The oil spill is reprehensible in so many ways. I have been to locations on the Gulf of Mexico on several occasions and the thought of the damage this area will experience is sickening. BP
is very responsible for this disaster and certainly takes primary responsibility for the spill, stopping the spill and for the damages resulting from the spill. The fact that BP
(and other oil companies) have punched holes on the ocean without a clear plan and backup plan to address this type of disaster is reprehensible. BP
has also been extremely slow in mobilizing cleanup efforts to attempt to tend to the oil in the water before it reaches the shore. So to be perfectly clear, I have no warm / fuzzy or defensive feelings toward BP
When President Obama announced that he was going to demand the BP
set aside billions of dollars to be distributed by and "independent" party to victims of the spill, I thought he was overreaching his authority and secretly hoped BP
would reject it. BP
should have made a statement that they will act according to statements already made and pay all legitimate damage claims, and since they would be honoring their responsibilities there was no need for an independent party.
Only now do we find that the independent party Obama has in mind is his own executive branch of government. Texas Republican Joe Barton correctly identified that Obama's
actions as a shakedown, extorting money from BP
in order to set up a fund he would have control over. Recipients of the money will view the source as Obama and the government, that without them BP
would surely shirk their responsibility. While an apology to BP
did seem a bit silly to me, the comments on the shakedown were dead on.
While lately it has seemed the GOP has found the spine they lacked while in control, today they took several steps back. House Minority Leader John Boehner
, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor threatened to remove Joe Barton from his position on the Energy and Commerce committee if he did not retract and apologize for his statements. To be clear it is only because of the ridiculous spin by Democrats and the certain regurgitation of their talking points by the media that would cause the GOP leaders to go this route. The Dems
would certainly spin this as support for BP's destruction
of the Gulf.
Basically, let me put it this way using a very admittedly extreme example. If Obama had told BP
that because of their egregious mishap, members of his administration could now rape the wives and daughters of BP
executives somebody stepping up and denouncing such an overstep of power and authority would not be supporting BP
. In the same way, Barton denouncing Obama's
overreach on the shakedown of money and appointing themselves as overseers of the funds is not a support of BP
I am not convinced the criteria for payment from this fund will be pristine. This administration has already shown its disdain for red states and red voting blocks and its generosity towards entities that vote for him and support his agenda. We will certainly be seeing evidence of corruption in the distribution of the $20B. Of course the mainstream media will cover it up or not think it worthy of news when it does happen. When evidence warranting investigative journalism does surface, the mainstream media will as usual lack any driving curiosity to peel back any layers.
I have always said that regardless of media spin, the war of ideology will only be won when both sides put up their best and clear arguments and fight with clear, direct arguments. The GOP leadership cowering to the media spin and threatening Barton was an act of cowardice. Once again, they have lost the pair they need to win.
Labels: Barack Obama, BP, Spineless GOP