Last week, many people were outraged at Representative Joe Barton who literally apologized on the floor of the House of Representatives to British Petroleum
for a 20 million billion "shakedown" by the President. Oh Republicans were aghast. They immediately distanced themselves from Barton and it was reported that if he didn't apologize for his statement
they would threaten to remove him from his ranking committee position.
That would be good, if it weren't just smoke and mirrors. While I am admittedly not a very big fan of Rham Emmanuel, he said something yesterday morning in a This Week
interview that brought it all home:
That’s not a political gaffe, those are prepared remarks. That is a philosophy. That is an approach to what they see. They see the aggrieved party here as BP, not the fishermen,” Emanuel told me during my exclusive This Week interview.
Emanuel said Barton and Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul, who recently called the President’s criticism of BP “un-American,” are a reflection of the Republican Party’s governing philosophy. “They think that the government’s the problem,” Emanuel said. “And I think what Joe Barton did was remind the American people, in case they forgot, how the Republicans would govern.”
It's not just Joe Barton and Rand Paul
It's Bill Kristol
But it’s not healthy for the country, for the economy as a whole, for the President to bully different companies and different industries and I think it’s not helping us.
It's Rush Limbaugh
Discussing Barton's comments, Limbaugh repeatedly called the fund a "shakedown," worried that it was a plot by Obama to "redistribute that money to ACORN, to his union supporters," and responded to listeners who weren't buying this spin.
It's Michelle Bachmann
But if I was the head of BP, I would let the signal get out there — ‘We’re not going to be chumps, and we’re not going to be fleeced.’ And they shouldn’t be.
It's John Boehner
"I think the people responsible in the oil spill--BP and the federal government--should take full responsibility for what's happening there," Boehner said at his weekly press conference this morning.
It's Haley Barbor and Representative Tom Price
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) blasted the White House for securing the funds for Gulf Coast businesses and families, condemning the success as a "Chicago-style political shakedown." Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour ® disapproves of the escrow fund, and has said he's worried it will undermine BP profits too much.
It's a whole host of people who defended Joe Barton and BP in the process
– PAT BUCHANAN: “Barton made a very courageous statement in my judgment. … To have anyone stand up and even indirectly defend [BP] and say that they were a victim of a shakedown shows some political courage.”
– INGRAHAM: “I think Joe Barton, before he apologized, had a legitimate point.”
– NAPOLITANO: “That is a classic shakedown. The threat to do something that you don’t have the authority to do. ”
– KILMEADE: “One Congressman calling the BP compsensation fund a ’shakedown,’ but does he have a point?”
– GINGRICH: “The president is directly engaged in extorting money from a company.”
– VARNEY: “It is Hugo Chavez-like, is it not? To sieze a private company’s assets.”
This wasn't an accident, this is indeed a political philosophy by this party. It's been also been repeated by Oliver North, Dick Armey, Sean Hannity and the Heritage Foundation.
The media would like for you to believe these are all just isolated incidents. They are not. In case you really need more proof of how people in the GOP view America, at least one bets
against the economy as he rails against the Presidents economic decisions. Representative Eric Cantor
[Cantor], the Republican whip in the House of Representatives, bought up to $15,000 in shares of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF last December, according to his 2009 financial disclosure statement. The exchange-traded fund takes a short position in long-dated government bonds. In effect, it is a bet against U.S. government bonds — and perhaps on inflation in the future.
I don't believe for one minute he's the only one.
All is not lost for the GOP. Once the public gets hold that this is a self-created GOP Meme, I am pretty sure they will take credit for it, just as they did with Healthcare Reform. Some are already taking credit for the 20 billion dollar fund
Yesterday, though, the Republican message seemed to shift a bit, at least in some corners. What was initially deemed an outrageous presidential abuse turned into a GOP idea that Obama shouldn't take credit for.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), for example, issued a statement yesterday implicitly arguing that there couldn't have been a shakedown, since BP intended to put $20 billion into the escrow fund before the White House meeting. "The true outrage," Franks said, "is that this was never the President's idea at all."
On Thursday, Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao told me that he pressed BP on the fund idea a month ago, inspired by the example of Exxon after its 1989 spill off the coast of Alaska. And on Friday I talked with Ray McKinney, another engineer, who is running for Congress in Georgia against Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.). McKinney stressed that there was no serious disagreement about the escrow issue, and said Democrats were concocting a political debate when all that mattered was making BP pay and investigating the disaster.
It's all part of the philosophy of the GOP. They really are the party of BP, and Corporations. Eric Cantor can bet on that. This is exactly
how the Republicans would govern. It's not a coincidence.