Liberal TKO

Not All Conservatives Approved of Barton’s Puckered Lips on BP’s Backside | June 20, 2010

Update: Mitch McConnell joins the conservatives who are stepping away from Barton’s comments, saying on Fox News Sunday, “”BP doesn’t need an apology, they need to apologize to us.”

Update: Alabama’s Republican Senator Richard Shelby joined the chorus of anti-Bartonites, calling Barton’s apology “dumb.” Watch the video here.

As Media Matters reported, the big GO(B)P news of the day was Republican Representative Joe Barton’s apology to BP for the White House’s negotiated deal for BP to create a $20 billion fund to make people whole following the oil spill. As noted by Huffington Post’s Sam Stein, Barton pontificated, “I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday . . . “I think it is a tragedy in the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown — in this case a $20 billion shakedown — with the attorney general of the United States . . . participating in what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund that’s unprecedented in our nation’s history . . . I do not want to live in a county where anytime a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, [it is] subject to some sort of political pressure that, again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown.”

Yeah, sure, Barton later apologized for groveling at BP’s feet . . . but only after a meeting with House Minority Leader John Boehner and Minority Whip Eric Cantor in which he was threatened with the loss of his Energy and Commerce Committee Chairmanship if he didn’t apologize for his apology.

Hey, Barton: Bite me.

Media Matters also reported that “conservative media figures apparently found the use of the term wholly appropriate and have since reached a consensus that the escrow account amounted to a ‘shakedown.” Some of the big radical right-wing names who were happy to jump on the “Chicago Style Shakedown” bandwagon were CNN’s Erick Erickson, Jim Hoft, Newt Gingrich, Laura Ingraham, Limbaugh, The Wall Street Journal, Georgia Republican Representative Tom Price, crazy-as-a-bedbug Minnesota Representative Michele Bachman, and Former Republican Representative and now a money-collector for the Tea Party movement, Texan Dick Armey.

There were, though, also some conservatives who nailed Barton (at least publicly) for his idiotic ass-kissing:

Minority Leader John Boehner, in addition to threatening Barton with a loss of a prestigious Committee Chairmanship, publicly stated he disagreed with Barton’s “shakedown” comment, and said he was glad that BP is “being held accountable.” Indiana Republican Mike Pence joined with Boehner and Cantor in their trip with Barton to the woodshed.

Florida Representative Jeff Miller (whose constituents in Pensacola have been hugely affected by the oil spill) condemned Barton’s remarks and said that Barton “should step down as ranking member of the [Energy and Commerce] Committee.'”

Said Florida Republican Senator George LeMieux, “I don’t think we need to be apologizing to British Petroleum.”

Politically, I’d like to see conservatives continue to defend BP and attack the Obama Administration as a group of hustlers forcing poor, benighted BP to pay up — it can only be good for liberals, and Democrats, for the right to take such a nationally repugnant position. Personally, though, I’m glad to see that not all conservatives guzzle the right-wing Kool-Aid — it doesn’t really matter whether it was out of political expediency or simply some semblance of a conscience, the conservatives who slapped Barton down deserve some credit for doing it.


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