One House Republican’s epic fail

The “Tone-Deaf Politician of the Year” award might go to Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who – during BP CEO Tony Hayward’s testimony to Congress today – apologized for the Obama Administration’s “shakedown” of the oil giant for a $20 billion escrow account to cover some of the costs of the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Joe BartonAn apology. For a “shakedown.” Of a company that caused the worst environmental disaster in the nation’s history. Which also is wrecking an entire region’s already-fragile economy. Riiiiiiight.

This from a guy the Wall Street Journal once called the “House GOP’s leading expert on energy policy.” But, hey, can you guess what industry he worked in before his election to Congress? Oh, I just KNEW you could.

Even his own party’s House leadership wasted no time in hanging Barton out to dry today. Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio; Republican Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va.; and Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence, R-Ind., issued this statement:

“The oil spill in the Gulf is this nation’s largest natural disaster and stopping the leak and cleaning up the region is our top priority. Congressman Barton’s statements this morning were wrong. BP itself has acknowledged that responsibility for the economic damages lies with them and has offered an initial pledge of $20 billion dollars for that purpose.

“The families and businesspeople in the Gulf region want leadership, accountability and action from BP and the Administration. It is unacceptable that, 59 days after this crisis began, no solution is forthcoming. Simply put, the American people want all of our resources, time and focus to be directed toward stopping the spill and cleaning up the mess.”

Fine, but… wait a minute. “Natural disaster?” Seriously? Perhaps they meant “disaster for nature,” but that’s not what “natural disaster” means. This is a man-made disaster, one very likely born of negligence and greed, and nobody should forget it.

UPDATE @ 4:26 P.M.: Well, THAT was quick. Unfazed by the GOP leadership’s disapproval of Barton’s comment, the liberals are on the warpath:

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    He’s right.

    It is a shakedown.

    It’s just Chicago politics, writ large.

    You can take the gangsters out of Chicago–

  • Truthclubber

    Yo, Hellwad — get back on the Aricept, quick!

    You clearly forgot that Barton himself walked back that latest fascist meme being spewed by Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, Bachmann and other new American fascists about this being a “shakedown” — he retracted the same thing faster than you can log in here to post this fascist crap.

    Boehner himself went out with a statement (before you posted this crap, BTW) effectively condemning what you and your new American fascist friends are farting all over “the Internets” — and made Barton retract it during the afternoon of this hearing.

    Everytime you and your fellow fascists come on here to lie, we will be right behind you to throw your crap droppings right back at you…

    Time to shakedown your brain to see if there are still a few neurons able to fire properly — and wash down that Aricept with some good old BP crude.

  • Truthclubber

    To those of you who would think to come to the defense of a fascist like Hellwad, this is the support and cover you’ll get from the like of the supposed leaders of the so-called Republican Party for your fascist remarks these days, so beware, you troglodytes — there are no more GOP rocks left to hide under — so go find another venue to try to crap up with fascist lies.

  • Truthclubber

    Here’s what happens to a fascist when he is forced to decide whether to choose between his cushy current post as a ranking member of Congress, or continue to spew out the fascist crap lies being drawn up by Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, Palin and Bachmann, to name a few:

    Congressman Barton, today (6/17/2010) issued, and House Republican leader John Boehner’s office forwarded out, a somewhat different written statement.

    “I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House this morning, and I retract my apology to BP,” it began, and finished: “I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident.”

    Let no one mistake this for what it is: The Tea Partiers are merely fascists hiding behind the flag of “Don’t Tread on Me” as a cover to hide their bigotry, racism, and hatred of diversity and equality in this country, having failed to keep “a black man from getting to the White House”.

    Their approval rating has already dropped from 41+ / 39- in March 2010 to 36+ / 50- in June 2010 — and it’s just going to go down from there as “Lux et Veritas” comes out about them…

    Long live liberals!

  • Elwood

    Holy crap, Toothsucker, what would you be without the F word?

    Still a raving maniac?

  • Truthclubber

    Here’s one more message that fascists like Hellwad can’t try to cover up with their desperate “discredit the messenger” tactics.

    Fact: Joe McCarthy was an American fascist.

    You say “liberal”, and I say “fascist” —

    You demonize “the L word”, and I use “another word” (that is already demonized)…

    See how that game is played, Hellwad?

    Oh, I forgot — you keep forgetting things due to the Alzheimer’s spreading rapidly through your brain, and that damned Obamacare that you rejected can’t cover your Aricept payments!

    “Tea Partier” is just another name for “Fascist”.

  • Elwood

    Toothsucker, look through my posts for your beloved L word.

    You will find it seldom, if at all.

    Your fascination with the F word, however, stands out like a diamond in a goat’s ass.

    You’re not very good at this, are you?

    You need help.

    Take your Abilify.

    Avoid contact with LE.

  • John W

    Kind of off track on the topic at hand, aren’t we fellas?

    I don’t like Barton very much, but he is normally a pretty smart guy and doesn’t go off on tangents like this. I can’t figure out why he did it. It’s hard to believe that even BP wanted to be “defended” in that manner. It didn’t do anything other than highlight that he is in the pocket of oil interests. He also is not normally an echo chamber for the radio whackos or Congressional wingers like Bachmann. Doesn’t matter. He’s in a safe seat. Couldn’t be bumped out by a bulldozer or even pictures of him in bed with a goat.

  • Elwood

    I agree, John W, but when Toothsucker goes off his meds he starts seeing fascists behind every Bush.

    I’m only trying to help him.

  • John W

    I see. Well, I guess it’s nice to have friends to save him from the darkness.

    Now that he’s out of office, Bush couldn’t be all bad. Turns out his wife and daughters are closet non-conservatives. Same for McCain’s daughter, but she’s a bit of a flake. Bush’s wife and daughters are very bright.

  • TheVoice

    Lets take a look at this in perspective..

    -Just last years Profit of BP was somewhere around 15 Billion a quarter.

    -The long term environmental, biologically, globally, and livlyhood/economical impact and that exponationly outpaces the meager 20 billion number.

    -The Energy sector as a whole must be well, real prepared instead of theoretically prepared with plans of actions that are grossly put together just to appease the regulators and politicians that have their own interest at hand sometimes.

  • Ted Hudacko

    Barton’s district includes College Station, home of Texas A&M University, which graduates more petroleum engineers and geologists for the energy industry than any other school. Do the math.