Targeting Barton Won’t Help Obama, If The GOP Grows A Spine
GOP Rep. Joe Barton spoke the truth when he called the $20 billion agreement between the White House and BP a "shakedown," writes Reihan Salam.
As for this nonsense from Rahmbo, with even more here, as Democrats try to make the GOP the BP caucus, it shouldn't do them any good in the broad sense. It will play to their far Left base, but most Americans know better. And it's up to the GOP to show some leadership for a change and speak for them.
As the political aftershocks from Rep. Joe Barton’s expression of sympathy for British Petroleum continue, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel promised Sunday that President Barack Obama hopes to make sure that voters don’t forget the gaffe anytime soon.
Barton's comment was imprudent only from a PR sense. In substance, it has much merit. And the GOP should have the sense and the backbone to ultimately stand behind him on the merits, while acknowledging it was ill-timed. If the GOP wants to convince people it's actually ready to lead this country, than they had better start showing some leadership – and less of the hand-wringing and political posturing they've been engaged in for over a decade.
Everything BP did, or didn't do, was done with the approval and alleged oversight of the government. And anyone who has tried to do anything from build a deck on their home in the Northeast, to work at an industrial site, knows how annoying and omnipresent is the government, most particularly the environmental regulators.
It isn't as if we've had a lack of environmental regulation over recent decades. One can't even buy a good furniture finishing oil, or a super-effective pesticide today, thanks to Washington. But now Obama and the Democrats want us to believe the oil spill is the result of resistant Republicans, or a lack of regulations? Good luck selling that nonsense.
Some people may avoid BP stations for a spell, but they aren't told to rely on BP for the protection of the environment. And the majority of Republicans have always preached prudence and practicality, as opposed to the vast environment-related regulatory schemes Democrats routinely tout to appease their environmental activist base. And they own DC right now, not the GOP.
This oil spill is a failure of Big Government and a failure of Obama and the Democrats in the public's eyes. And nothing is going to change that, unless the GOP lies down and rolls over, as it too often does. The GOP needs to push back hard against this demagogy. They should be talking about drilling in ANWR and closer in to the coast, where a catastrophe like this would never have occurred on this scale.
No more surrendering to the environmentally obsessed and the tree hugging crowd. Americans want sound, practical solutions that work. Big Government and the incredible restrictions it has put on the oil industry that forced drilling so far out and so deep is as much to blame for this fiasco, as is BP. And Republicans had better grow a set and be prepared to make the case, not sit back in acquiescence over some fantasy of capturing the environmentalist vote.
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