Well, not exactly. Fred Upton has defeated Fred Upton.
As the primary season progresses, we’ve see this pattern repeat itself on numerous occasions. There’s an old bull Republican who has been pushing for big government and anti-free-market policies for years. Then, as soon as his primary opponent begins to sow the seeds of disquiet in his district, the old bull lurches to the right, introduces conservative legislation, and attacks his conservative challenger as a liberal.
Indeed, unseating liberal Republicans has been a tedious process and victory has been quite elusive. Most of these guys don’t wear uniforms identifying themselves to the voters as the more moderate choice during the elections. The few members who did so, such as Dick Lugar and Bob Bennett, got crushed. Most of them are smart enough to know how to tack right when their congressional career, which is their entire life, is at stake.
As late as 2007-2008 – twenty years into Fred Upton’s congressional career – he was one of the biggest supporters of green energy social engineering and climate fascism. As Ranking Member of the Energy Committee, Upton co-authored the incandescent light bulb ban that eventually made its way into the 2007 energy bill, which turned out to be the Obamacare of the energy industry. It contained mandates and subsidies for green energy on every page.
Even in 2009, Upton sent a letter to Obama’s Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, in support of a loan guarantee to United Solar Ovonics, a solar power company that has since filed for bankruptcy. Fast-forward one year, and Fred Upton has undergone a radical makeover. Why?
Two Words: Jack Hoogendyk.
You can absolutely plot a Republican member’s voting record on a chart and find a direct correlation between the shift in voting patterns and the emergence of a conservative challenger. Nowhere is this more evident than with Fred Upton. Ever since Jack Hoogendyk announced his candidacy earlier this year, Upton has tacked sharply to the right. He has sent out multiple mailers on a weekly basis attacking Hoogendyk as a tax and spend liberal in the Michigan legislature.
Now he is so desperate to curry favor with conservatives that he is dismantling the entire lean green machine that he helped build. In a slick effort to rehabilitate his image with conservatives, Upton is marking up a bill on Wednesday called “The No More Solyndras Act.” This bill would bar DOE from granting loan guarantees to any company that filed its application after December 31, 2011. It also institutes some oversight and transparency measures to the process in which the DOE pursues these loan guarantees.
Undoubtedly, this is a worthy piece of legislation. But color me skeptical as to the long-term intentions of its author. Does Fred Upton plan to apologize for his role in supporting these market distorting statist policies? Will he help in the effort to repeal other parts of the 2005 and 2007 energy bills?
More importantly, if Fred Upton is suddenly such an Anti-Solyndra crusader, why did he vote against the bipartisan McClintock-Kucinich Amendment to the FY 2013 Energy-Water Appropriations bill, which would have defunded Solyndra loans – lock, stock, and barrel? This occurred less than two months ago.
On August 7, voters of Michigan’s 6th district will have a choice to cast their ballot for the “No More Fred Uptons Act” by replacing him with Jack Hoogendyk, a man who will consistently oppose Obama’s green social engineering. Even though Fred Upton 2.0 has already vanquished Fred Upton 1.0, the new version experiences frequent relapses into the old one. It’s time we put an end to this charade of politicians governing one way under scrutiny and another way when nobody is looking.