We’re well past the point at which congressional Republicans have jumped the shark, but let’s pause to appreciate the fact that at least one leadi
August 7, 2008

We’re well past the point at which congressional Republicans have jumped the shark, but let’s pause to appreciate the fact that at least one leading GOP lawmaker is now looking to a fake ad by a 27-year-old heiress/reality-show star as a serious source of public policy.

The lines between celebrity and politician blurred into a haze Thursday at a Republican news conference, as one congressman began pushing Paris Hilton’s “plan” on energy.

“Let’s bring up the Paris Hilton plan,” goaded Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas. [...] “Even Paris Hilton had an energy plan that she’s talking about,” said Burgess, seizing a chance to make Democrats look lackluster on the issue.

The Texas congressman tried to put Hilton in the Republican camp, claiming her words mirrored current GOP legislation known as the “No More Excuses Energy Act”. But, while that proposal does allow offshore drilling, a congressional summary shows it does not contain tax credits to encourage new automobile technology.

For crying out loud, Paris Hilton is not a policy expert. She wasn’t seriously offering an energy proposal for members of Congress to embrace as an actual solution.

For that matter, Hilton’s fake ad talked about using expanded coastal drilling to “carry us until the new technologies kick in,” which doesn’t make any sense, since even the Bush administration and McCain’s policy aides concede that we’re about a decade away from new coastal drilling having any kind of effect on the marketplace. And even then, we’re talking about pennies on the gallon. There’s nothing to actually “carry us” at all.

And yet, we actually have an elected member of Congress announcing, “Let’s bring up the Paris Hilton plan.”

It’s as if Republicans are going out of their way to appear ridiculous. On purpose.

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