GOP would let BP go MIA for oil spillWritten by Don Burnard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In a stunning “Did I say that out loud?” moment, Rep. Joe Barton apologized to BP for the remarkable inconvenience of actually having to put money in an escrow account to pay for the incredible havoc it has wreaked on the Gulf Coast region. This was apparently a bit too embarrassing for Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, as they were quick to disavow Barton’s statements as not representative of the Republican Party’s feelings on the subject.
It was deemed to be beyond the pale even for these two “we’ll say anything to discredit Obama” characters. But does it really represent their true feelings? I think not. I believe this is truly what a large proportion of the GOP really does believe. The prevailing belief in the GOP is that these companies’ interests should always trump the interests of, as the head of BP quaintly called us, the “small” people. Their actions time after time show this.
Let’s look at the current subject for starters. Notwithstanding the leadership’s quick disavowal, one need look no further than the statements made by the Republican Study Committee the day before Barton made his comments. The RSC has 115 members, or as Eugene Robinson pointed out, about two-thirds of the Republican House members. it stated: “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.
“These actions are emblematic of a politicization of our economy that has been borne out of this administration’s drive for power and control. It is the same mentality that believes an economic crisis or environmental disaster is the best opportunity to pursue a failed liberal agenda. The American people know much better.”
I have several beefs with this statement. The first is that it is the same pap and twaddle that they have been laying out for years instead of trying to actually help solve any problems that arise. The second is that if anyone is being shaken down, it is the American people, who they constantly claim to speak for. We’ll just call it “liberal” and condemn it outright, while we look out for the best interests of our major contributors.
These types of comments are not limited to just the legislative arena. We also have the Repub propaganda machine chiming in. Tea Party darling Rand Paul calls it un-American to hold BP responsible for a mistake that could have happened to anyone. The usual suspects, like Michelle Bachman, several other right-wing senatorial candidates, and the King of Crap himself, rushed to back Barton’s apology. Rush stated on his show “It was a shakedown pure and simple, and somebody had the audacity to call it what it was, and now everybody’s running for the hills.” I’m sorry, I just don’t understand these thought processes, or lack thereof. That is why I believe that these kinds of events, whether economic, environmental or whatever, lead the current crop of right-wingers to act as apologists for whatever industry interest’s crisis du jour.
These are the same people who, shortly after the BP rig blew up, blamed it on left-wing environmental terrorists who snuck out there and blew it up to stifle offshore drilling. These are the same people who tried to lay the burst of the housing bubble on poor people taking out loans for mansions. It couldn’t have had anything to do with anything the finance industry did. As for unemployment, why don’t the 15 million or so people who haven’t had a job in a year or two just go get a job? So what if you can’t find one that pays a livable wage. The fact that such a relatively large, though I certainly hope not a major, portion of the population actually gives any credence to these simplistic views of complex problems, is downright scary.
We seem to have lost much of what made this country great, the ability to solve great problems in a logical manner, looking out for one another and not allowing others to foist their views on us to our own detriment. As I’ve said before, these people don’t have the interests of the average citizen at heart in these situations. As long as the corporate interests continue to tell us (the small people, remember?) what is good for us, we’re going to continue to get the short end of the stick. Are we going to allow this country to become a corporate holding or are we going to return to the real country we once were? Pay attention!
E-mail columnist Don Burnard at email@example.com.