OpEd: Stalking the Elusive Congressman (HuffPost Green)
June 12, 2012
By Bill McKibben
Pity the poor senator or representative trying to stay alive in the political jungle. At every turn there’s a danger: a constituent who actually wants something done. Or worse, a campaign donor who might be offended by that something.
And so over time, our representatives have developed protective drab coloration and become expert at keeping a low profile. If they’re not on recess, they’re using some trick or another (the filibuster!) that muddies the waters sufficiently so that it’s hard to tell exactly who’s for what.
We’ve got the classic case this summer. A coalition of environmental and good-government groups have come together to demand an end to fossil fuel subsidies — Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Keith Ellison, both of them bold exceptions to the drab rule — have introduced a bill that would remove $113 billion in gifts to the coal, oil and gas industries over the next decade. Not surprisingly, it has wide support: polling shows that around 70 percent of Republicans, independents, and Democrats think it’s a poor idea to give tax dollars to the richest industry on earth.
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