House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) offered a surprising — and fleeting — reversal on the GOP policy yesterday when, less than two months after the GOP voted to preserve billions in taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil, he begrudgingly admitted that oil companies are “not paying their fair share.” This is certainly a “bold step for a Republican” given that 77 percent of the $65 million that the oil and gas industry contributed to politicians from 2009 to 2010 went to Republicans.
But as the White House and Democratic lawmakers congratulate Boehner on having “seen the light,” right-wing mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh is choking on Boehner’s betrayal. Aghast that Boehner failed to defend Big Oil’s slick situation, Limbaugh said that, were he a Republican political leader, “I would defend Big Oil“:
LIMBAUGH: [Boehner] is open to the idea of reducing the so-called oil subsidies. and he used a phrase popularized by the left: “It’s about time the oil companies pay their fair share.” He’s open to them paying their fair share and open to the idea of reducing their subsidies when we need them the most. I understand the Republicans don’t want to get caught in the trap — they think it’s a trap — of having to defend Big Oil.[...]
If I were a political leader and a Republican and the Democrats were hellbent on ending Big Oil subsidies and raising taxes on Big Oil in circumstances like we are in now, is it just me? This may be the difference between working in radio and working in politics. I would defend Big Oil! Especially now. We need supply!
Listen here (via Media Matters):
Oil companies do not need more subsidies. In fact, they are on track to secure sky-high profits as gas prices continue to rise. This, of course, comes on the back of American taxpayers who doled out $3.96 billion in tax expenditures for Big Oil in 2010.
But, for Limbaugh, it’s less about what is correct and more about who must be wrong. “I know who the left’s enemies are. I know who’s on their enemy list,” he said. “And my instincts are to defend the people that they are targeting because I know who the left is.”