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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Congressman Barton Calls BP Fund Extortion

There's been plenty of speechifying and grandstanding at the hearing with BP CEO Tony Hayward on both sides but this comment by Congressman Joe Barton of Texas is sure to be the headliner.

Already, Democrats and liberals are seizing on the comment.

Rep. Joe "Smokey" Barton (R-TX). Said it was a "shakedown". Like I said, I want to see someone conduct a polling question and ask this:

Do you agree with Rep. Joe Barton's (R-TX) characterization that the agreement between Obama and BP executives for a $20 billion escrow fund to pay for the damage they caused was a "shakedown"?

The White house was quick with a statement of its own.

What is shameful is that Joe Barton seems to have more concern for big corporations that caused this disaster than the fishermen, small business owners and communities whose lives have been devastated by the destruction. Congressman Barton may think that a fund to compensate these Americans is a ‘tragedy’, but most Americans know that the real tragedy is what the men and women of the Gulf Coast are going through right now. Members from both parties should repudiate his comments

Yesterday, I was worried about the legality of the administration's actions but politicians should always be careful when they use explosive language. There's been a lot of politics on both sides over this disaster. Democrats have been eager to tie Republicans to BP, and now Congressman Barton has handed them a gift.

That soundbite will be played in a loop for days and Democrats will show moral outrage over the Republicans' lack of compassion for the folks in the gulf. The word "extortion" has give Democrats an opening. They will take it.

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