6.19.2010

Republican BP Apologists & Rep. Joe Barton (UPDATED)

GOP Rep. Joe Barton really stepped in it when he apologized to BP for President Obama "shaking them down" to setup a $20 billion escrow account to help the the victims of the oil rig disaster.

This fund is something that will help streamline financial reimbursements and eliminate the need for many of the lawsuits that would have inevitably been filed against the oil giant, and the delays in monies being distributed that would have ensued.

Here's a report by Ed Schultz on the $20 billion dollar fund President Obama procured from BP: A Huge Victory for the Gulf

Also see:
Then Rep. Joe Barton stepped in it, saying on camera what many GOPer's were saying in memos and talking points off camera. Rachel Maddow covered Barton's response, and what it really means about the GOP, in depth:
GOP oil industry loyalties exposed

UPDATE: I completely forgot to include Jon Stewart's reporting on the $20 billion and Barton's apology:
Day 59 - Judgment Day - The Strife Aquatic

Several big oil companies include a dead emergency contact in their contingency plans, and Joe Barton apologizes to BP for having to pay $20 billion.

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Well, Democrats, Progressive organizations and most normal members of the media have lambasted, lampooned and laid the GOP's defense of BP out for all the country to see.

Here's the DNC's first ad that will be coming to a cable network near you: I Apologize
Here's another ad from the Dems: Stop Apologizing!
CNN picked up the DNC ad: CNN Debuts DNC AD "Stop Apologizing"
Vice President Biden was asked about Barton's apology and here's his incredible response:
Here's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's response when questioned about it. Notice how she deftly paints the GOP with the same apologist label as Joe Barton:
American's United released this video ad: JOE BARTON: Apologizes to BP, English Soccer Team & King George III
Michele Bachmann is one of those GOPer's who defense of BP came even before Joe Barton's, but Bartons immortalized apology has enabled her Democratic opponent, Tarryl Clark, to go at her hard in this new ad: TV Ad: Tender Mercies


This ad highlights the tragic effects of the BP oil spill and - despite the devastation it has inflicted on our country and its people - Bachmann's unwillingness to hold BP accountable.

Help us put this ad on the air! Make a donation at https://secure.tarrylclark.com/page/contribute/bachmannbp

It's good to see Democrats take the lead, and quickly, as opposed to just sitting by and letting opportunities that expose the GOP for who they really are go by, like this BP apology instance.

But there are others: Foot, Meet Mouth: Our Top Six GOP Oil Spill Gaffes.

So, can you guess which news organization and it's allies are defending Rep. Barton? Media Matters put this video together: Leave BP Alone!
Also see:
I'm sure there will be much more to come....

UPDATE:

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL.) has called for Barton to step down as committee chair:
"I condemn Mr. Barton’s statement. Mr. Barton’s remarks are out of touch with this tragedy and I feel his comments call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee," Miller said in a statement. "He should step down as ranking member of the Committee.”

“I am shocked by Congressman Joe Barton’s reprehensible comments that the government should apologize for the ‘shakedown’ of BP," he said. "BP has caused the greatest ecological and environmental disaster our nation has ever seen. They are the responsible party and they should pay for losses and damages, not the taxpayer.
As has Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL):
“When a member of Congress is apologizing to a company that is raping the Gulf Coast of America, I cannot walk away from that comment easily,” Bonner told POLITICO in an interview Friday afternoon. “It is, to me, more than a 24-hour-news-cycle comment. It has consequences.”

[snip]

“Earlier this morning, Rep. Barton called me to offer his personal apologies for any harm that his comments might have caused. It takes a big person to admit they were wrong and I appreciated Joe’s call. However, as I told him, I believe the damage of his comments are beyond repair and, as such, I am today calling on Joe to do the right thing for our conference and immediately step aside as ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee,” Bonner said in the statement.
UPDATE II:

Via Chris Cillizza: How Joe Barton's apology to BP saved President Obama's week
But unlike in past high-profile addresses -- say, his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention, his remarks at the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in 2007 and his speech distancing himself from the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright in 2008 -- Obama failed to meet the high rhetorical expectations he had set for himself and was roundly panned by the punditocracy.

Combine that lead balloon of a speech with the oil still leaking into the gulf, coastal-state officials taking to cable shows to condemn the federal response and BP executives continuing to stuff their collective feet into their mouths -- "small people," really? -- and it seemed an easy choice to name our commander in chief as having had the Worst Week in Washington.

Then Joe Barton opened his mouth.

[snip]

Barton's apology to BP -- for which he quickly issued a too-little-too-late apology and retraction Thursday afternoon -- allowed the White House to reclaim the high ground in the political fight over the oil spill. For sympathizing with the wrong guy, Joe Barton, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

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