Politics: Rep. Joe Barton says what everyone knows is true and his own party threatens to kick him out of his committee seat. We expected cynical political opportunism from Democrats, but not from Republican leaders.
Where are we as a society when the truth is treated as a something that can't be uttered in public?
Barton, the Texas Republican, apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward, now relieved of his duties, during Thursday's House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing for what he characterized as a "shakedown" by the White House in forcing the company to create a $20 billion victims' compensation fund.
He also declared that he was "ashamed" of the White House's tactics, and called it "a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown."
"I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is — again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown," he said.
Naturally, the Democrats went hard after Barton. And the media were happy to aid the cause. And just as naturally, other comments by Barton have not received as much attention. Without having watched the hearing or read the transcript, how many people know that Barton said:
"There is no question ... that BP made decisions that objective people think compromise safety. There is no question that BP is liable for the damages."
Or that he told Hayward "we want to hold (BP) responsible, do what we can to make the liable parties pay for the damages."
Just as every lawmaker should, Barton simply wants the government to follow our due process system, in which "we go through hearings, in some cases court cases, litigation, and determine what those damages are and when those damages should be paid." This, by the way, protects everyone's rights.
Despite these measured comments, the criticism has flowed faster than the Gulf spill. Among the critics is Vice President Joe Biden, who acted as if he were reluctant to condemn Barton before eagerly labeling the congressman's statement as "outrageous," "incredibly insensitive" and "incredibly out of touch."
The real outrage, though, should be reserved for Biden if he, as radio talk show host Neal Boortz reports, "is the one who leaned across the table during the White House meeting with BP and told them that if they didn't go along with the $20 billion fund to be administered by Obama's people, then Obama would 'do it to them.' "
Sounds like the man who should be issuing the apology is the vice president. [...]
Yes, Barton's objection to the government not following our due process system was correct. But the Uber Conservatives who are criticizing the Republicans for criticizing Barton need to get a clue. Barton may have been right, but he also needed to be correct in how he spoke the truth. Apologizing to the head of an oil company that is most likely guilty of gross criminal negligence was a foolish thing to do, especially in that venue. The rest of Barton's comments, which provided some context, will not be reported by the MSM, who as usual are biased for the Democrats. We are now instead going to see endless reports like this one, up until election time:
Barton keeps job as House energy committee's ranking Republican
[...] Democrats aren't ready to let go of the issue. For five days, they have used Barton's apology -- for a White House "shakedown" that forced BP to set aside $20 billion for victims of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico -- as a bludgeon, to tar Republicans as Big Oil toadies.
With Barton retaining his high-profile post on energy policy, Democrats argue that his political sin wasn't the apology but in voicing a widely held GOP view that dismays voters.
"Joe Barton can't seem to stop apologizing – but the only apology that Barton actually owes is the one he has yet to offer," the Democratic National Committee said in a statement. "And, that's to the residents of the Gulf Coast who've suffered at the hands of the company that Barton went to great lengths to defend."
Democrats, viewing the episode as a selling point in the November elections, even called the announcement of Barton's survival an early Christmas gift – to them.
"House Republicans' decision to keep British Petroleum apologist Joe Barton on as the top Republican in charge of energy policy is consistent with their governing philosophy of choosing corporate special interests over middle class families," said Ryan Rudominer, national spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "The stakes this November could not be clearer. House Democrats stand with American taxpayers and the people of the Gulf, versus Republicans who side with British Petroleum and Big Oil special interests." [...]
We will continue to see long reports this, that make no mention of Barton's other comments, but use his apology to BP like a hammer to beat the GOP with. It's not right and it's not fair, but it's also the way it is. The rest of the GOP knows that. I'm sure Mr. Barton now knows that too, which is why the GOP has let him keep his seat on the committee. Now when are the Uber conservatives going to figure it out? With them railing against the GOP as strongly as the Leftist Democrats do, they may as well be working for the Democrats and the MSM.
As for which party is in bed with BP, here is some information you won't hear about in the MSM:
The BP Racket
BO and BP
So who is the Big Oil party? The collusion between the current administration and BP should be newsworthy, but is being ignored. Instead we get one remark by Joe Barton, taken out of context, repeated again, and again, and again...