Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Clean the Gulf, Clean House, Clean Their Clock by Frank Rich


While the greatest environmental disaster in our history is a trying juncture for Obama, it also provides him with a nearly unparalleled opening to make his and government’s case. The spill’s sole positive benefit has been to unambiguously expose the hard right, for all its populist pandering to the Tea Partiers, as a stalking horse for its most rapacious corporate patrons. If this president can speak lucidly of race to America, he can certainly explain how the antigovernment crusaders are often the paid toadies of bad actors like BP. Such big corporations are only too glad to replace big government with governance of their own, by their own, and for their own profit — while the “small people” are left to eat cake at their tea parties.

When Joe Barton, the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, revived Rand Paul’s defense of BP last week by apologizing on camera to Hayward for the “tragedy” of the White House’s “$20 billion shakedown,” the G.O.P. establishment had to shut him down because he was revealing the party’s true loyalties, not because it disagreed with him. Barton was merely echoing Michele Bachmann, who labeled the $20 billion for gulf victims a “redistribution-of-wealth fund,” and the 100-plus other House members whose Republican Study Committee had labeled the $20 billion a “Chicago-style shakedown” only a day before Barton did.

These tribunes of the antigovernment right and their Tea Party auxiliaries are clamoring for a new revolution to “take back America” — after which, we now can see, they would hand over America to the likes of BP. Let Deepwater Horizon be ground zero for a 9/11 showdown over the role of government. There couldn’t be a riper moment for Obama, as a man once said, to bring it on.


john said...

One comment- Which politician received more campaign contributions from BP than any other politician?


mlytle said...

Hi John,
I think Obama might be the guy your referring to...that's true, but..the real problem to me is that few people are in any sense genuine nowadays. Fact is, you really can't trust the right, left or center. Probably 75% of the population can be bought off for the right price, and that's across the political spectrum. What's wrong with this country is not defined by ideological issues so much as a general lack of integrity and depth of character. I just don't think we produce that many people anymore who can recognize lies in themselves and in the world, and many if not most actually prefer lies to the truth most of the time...and again, I see this across the spectrum...

If push comes to shove, I think most people picked randomly from the population, be they Tea Partiers, Democrats or Republicans would, and do, sell out to any corporation(s) they might interact with if they get a sufficiently favorable offer...