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A Thank You Note to Joe Barton

Thank God for Joe Barton (R-Texas).  Tuesday night, Barack Obama gave a speech on the BP-Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster that I would generously call uninspiring.  Yes, he spoke of the need for new alternative energy sources that could, at long last, wean America from its dangerous and environmentally catastrophic dependence on fossil fuels.  But he didn't do much else, and he certainly didn't lay out a strong, definite plan for achieving his goals.  Everyone from Jon Stewart to Fox News gave the speech bad reviews, and for a day or two that's what people were talking about.  The only thing the President did manage to do was convince British Petroleum to set up a $20 billion escrow account to help people in the Gulf region recover from the economic effects of the spill.  By Wednesday morning, that seemed like a small accomplishment.

But then Congressman Barton, in his opening remarks at a Congressional hearing on the Gulf spill, actually apologized to BP for what the White House had done.  Here are his remarks:

I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday.  I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown. In this case, a $20-billion shakedown with the attorney general of the United States, who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the interests of the American people, participating in what amounts to a $20-billion slush fund. It is unprecedented in our nation’s history.

Never mind that BP has destroyed the Gulf economy for years to come.  Never mind that the company's spokesmen have at least paid lip service to doing exactly what this fund is intended to facilitate, i.e. compensating people for their losses.  Never mind that BP is now more hated than any governmental institution or corporate entity.  Joe is ready to defend them, and to accuse the White House of "shaking them down."  Talk about a political tin ear.  But wait, it gets better.  What makes this statement even more outrageous is that Texas Joe has received more campaign money from big oil since 1989 -- some $1.4 million and counting -- than any other member of Congress.  Who says money can't buy you love...?

With one opening statement, Barton made the White House look strong in its treatment of BP, sympathetic to the people of the Gulf region, and sensitive to the public's outrage at BP.  And he reminded everyone, as had Rand Paul and Sarah Palin before him, that Republicans will come to the defense of the world's largest oil corportations no matter what they do and whose lives they destroy.

So on behalf of the President and Democrats everywhere, I just want to say, "Thank, Joe."

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
shsilver
Jun. 17th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
Not that it excuses his idiocy, but he has retracted both the statement and the apology.
davidbcoe
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
You're right, he did. But we live in the digital age, and Democrats have vid of his statement. I'm sure it will be played again and again, just beside a list of the oil industry's various campaign contributions.
shsilver
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
And since I wrote that, I actually saw his "retraction" in which he apologized not for the statement, but for the fact that people like you and I have such a difficult time with the English language that we "misconstrued" what he said.
davidbcoe
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
Yes, well, what would you and I know about words and their meanings...?
shsilver
Jun. 18th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
-Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll, 1872
kmarkhoover
Jun. 17th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
You lie!

Sorry. I just wanted to say it because that joke never grows old, even though it's not the same guy.

Yep. We can always count on Texas conservatives to make the bumbling Democrats look better in comparison, lol. Thank you, Joe, you did a great service to my party. :D
davidbcoe
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Mark. It's a shame we need the repugs to make our guys look good, but it seems to be a service they're all too happy to provide.
hedwig_snowy
Jun. 17th, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
Let's not forget where he got the idea of a 'slush fund', from the Democrat's best friend, Rush Limbaugh (you do realize they don't have an entire brain between them so that when one comes up with a thought...they all use it...right?!?!?!). And, let us not overlook Michelle Bachmann's contribution to the demise of the GOP in the fall by jumping on the side of BP, Coal Mine Owners, and Wall Street bankers with her worries about all those poor, rich guys getting 'fleeced' by the Government.

Makes ya proud to be an a Merikan doesn't it? :-)

Really? A Republican that bows to big oil and gets money from them? Maybe he can apply for a job at MMS....
davidbcoe
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
Hedwig, if the media guys at the DCCC and the DSC aren't putting together a montage of GOP statements on the "poor abused" corporate heads of Wall Street firms and oil companies, they ought to be fired. Thanks for the comment.
saladinahmed
Jun. 18th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
[with apologies for delurking to froth at the mouth pinko-commie style :P ]

"With one opening statement, Barton made the White House look strong in its treatment of BP, sympathetic to the people of the Gulf region, and sensitive to the public's outrage at BP."

Isn't it a *problem* that he only made Obama and the Dems LOOK this way? Isn't it a problem that they're not actually DOING anything substantial to stop companies like BP form comitting these sort of atrocities? Frankly I don't think the good cop/bad cop game the corporate-bought politicians are playing is good for any of us...

I know a lot of people think this sort of talk is far-left rhetoric, but check out the always awesome 'follow the money' site opensecrets.org -- sure, Barton's collected near 1.5 Mil in campaign money over the years from oil companies...but Obama got near a Mil himself... So are we really surprised that he's not going after BP in any substantial way?

http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/summary.php?ind=E01&cycle=All&recipdetail=M&sortorder=U

davidbcoe
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
Saladin, it absolutely is a problem. I tried to make it clear in my post that I was disappointed with Obama's speech and his response to the spill. As I said in response to a comment at my other blog, BP's corporate board should be counting their lucky stars that the Administration didn't seize the company's assets and take control of its American operation. Barton managed to make the Administration look strong, which helps the left politically. It doesn't solve the fundamental problem, which, to my mind, thanks to the Supreme Court, can now only be solved by a Constitutional Amendment mandating public financing of political campaigns.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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