Fox News and Politico Reportthis evening that Fred Upton has won selection as the new Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Congressman Upton was energetically opposed for this post by RedState, Freedom Works, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck among many others in the conservative community. Fred Upton has the strong support of Speaker-to-be Boehner for this post.
This is the first significant break by Republicans in the House with the conservative base that led the Tsunami that swept Boehner to the speakership with a 63 seat pickup in the House of Representatives. Upton's voting record was replete with issue after issue that should have disqualified him from this post. As Erick noted last month, he supported banning the incandescent light bulb, and voted for TARP, voted yes on the auto bail-out, yes on Cash-For-Clunkers, yes on Sarbanes-Oxley, yes on new CAFE standards, and yes on numerous pork items.
Fred Upton does not have bona-fide conservative credentials but since the election he has tacked strongly to the right in his speech. He is a poster-child for the type of Republican that conservatives have risen up against this last year to primary and replace. His rhetoric and his votes flow back and forth whichever way the winds blow. He is NOT a reliable conservative.
I am not familiar with the new team he is bringing in (Joe Pitts, R-PA), but I am concerned (birds of a feather). A bigger concern, however, is what this says about the Republican Leadership as a whole. When they can ignore such a groundswell of opposition to Upton, what does this bode for future battles that will arise these next two years.