Utah in California?

I get it that deep red states like Utah elect representatives who think child labor laws are unconstitutional. Even to somebody without a law degree, they would seem to fit quite nicely under either the clause about interstate commerce or the part that gives Congress the right to “promote the general welfare.” But, still, what I don’t expect is for California–where we elected a statewide slate of Democrats–to send people like Darrell Issa and Jeff Denham to D.C.

The press is already calling Issa “The Grand Inquisitor” because of his pledge to investigate everything and everybody. And they’re poking fun at his multiple brushes with the law. It makes us look like idiots for sending a shady character like that to Congress.

But Jeff Denham is perhaps more of a surprise. He was considered a moderate during his stint in the California Assembly. He isn’t any more. I guess there is no such thing as a moderate Republican officeholder anymore. Certainly not Jeff Denham.  

Recently Denham sent a letter to a constituent who’d written about EPA regulation of greenhouse gasses. In it, he calls the EPA “bloated” and “overextended,” and says Congress must “delay” or “overturn” EPA regulations that would “greatly harm our recovering economy.” He throws in a few more Frank Luntz talking points about how these regulations would stifle innovation, drive up energy costs, and “keep Americans dependent on foreign oil.” He talks about how regulation makes America less competitive. And how overseas competitors are not subject to limits on greenhouse gasses.

He completely fails to note that many European countries do, in fact, regulate greenhouse gas emissions and their economies have not collapsed. Some are doing considerably better than ours. He doesn’t acknowledge the fact that lack of regulation and enforcement lead to the biggest oil spill in the history of the world–right here on U.S. shores. And that we don’t know what the long-term consequences of it may be. He doesn’t admit that other countries are absolutely eating our lunch when it comes to capturing market share in the fast-growing alternative energy market. They see the potential and are supporting the industry, creating jobs and profits in ways we are not. And he completely fails to say anything whatsoever about whether we need these regulations to leave a livable planet to our children and grandchildren. Scientists are already crediting man-made climate change for the stronger-than-usual La Nina that has inundated nearly a quarter of the continent of Australia. A recent study found toxic chemicals–some of which had been banned for decades–in the blood of pregnant women.

In short, Denham would rather support corporate profits than a habitable planet.

California should be very ashamed to have sent this man to Congress. It’s a mistake voters in that district shouldn’t repeat. And one we should all help them reverse.