Guest Commentary by Deonte Jones.
In 2006, after the Iraq War had turned sour, the Democrats won control of both houses on Congress. One of the bills they passed was the ‘Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.’ It did some boring but important things like improving fuel economy and making building more energy efficient. It also banned light bulbs.
Well, it planned to phase incandescent bulbs out by 2014. It was probably a good idea — they’re more expensive and less energy efficient than those swirling halogen ones. Plus, all the cool European countries were doing it it. The bill passed with 86 votes in the Senate and 310 in the House — bipartisan support!
The Death and Life of Incandescent Light bulbs
Little did the Democrats know that this little provision was an attack on the nation’s moral core. In 2010, the GOP came back into power in the House on the back of the Tea Party. One of things Tea Party voters didn’t like was government meddling. Forcing people to live under the federally mandated white glare of fluorescents sure felt like government meddling.
The following year, Michelle Bachmann led the crusade. While campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination in 2011, she said, “I think Thomas Edison did a pretty patriotic thing for this country by inventing the lightbulb.” She even introduced the ‘Lightbulb Freedom of Choice Act’ and promised that a “President Bachmann will allow you to buy any light bulb you want.”
America did not get a President Bachmann. But, in 2014 it did get the ban partially repealed. One government intrusion into everyday products defeated, sort of.
Will No One Speak for the Microbead?
Microbeads are tiny plastic beads. They’re in acne wash and make you feel like you’re washing your face with soap mixed with gravel. I don’t like how the beads sometimes get into your mouth.
Democrats next to states with lakes really didn’t like them either. They are bad for the environment: they get into lakes where fish eat them because they look like fish eggs and they die.
This year a bill to ban microbeads by 2018 passed both the House and Senate with unanimous consent.
Why did Republicans not revolt? After all, wasn’t this a government intrusion into our boudoirs? Do we not deserve a ‘Facewash Freedom Act’?
A missed opportunity in my view. Yes, Donald Trump is leading in the polls and Ted Cruz is running a close second. But are the Republicans losing their edge?
Why I Think GOP Caved
1. Republicans don’t think teens should be coddled with acne treatment.
2. No Republicans who called their Congresspeople to complain about lightbulbs ever actually like washing their face with Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub.
3. An American hero didn’t invent the microbead. This Norwegian did.