The team mentality is generally good thing. And being part of a team is nice. It affords team members the feeling of security; the safety of numbers.
Labor unions and such are teams on steroids if you will. They add the power of large numbers of like minded members to the already important safety and security base.
Teams come in various sizes and degrees. A team of oarsmen in a scull working well together can win many a race. And a team of football players is as strong as their weakest link. The opponent will find and exploit that weakness!
But not every situation in life demands teamwork. There are occasions when we must act as individuals and one of those times is as a representative in Congress.
Of course it has become impossible to get anything done on your own these days but as an elected official you have an obligation to work for the greater good for those who placed you in power. Sometimes you must go against the party to serve your constituents.
And that leads me to the curious case of the modern Republican Party. They seem to act as homogenous nuclear body. When one person in this team that occupies the so-called ‘right’ comes up with a plan or a talking point it is almost as though the rest of the party espouses it immediately as if by osmosis. Within an instant a Republican on the east coast may say "Ah" and a Californian says, "Choo."
And this is a problem for America as a whole.
Earlier this week Joe Barton (Republican oilman, I mean Congressman from, Duh – Texas) opened his mouth and spoke the truth from his heart. Well in his case his heart is located in his wallet and is manipulated by his grubby oil soaked fingers.
He removed his head from it's normal resting place deep within his colon to apologize for the current anger and frustration in America aimed at BP.
But he didn't stop there. He further apologized for the way the President of the United States was defending America against a foreign corporation that created an environmental disaster unlike any other in the history of this country.
He apologized that the President of the United States was demanding restitution from this foreign entity to repay for their actions that literally killed thousands of animals as well as miles and miles of formerly pristine coastline; coastline that provides for and is the lifeblood for many industries in the Gulf of Mexico.
He called the restitution money a 'slush fund' and decried the fact that it would hurt their bottom line.
He basically ignored the fact that the lives and livelihoods lost as a result of their uncaring quest for profit was unprecedented and made the Exxon Valdez oil spill look like a spin in the tub with rubber duckies!
BUT as despicable as his words were to humans at least they were his. Bravo Mr. Barton for speaking your mind!
You see in America we have freedom of speech.
Or do we?
It seems that the pollsters and planners of the Party of No practically puked. One of their own had made a huge gaff.
The edict came down at the speed of light. Representative Barton’s words had to disappear faster than a pregnant nun from an abbey.
So before the blogs had time to reprint the offending words Joe Barton was styling his apology for the apology. The reconstruction of the misconstrued words were reconstituted, repackaged and reintroduced to the world as nothing but a silly misunderstanding.
Oh that Joe Barton, he's such a kidder!
Oil slick Joe was talking one for the team. He was fitted with a muzzle!
But the real problem is Mr. Barton doesn’t wish to apologize for the apology and given the opportunity he would apologize for apologizing for the apology. It's enough to make a spin doctor spin himself dizzy.
Truth be told the entire party agreed with his first apology. They would like to continue raking in the oil bribery dollars unabated. But they know it looks bad for the moment so they'll just have to cover their shortfall elsewhere. Perhaps an advance from the National Rifle Association, or some other favorable lobby will see them through the summer months.
And even though the people of Texas elected this person to represent them and their particular needs he is not their representative, he works for and answers to the leadership of the Republican team!
Joe Barton forgot one important fact; the word Republican has one but there is no “I” in team.