Joe Pitts Uses Powers Of Congress to Investigate Heady Idealism

The video is poorly produced. The press release’s title is poorly worded, and U.S. Representative Joe Pitts, the chair of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, brags about his “investigation” into Barack Obama’s “heady idealism”. The whole thing sounds like an eccentric, politically motivated Republican whine.

Heady idealism is not a crime, after all. So why should it be investigated?

Actually, what Congressman Pitts investigated wasn’t heady idealism. It was a veneer of idealism, exhibited by Barack Obama on his health care reform legislation, and though the subcommittee’s video report is crude, it does have a certain point.

Pitts contrasts Barack Obama’s promise to have open negotiations including all interested parties on the health care law, broadcast on CSPAN, with Obama’s actual practice, which was to have closed door meetings at which only certain people were invited. But then, there wasn’t really any congressional investigation necessary to reveal that fact. American liberals have been complaining about being shut out of Obama’s health care reform process for years now. It’s open knowledge that Obama excluded liberals who wanted to propose a single payer health care system, but were replaced with health care industry representatives instead.

Pitts also complains about President Obama’s use of government money to promote his health care reform legislation after the fact. Once again, Pitts has good grounds for complaint. During the previous administration, when George W. Bush used government money to create advertisements promoting particular legislation, Democrats in Congress accused Bush of creating federal government political propaganda, which is illegal. There’s no reason Democrats should turn a blind eye to that practice now, just because one of their own is President. Of course, when Bush was President, Congressman Pitts turned a blind eye of his own.

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