A not-so-bright idea

Politico has a piece today on the House GOP pursuing legislation to “save” the incandescent light bulb. In a promotional email, the publication said Republicans “will blow their Tea Party base,” when Politico meant to say Republicans will “bow to their Tea Party base.”

This is arguably one of the greatest typos in recent memory.

Nevertheless, the GOP efforts on this are truly ridiculous.

Republicans say Senate gridlock is the primary reason none of their big energy ideas has reached President Barack Obama’s desk. […]

Limbaugh and Beck hit the airwaves last fall to trash the 2007 light bulb efficiency law, calling it a Big Government intrusion…. “It is one of those issues out there that just inflames people,” said Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), co-sponsor of the bill that would reverse the phaseout. “What in the world were you doing restricting the kinds of light bulbs in my home?”

In 2007, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and congressional Democrats worked on an energy bill, which included advanced light-bulb standards, intended to spur innovation, lower costs, and improve energy efficiency. The provision was approved with bipartisan support, and the larger legislation was easily passed and signed by President Bush.

The effort has been a great success — or at least it was until right-wing activists made the issue a proxy for imaginary tyranny.

The bulb bill is likely to reach the House floor this week, perhaps as early as today or tomorrow, with the intention of repealing efficiency standards. Even if it passes, this silliness isn’t going anywhere in the Senate — House Republicans love to waste time on symbolic victories that make extremists happy — but that hardly makes the effort any better.

By any reasonable standard, the GOP lawmakers behind this want to pass a measure that would waste more energy, cost consumer more money, and even undermine the marketplace. Republicans don’t care, because this is about some amorphous concept of “freedom” that only conservatives understand.

They don’t, however, have the time or inclination to consider a jobs bill.