Joe Barton - Defending the Devil
Joe Barton, BP Advocate, Defending the Devil
(c) Matt Davies
The one thing you can usually expect from a politician is that he or she will speak and act in his or her own interest.
That's why the Republican hierarchy in the House went bananas when Texas Rep.
In one incredible swoop, Barton not only sided with the current No. 1 corporate public enemy. He also reinforced the
Barton himself, according to the Campaign for Fair Elections, had received
No sooner had Barton uttered his forgiveness at the
Barton quickly apologized for the apology and withdrew it, along with his characterization of the escrow account as a "slush fund." Other committee members of both parties also jumped on that remark as a careless smear of Obama in a congressional election year.
An unwitting beneficiary of sorts of Barton's politically self-inflicted wound was Hayward, whose stonewalling of committee questions on BP's culpability before and after the huge oil spill was overshadowed in the Republican leadership's run for cover.
Perhaps not since former Republican Minority Leader
Lott on behalf of his state of
Thurmond in 1948 ran on a Dixiecrat ticket but lost to President
For the moment, Barton's accusation that Obama had shaken down BP for the
The president himself a day earlier, while continuing to hold BP responsible for the spill and restitution for all damages, had said he had no intention of undermining BP. He called the firm "a strong and viable company," and said "it is in all our interests that it remain so."
Obama's Oval Office speech the other night drew considerable public and news media criticism for lack of specificity on steps he intended to take to bring more order to the response to the disaster. But the Barton remarks and Boehner's rush to disown them in behalf of the
As for BP itself, the executives who met with Obama the other day knew their company's conduct was what had put them over a barrel on the escrow account, and they had no choice but to comply. Their own awareness of the terrible blow BP suffered from the spill continues to be demonstrated in their heavy television advertisements apologizing to the American public, which themselves may prove to be counterproductive.
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Joe Barton - Defending the Devil | Politics
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