Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Republican Campaign Slogan: "Screw You Voters, We Care More About BP"

Ever since President Obama convinced embattled oil giant BP last week to put $20-billion into an escrow account for claims arising from the company's catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Republicans have become the company's apologists and defenders instead of fighting for the victims facing financial ruin as a result of the environmental disaster.

As boneheaded a political miscalculation as possible, Republicans have let their extremist pro-business ideology win out over common sense, political expediency and patriotism. Their mantra has become, screw Americans who've lost their jobs, their businesses, and their hopes...it's BP we care about, not you.

This right wing foot-in-mouth-disease surfaced last month when Tea Party king Rand Paul, Kentucky's GOP primary winner, criticized Obama's tough talk: "What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business."

The reprehensible rhetoric ratcheted up last week during the Congressional hearing over the spill: "I’m ashamed at what happened in the White House yesterday," said Rep. Joe Barton (Tx), the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "I think it is a tragedy in 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...I apologize." That's right, he apologized to BP. Voters should know that, if Republicans recapture the House in November's midterms, Barton would become chairman of the committee that serves as the watchdog for the environment. The proverbial fox would be guarding the hen house.

Rep. Tom Price (Ga), chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, echoed Barton's concerns in criticizing the administration's handling of the BP escrow fund. "BP’s reported willingness to go along with the White House’s new fund suggests that the Obama administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics."

Regurgitating more disingenuous talking points, Tea Party co-queen Rep. Michelle Bachmann(MN) called the $20-billion a "redistribution-of-wealth fund." She added that the fund is "yet one more gateway for more government control." She also said that BP "shouldn't have to be fleeced" for the fund. Bachmann's partner in Tea Party gaffery, Sarah "Drill Baby Drill" Palin, believes "We can't afford to demonize" BP. Ya gotta hand it to these two: it's getting harder and harder to tell who's dumber.

On Sunday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory asked Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, "What's worse, the moratorium (on offshore drilling) or the effects of this spill on the region? Incredibly, Barbour replied, "The moratorium....It's not only bad for the region but it's bad for America." It doesn't seem to phase Barbour that there's still no explanation for the Deepwater Horizon explosion which killed 11 workers and is spewing 60,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf each day with no end in sight, killing off wildlife, destroying marshes and wreaking financial havoc on oil riggers, fisherman and local businesses. Barbour, like his neighbor to the West, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, just wants to keep drilling. More drilling, with less regulation. Jindal, in fact, is part of a lawsuit to end Obama's moratorium.

The unconscionable Republican defense of BP continued Monday with media blowhard Rush Limbaugh charging that "This is just another bailout fund called something else, and we'll see who gets it....This is going to be used as a little miniature slush fund."

Democrats owe a big fat thank you to Limbaugh and his Republican Party. Because in what was shaping up to be a very challenging election year, the GOP's made the decision a whole lot easier for voters, especially residents of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, whose lives have been upended by the spill. Voters will have a clear choice between the party of BP apologists and defenders or the party that's fought for them and secured $20-billion for claims. It's Big Oil vs. the little guy. And Republicans have clearly shown who they stand with.

As White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said on ABC's This Week Sunday, "Elections are about choices...I think what Joe Barton did is remind the American people, in case they've forgotten, this is how the Republicans would govern."

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hopper said...

that's a good slogan for them. we did one yesterday too

vote gop - our job, is to send your job, to punjab.


Anonymous said...

The GOP appears to be the angry white folks party. I am white, but I can't wait for our country to put more diverse folks in power. November will not be kind to the Dems, but after that the GOP will lose rather than win. Demographics are not on the GOP's side and they do nothing to appeal to those who are not white. The GOP still thinks it will win on the health care issue. On the other hand, if the economy improves for more folks than not, the Dems will be in better shape in November.

Anonymous said...

Let's assume that both Barton and Bachmann have made some of the most bone headed statements, taking the wrong side of the issue.

How is that an indictment of the entire GOP?

Al Sharpton ran for President and has far more power and influence in the White House and Congress than Barton or Bachmann have in their party.

So, is Obama and the Congressional majorities to be smeared with the Tawana Brawley scandal? How about all of Al's campaign finance problems? His tax problems? His blatantly anti-semitism? His comments about white interlopers in defense of the people who burned down a store and killed people in Harlem?

And if not, WHY NOT?

Realist said...

The real test will be if the Democrats take advantage of this powerful message. Based on recent acts by Democrats (including Tom Harkin working to provide an insurance entity a huge tax break), I have little faith that they will betray their corporate masters.

Anonymous said...

I have two respones:

1. On Sixty -Minutes soon after the disaster, a man who had been on that crew and survived explained in detail that the tragedy was caused by negligence on the part of BP which was a condition of which they were aware. We've not heard from that witness since that broadcast. Why not? He is an eye-witness.

2. The legal experts are saying that setting aside that money was brilliant on the part of BP because now those recipients cannot sue later if they should find the need to do so. They're stck with the first settlement.

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