Monday, February 21, 2005

Fascism 101

There are so many potential little blackshirts in the GOP Camp, so many little successors to tailgunner Joe McCarthy it is tough to single one out.

But James "Outraged by the Outrage" Inhofe comes to mind:

The chairman of a Senate committee that oversees environmental issues has directed two national organizations that oppose President Bush's major clean-air initiative to turn over their financial and tax records to the Senate.

Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who heads the Environment and Public Works Committee, asked for the documents 10 days after a representative of the two groups criticized Bush's "Clear Skies" proposal before a Senate subcommittee. Inhofe is the leading sponsor of the administration bill, which is deadlocked in his panel.

And it is not even like the group is run by long-time progressives.

A Republican who voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004, Paul gained prominence in March 2004 when he told the Los Angeles Times that an EPA advisory committee he co-chaired had been abruptly shelved after it requested comparative data on the administration's proposal to control mercury emissions from power plants. The EPA never produced the information.

He said he was "deeply disappointed" by Inhofe's request.

Henry Waxman summed it up best:

"There is not even any subtlety about this. This is a blatant attempt at intimidation and bullying so that experts will be afraid to speak out about a bill that rolls back air pollution protections for all Americans."

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