House Subcommittee on Televised Posturing

by Don Boudreaux on May 26, 2008

in Politics

Here’s the best opening of an op-ed that I’ve read in a long time; it’s from Mark Steyn in today’s Washington Times:

I was watching the Big Oil execs testifying before Congress. That was my first mistake. If memory serves, there was lesbian mud wrestling over on Channel 137, and on the whole that’s less rigged.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz knew the routine: “I can’t say that there is evidence that you are manipulating the price, but I believe that you probably are. So prove to me that you are not.”

Had I been in the hapless oil man’s expensive shoes, I would have answered, “Hey, you first. I can’t say that there is evidence that you’re sleeping with barnyard animals, but I believe that you probably are. So prove to me that you are not. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence and prima facie evidence, lady? Do I have to file a U.N. complaint in Geneva that the House of Representatives is in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?”

But that’s why I don’t get asked to testify before Congress. So instead the Big Oil guy oozed as oleaginous as his product before the grand panjandrums of the House Subcommittee on Televised Posturing….

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{ 16 comments }

Justin Ross May 26, 2008 at 11:04 am

Burn!

M. Hodak May 26, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Only a tenured professor or a young entrepreneur could get away with the "barnyard animal" accusation. But only a professor would likely have the intellect to come up with that, and only an entrepreneur would have the balls to actually say it. So, I'm sure I won't be missing anything on the next inquis…er, congressional hearing.

Sam Grove May 26, 2008 at 3:37 pm

He could've said something like: "We set prices as high as the market will bear, same as everybody."

Frederick Davies May 26, 2008 at 3:52 pm

"But that's why I don't get asked to testify before Congress…"

Now, THAT would be prime-time TV I would pay to see!

Joe Calhoun May 26, 2008 at 4:07 pm

If you just strike out a few words in the NOPEC bill that Stein mentions, you get a much different result – the first truly free trade bill:

http://alhambrablog.blogspot.com/2008/05/legislative-arrogance.html

Speedmaster May 26, 2008 at 6:50 pm
shawn May 26, 2008 at 7:38 pm

…I'm available for rent as a young entrepreneur, willing to say those sorts of things that a senior person will get fired for. In fact, for the right price, I'll willingly get fired, but you'll still get to tell congress to piss off. If we do it well enough, you'll make a fool out of them on youtube, and then your case is won.

Jay May 26, 2008 at 8:38 pm

I have a question, if OPEC is a "cartel" does that make the U.N. a "cartel"?

Russ Nelson May 27, 2008 at 12:48 am

He should have said 'Where were you when we were losing money??'

vidyohs May 27, 2008 at 7:27 am

For most of my adult life I have been reading about or watching the "congressional hearings" on a multitude of subjects and I have ached to see just one time someone in the hot seat put it back on those assholes who call themselves leaders.

Any one of those oil executives with the balls to be a man could have told Maxine Waters, et. al., "Give me the benefit of your expertise in the oil business………"

And, then just sit back and smile. Then go into the "query the socialist" mode of debate or testimony, which is to every proposal made by the socialist, ask "tell me how that will work."

The very fact that congress is what it is speaks volumes to the lack of intelligence in the American people. Especially when congress can display its whoring and posturing on national TV and come off no worse than their victims in the minds of the public.

Matt C. May 27, 2008 at 10:09 am

Since all the environs sue the government, couldn't we now sue the government under the NOPEC act? Why not turn the law on it's face.

Trumpit May 27, 2008 at 11:52 am

According to a news report, Iran gave $5 billion to Syria to buy advanced weaponry from Russia to be used against Israel in the event of war. If I were a benevolent dictator, I would outlaw the use of gasoline & and other petroleum products. Demand in the U.S. would drop to zero and the price of a barrel of oil would plummet like a lead balloon. Not so easily would Iran be able to sponsor terrorism throughout the Middle East. Domestic oil companies would have to be outlawed as well. They would have to take their evil operations abroad. The goose that lays the golden oil egg must be cooked. The means by which you poor slobs get to work is of no interest to me.

Greg May 27, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Thankfully, I think the oil companies' approval ratings are still higher than those of Congress.

vidyohs May 27, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Wow! This is stunning!

"If I were a benevolent dictator, I would outlaw the use of gasoline & and other petroleum products."
Posted by: Trumpit | May 27, 2008 11:52:59 AM

Don't panic Trumpit, find a quite dark room with a bed, lie down, fold your hands over your stomach, breath deeply, and relax. Your brain will return when it is through with its vacation.

Stretch May 28, 2008 at 9:55 am

"The means by which you poor slobs get to work is of no interest to me."

Fair enough. What about the means by which you get access to all the basic necessities of life?

mike May 29, 2008 at 3:36 pm

If I were a benevolent dictator, I would outlaw the use of gasoline & and other petroleum products. Demand in the U.S. would drop to zero and the price of a barrel of oil would plummet like a lead balloon.

Ha! Sort of like what happened with cocaine?

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