Why Fred Upton Is a Smart Pick by Boehner
He has a reputation as a moderate, but he won't act like one: Steve Kornacki
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2011 4:06 PM CDT
In this Jan. 6 photo, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., speaks on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(Newser) – John Boehner raised eyebrows by selecting Michigan congressman Fred Upton for the debt super committee. After all, explains Steve Kornacki at Salon, Upton has the reputation of being a moderate and an "individual thinker" unafraid to buck his party. Might he provide Democrats with the crucial GOP vote they'll need? Don't count on it, writes Kornacki. That "moderate" Upton doesn't live here anymore: He, too, has been dragged to the right by Tea Party Republicans.

That became evident when Upton had to make a sudden transformation into a climate change skeptic in order to win the chairmanship of an energy panel. Don't expect to see the pragmatic Upton re-emerge. Instead, we'll get the Upton "who watched as that reputation nearly cost him his House seat and a powerful committee gavel last year—and who doesn't want to go through anything like that again," writes Kornacki. "In a way, picking Upton was a brilliant move by Boehner. It looks like he appointed an independent voice, but there's little chance Upton will act like one." Click to read the full column.