article.)

It's worth pointing out that criticizing Obama's BP escrow wasn't really what got him in trouble: the Republican Study Committee, the main conservative caucus in the GOP's congressional ranks, had already called Obama's treatment of BP a "Chicago-style political shakedown." Barton's error, from one standpoint, was rather taking that criticism too far and actually apologizing to BP. The American Spectator article makes similar arguments to those already made by conservative House Republicans.