Robinson: “A GOP chorus of Joe Bartons on the BP oil spill”
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann has created a great new logo for the Grand Oil Party. If someone is good at cleaning up such images, send me a better version, and I’ll repost it — thank you DGaines.
I’m not sure if GOBP or GObP is better — what do you think? Either way, “Joe Barton reflects the philosophy of over 115 Republicans.”
That’s the same point Eugene Robinson makes today in a Washington Post column, “The Texas congressman’s lavish sympathy for BP — which he sees not as perpetrator of a preventable disaster but as victim of a White House “shakedown” — is actually what passes for mainstream opinion among conservative Republicans today”
Here is more of that column (followed by the full image from MSNBC):
Barton was only echoing a statement that Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) had issued a day earlier in the name of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of House conservatives whose Web site claims 115 members. The statement groused that there is “no legal authority for the president to compel a private company to set up or contribute to an escrow account” and accused the Obama administration of “Chicago-style shakedown politics.” Just to review: A group constituting roughly two-thirds of all Republicans in the House takes the position that President Obama was wrong to demand that BP set aside money to guarantee that those whose livelihoods are being ruined by the oil spill will be compensated. In other words, it’s more important to kneel at the altar of radical conservative ideology than to feel any sense of compassion for one’s fellow Americans. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how today’s GOP rolls….
While the party leadership has managed to squelch members of Congress who might have been tempted to weigh in on Barton’s side, the conservative amen chorus can’t help itself. Rush Limbaugh called the agreement on the $20 billion escrow fund “unconstitutional” and accused the administration of acting like “a branch of organized crime.” Newt Gingrich said the White House was “extorting money from a company.” Stuart Varney of Fox News claimed — falsely — that Obama had moved to “seize a private company’s assets” and complained that the action was “Hugo Chavez-like.” Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol said that “I have no sympathy for BP,” but then proceeded to be sympathetic, offering that “it’s not helpful for the country, for the economy as a whole, for the president to bully different companies and different industries.” I’d advise these people to get a grip, but they’re just saying what they believe. It just happens that what they believe is absurd.
What they believe is absurd, which is why the BP apologists in the GOP deserve their own logo. Kudos to MSNBC for putting one together: