“Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance. The World and the Future and your very children shall judge you according as you deal with this Sacred Trust.”
–Andy Barr (R-KY), trying to quote Teddy Roosevelt
Four hours after Louisville Congressman John Yarmuth posted an Earth Day message about Republican efforts to make it even easier for companies to dump toxic waste into our drinking water, Lexington Congressman Garland H. Barr IV posted an Earth Day message of his own — absolutely butchering a quote from Teddy Roosevelt while calling for increased privatization and deregulation... as his supporters called for the destruction of the National Parks system Roosevelt created.
First off, here’s Yarmuth’s message, which was titled “A reminder of who we’re fighting for” and went on to link to a March 24th release from his office:
WASHINGTON – Holding up a bottle of Eastern Kentucky well water turned orange by mine waste contamination, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) implored his colleagues to address the public health crisis in mining communities in a speech on the House floor this afternoon.
Yarmuth’s speech came during debate of H.R. 2824, legislation to weaken federal standards that help prevent mining companies from dumping toxic mine waste into nearby streams and valleys. The House approved the bill 229-192 on a largely party-line vote.
Under this legislation, the 1983 Reagan Administration Stream Buffer Zone rule – which prohibits mining activities within 100 feet of perennial or intermittent streams – would be replaced by a 2008 Bush Administration policy that eliminates the prohibition. That policy was vacated by a federal court last month. The bill would also delay any attempts to strengthen Stream Buffer Zones rules for at least five years. The Obama Administration is currently drafting a revised Stream Buffer Zone rule.
Andy Barr, of course, voted in favor of HR 2824 in his ongoing effort to poison Kentucky voters. A pro-pollution 6th District congressman, Barr has fought over and over to protect the toxic policies of private industry rather than the people of his home state.
Where Yarmuth used Earth Day to make a serious point, Barr’s own Earth Day message veered wildly into a land of satire — or a land where irony, satire, history and intelligence have been strip-mined away leaving only a series of randomized words that create some semblance of a statement:
Barr’s satiric Earth Day message begins with a Teddy Roosevelt quote:
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children.”
You can sort of see how Barr and his people thought that quote might be innocuous enough an expression of care for the environment without implying any actual intention to protect or preserve the environment. And because Barr apparently believes the mass of his supporters are ahistorical buffoons, quoting T.R. just seems manly… rather than laughable.
The quote Barr’s butchered is from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech at the Grand Canyon. And it doesn’t end with “your children’s children.”
The full quote, including the section Barr lopped off like a mountaintop, is:
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance. The World and the Future and your very children shall judge you according as you deal with this Sacred Trust.”
Which is likely not the message Garland H. Barr IV wants to send, given the fact his career is heavily underwritten by the greedy interests that skin the country of its beauty, its riches and poison the water people have to drink.
Underneath his butchered T.R. quote, Barr includes a message of his own:
Happy #EarthDay & #NationalParksWeek! We can protect our environment while responsibly developing our natural resources. Going forward, we must focus on promoting private sector solutions to ensure Americans have affordable energy with the least impact on the environment for decades to come.
You can almost hear Teddy vomiting as you read it.
Oh — and then there’s the first comment, a Barr supporter who writes: “Take the land back that belongs to the states , not the feds ………..”
Which is a really beautiful way for the Barr campaign to commemorate Earth Day, National Parks Week, and Teddy Roosevelt.