when you think you’ve heard it all, you find out that you
is difficult to process in a time of tragedy how some can
politicize the moment. The Gulf Coast Region of the United
States is encountering another disaster
of monumental proportions. It’s not from a natural disaster
created by an act of God like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The people of the Gulf are suffering from a man-made disaster
created by an act of greed. The British Petroleum (BP) oil
spill is growing by the day, and estimates of how many gallons
are spewing into the ocean are growing by the minute. Yet,
last week when BP President, Tony Hayward was testifying
before a congressional panel, trying to explain an unexplainable
predicament, he was interrupted by Republican House member
from Texas, Joe Barton. Barton, reading from a prepared script, “apologized”
to Hayward for
what he called a “$20 Million Dollars Shakedown” by the
Gulf oil spill relief fund was announced the previous day
when Hayward and BP executives met with President Obama at the White House.
The fund represents a “good faith” measure by BP to compensate
workers and small businesses who are losing income and having
their livelihoods threatened due to the oil spill. The question
had been asked all along, “Who was going to pay for all
this?” BP had said all along that they intended to “make
it right.” And yet, when (some) details were released, and
the President was looking proactive on behalf of the people
of the Gulf, it was labeled as a “shakedown” by the opposition
a long time, we’ve known that the Republican Party has been
perceived as insensitive to the circumstances of the poor.
We’ve seen it with Katrina, and with other policies that
required special attention to the populous (including cutting
off unemployment extensions this week). Now we can say that
the Republican Party is just being unreasonable. I’d go
as far as to call them crazy.
who should pay for the damage being done by BP’s failure
to abide to off-shore drilling standards? The government?
Conservatives are caught in a twist on this. The same ones
that are crying “less government, less government,” are
suddenly the ones crying, “where’s the government? Where
is da gov’ment?”
is also obvious is that the government can be managed, or
mismanaged. What has become apparent in Obama’s 18 months
is that he’s figured out the government and how it works.
The Republicans are not giving him that. They are not going
to allow any victories on any occasion where the President
can be seen as “solving the problem.” Plainly put, the Republicans
(not the Democrats) have a “Joe” problem. A
“run-off at the mouth” Joe problem that they thought would
complicate Obama’s first term (with Vice President Joe Biden’s
“gaffe machine” antics). But coming behind South Carolina
Rep. Joe “You Lie” Wilson antics last year, Joe “Shakedown”
Barton has now shown that the Republicans can’t control
their “Joes.” They send the “wannabes” in the party out
front to make the most callous statements, and then they
make ’em apologize for being insensitive and disrespectful.
recently apologized for apologizing to BP, after members
of his own party acknowledged the irrationality (and gross
insensitivity) associated with their party colleague’s statements.
We call this “Mutt and Jeffing” us on the streets. It’s
nothing more than the ole “bad cop, good cop” act where
one puts it out there in a really raw way, and the other
comes back and says it’s really not that way at all. But
for the Republicans, it is that way - and would be that
way - if they had their way.
seen it before after 12 years of Reagan/Bush I and eight
years of Baby Bush II, we know how raw they can get on the
policy tip. Barton’s apology to BP was not sincere, as Republicans
are always defenders of capitalist exploitation - regardless
of the damage. They believe the “markets” can correct everything.
If Barton’s statement wasn’t ridiculous enough, Tea Party
Candidate, Bill Randall, a GOP candidate for the 13th District
House had the audacity to suggest that the White House wanted
the leak and things went wrong, and so it’s the administration’s
the kind of stupid stuff that confirms that the Republicans
are crazy…like a fox. A fox will bait you, until it can
bite you, and will bite you until it eats you up. They’re
nippin’ at Obama heels, hoping to catch him by the ankle
and pull him down. And they can count on FOX to spread the
strategy of deflecting every sensible solution Obama comes
with to problems that federal government must face, seen
and unforeseen, attacking the spirit of national unity and
less than two percent of the world’s oil reserves, the United States “oil junkie” behaviors have to be
curtailed. But until they are, we have to get our oil from
somewhere. The BP oil spill complicates our national energy
dilemma. We don’t need our politicians complicating the
solution by playing partisan politics when the people need
help - right here, right now. That’s just crazy. Real crazy
- like Barton’s statement.
then the Republicans are crazy and they know exactly what
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad,
PhD is a national columnist and author of Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom. His Website is AnthonySamad.com. Click here
to contact Dr. Samad.