Tea Party favorite for OK Governor: BP oil disaster proves government should “never be involved in the private sector”

GOBP sharp smallRep. Joe Barton’s (GOBP-TX) apology to embattled BP CEO Tony Hayward for the government’s efforts to ensure compensation for Gulf coast residents last week highlighted two competing visions of government. The first is the progressive vision, that says government should aggressively champion the public interest, holding massive corporations accountable. The second, Barton’s, is the reflexive conservative embrace of big corporations.

GOP state senator Randy Brogdon (OK), who is the “tea party favorite” in his race for the Republican nomination for governor in his state, indicated that he fully and absolutely endorses the second vision.  TP has the story of the another member of the GOBP .

Instead of placing blame on BP for the massive environmental and economic disaster that it has caused in the Gulf of Mexico, Brogdon claimed that government is “the problem” and that the spill is a “perfect example of why government should never be involved in the private sector“:

In Oklahoma, where oil and natural gas drive the state’s economy, tea party favorite Randy Brogdon, a Republican candidate for governor, said federal involvement in the BP disaster is only making the situation worse.

“This is a perfect example of why government should never be involved in the private sector,” said Brogdon, a state senator campaigning on limited federal government. “Government is not the solution. It’s the problem. The more government tries to get in and regulate the free market, the worse things become.”

Of course, BP’s oil disaster may have resulted from too little “” not too much “” government involvement. Although the exact cause of the disaster is still unknown, there is a growing mountain of evidence that suggests BP’s own corporate negligence, combined with Bush-era regulators turning a blind eye to safety violations, are what created the environment that led to the oil spill.

It would be interesting to know exactly what Brogdon means by saying the oil disaster proves that the government should “never” be involved in the private sector. Does Brodgon believe, for example, that BP’s malfeasance should end government regulation of child labor, the minimum wage, food and drug safety, and airline travel?

A repost from Think Progress.

13 Responses to Tea Party favorite for OK Governor: BP oil disaster proves government should “never be involved in the private sector”

  1. mike roddy says:

    Be careful about getting into the head of someone like Brogdon, and attempting to make sense of what he says. It’s like diving into a rabbit hole, and you could end up just as nutty as he is.

  2. homunq says:

    Last time I tried to dive into a rabbit hole, I didn’t get nutty, I just got bruised.

  3. PSU Grad says:

    If Brogdon is serious about limited government involvement, then I’d like him to respond to the following:

    We should, immediately, shut down the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman. After all, that facility is clearly interfering with what the private sector (think The Weather Channel, AccuWeather, etc.) could and should be doing. The federal government should not be involved in predicting severe thunderstorms, tornados and fire hazards when the private sector can do it better and more cheaply. Therefore, the SPC and its jobs should be eliminated.

    The guy is either for limited government involvement in the private sector’s business or he’s not. I swear, it’s the ghost of Little Ricky Santorum.

  4. Raul says:

    Hmmm, all that money coming and nothing to do
    but pay on the nat. debt. How to sell it to all
    those people who have become accustomed to service,

  5. David Smith says:

    I only got as far as the first paragraph. How can government champion the public interest without totally removing the influence of corporations and money from the political process. As long as money and those bearing it are given special consideration the public interest cannot be served. Or at least a hierarchy is created – financial interests first then maybe public interests second.

    The notion that corporations are people with rights protected under the constitution is the most ludicrous concept ever invented in our democracy.

  6. catman306 says:

    A vote for any Tea Party candidate is a vote for corporatism and corporate welfare and against and power or program that limits corporatism and corporate welfare. Kind of like the Republicans only more so.

    Both of these groups benefit from small business owner’s having the misunderstanding that government policies that apply to BP, GM, JP Morgan-Chase, Massey coal, AT&T, or Viacom are good for them or will ever apply to them. We can’t blame the small business owners for not understanding, many $millions are spent monthly on spin and propaganda to ensure that these people NEVER understand.

    Never underestimate the power of advertising, spin, propaganda, and the corporatist controlled media.

  7. Wit's End says:

    There is an interesting analysis today in HuffPo about the reaction of Hispanic voters to the immigration law in Arizona. This looks like it could be really significant in the elections. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if Hispanic voters changed the political landscape!

  8. Jeff Huggins says:

    Responsibility to Challenge and Correct

    Where are the economists and the economics profession?

