House Republicans had their chance to do the right thing and remove Joe Barton as the ranking Republican on the energy committee. Instead, they applauded him…
After Mr. Barton tried apologizing again before his party’s private caucus, John Boehner, the Republican leader, said “the issue is closed.” Mr. Boehner showed his clear loyalties — protecting party hacks and the oil industry — when he decided that Mr. Barton should keep his central role in the Republican Party’s energy policy.
Mr. Boehner cited Mr. Barton’s “poor choice of words,” as if it were an oratorical gaffe and not a glimpse at deeper outrage that government dared to call Big Oil to account. Mr. Barton of Texas spoke a day after the Republican Study Committee caucus of House conservatives denounced Mr. Obama for applying “Chicago-style shakedown politics” against poor, defenseless BP.