Freedom, Populism, Corporatism and Genuflection

2010 June 17
by Dave

“I apologize. 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. So I apologize.”

If you happened to change the channel to cable news today, or surf the web at all, you might be familiar with these words spoken by Joe Barton during the House hearings at which BP’s CEO was being grilled by every one else. Joe Barton is the senior GOP member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the largest beneficiary of oil industry campaign contributions since 1990.

This statement was referring to  to the twenty billion dollars that BP was pressured into setting aside to compensate financial victims of the oil spill. Last I checked, fishermen in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle tend to vote Republican.

This tool does not want to live in a country “where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong” is held accountable? Maybe he should move to Russia. I guess if he was on the House Transportation Committee he would have been apologizing to Toyota’s CEO earlier this year. He seems to be keen on executives of foreign companies that have killed Americans.

It’s a good thing that the Democrats aren’t in need of the ability to scare voters with the specter of someone deeper in the pocket of big oil than usual becoming the relevant committee chairman next year if enough Republicans are voted into the House nation wide. The Republicans seem to have an unlimited ability to generate bad press for themselves this year.

Other GOP politicians called for Barton to be stripped of his seniority today. Of course the Dems scored a few points as well. This hi-lites the fine line that the Republicans have walked with their encouragement of Tea Party populism. Populist libertarians may hate statists, but corporatists aren’t that far behind. The GOP needs to be consitently for the little guy if they are going to keep the tea party thing rolling into November.

Of course Barton does champion freedom of a sort that may resonate with tea partiers. Freedom from personal responsibility.

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