    Where are the sincere and genuine religious leaders?

    Where are responsible journalists who can do more than merely parrot what someone tells them?

    The notions that corporations will “do good”, by their very nature, and that entirely unregulated free markets will naturally and always result in responsible and good outcomes (even when there is no mechanism that leads to a price for pouring CO2 into the atmosphere?!) are basic hogwash. They simply aren’t correct. The people who study these things know this.

    Some folks should read the concerns that Adam Smith had about what we now call corporations. He understood, well, that publics and governments would have to watch them and, in important ways, regulate them. Adam Smith did not think that corporations were (or would be) angels.

    And economists know that entirely unregulated free markets often don’t naturally lead to responsible and sane outcomes — and especially not when they can pollute for free, they can influence the government on a large scale, they consist of oligopolies, and so forth. Economists know these things. Why are they so silent, so often?

    And what about religious leaders? How do you “square” the views of some of these politicians (who claim to have good values and are admired by many folks who claim to base their views in religious belief) with basic religious values and the basic Good Books of religion? Would Jesus be a Tea Partier? I thought he threw the money-changers out of the Temple!

    And what about journalists? How many journalists are left who are anything more than transcribing machines who add controversial and often misleading titles to their articles (or allow their editors to do so)?

    People (and professions) who let this sort of thinking “go” — unchallenged and uncorrected — are letting down humankind, letting down the public, letting down other species, letting down future generations, letting down their own professions, letting down their children, and dying slow intellectual deaths.

    At this point, I’m less frustrated with some of the folks who spout nonsensical views. Many of them apparently don’t know any better. But, I’m increasingly frustrated with the professions and professionals who let nonsense stand for sense. They are letting us down, and they are also “doing themselves in” in the process.

    If you run into an economist, the first thing you should ask her/him is what she/he is doing, publicly, to clarify nonsense and spread real understanding. If they aren’t doing much, I wouldn’t give them the time of day or listen to their other theories and speculations.

    Same thing goes (I’m sad to say) with many religious leaders. If you have a conversation with one, ask her/him what she/he is doing to clarify — for the flock and publicly — what genuine religious values would have us do regarding these issues. Would Jesus or The Buddha or (etc.) encourage us to let ExxonMobil run the world, mess up the climate for future generations, allow banks to push mortgages that only a rocket scientist could possibly understand, leave tens of millions of people without healthcare, carry guns around town, and etc.? Nonsense.

    Nonsense can flourish — and does flourish! — if people who know better don’t stand up and speak, loudly and clearly and often and courageously. Too many people are far too silent.

    And where are the (supposed) business ethicists and business school leaders who claim to be responsible and ethical??? And ? And another ? I was a Baker Scholar at Harvard Business School, a consultant with McKinsey & Company, and an exec at Disney. I know “a bit” about business and economics and business schools. I’m deeply disappointed at what business school leaders are and aren’t doing. Naming names will start to become important, soon.

    And where are the young people? I’ve barely heard a peep from them. It’s your future, folks. Stay silent at your own peril.



  9. Chris Winter says:

    “The more government tries to get in and regulate the free market, the worse things become,” says Randy Brogdon (R-OK).

    Perhaps the good Senator would like to revive the old Kerr-McGee Corporation — a sterling example of unregulated commerce.

    Or perhaps I should write “a Serling example.” There’s the signpost up ahead — your next stop: the no-regulation zone!

  10. Peter Mizla says:

    And the American people want the republicans back in power? Maybe they enjoy being share croppers or Serfs.

  11. BBHY says:

    When government stays out and doesn’t regulate the so-called “free market” we wind up with Enron and the BP Oil disaster.

    The Tes Party is a Fascist movement. I would like to think it will peter out on its own, but I’m afraid it is going to take considerable effort to shut it down. If this spreads we are heading toward a very bad place.

  12. Peter Mizla says:


    I agree that the Tea Party is fascist- but has this not been what the republican party has been for decades now?

    The Tea Party movement does not have the demographics in the future for it to maintain its power. The current right wing has likely reached its Rubicon-like the far left did 40 years ago.

  13. Jim Groom says:

    Maybe its just me, but I find I don’t understand Teabonics. I took Spanish as a second language way back in the 50’s.