A Tale of Two Sloppy Joes

Consider this SNL skit about how Rep. Joe Wilson embarrassed himself and his party during President Obama‘s February State of the Union speech.

Substitute Rep. Joe Barton for Rep. Joe Wilson; the BP $20b escrow issue for health insurance reform; and the Republican Study Committee (RSC) for the Rethug House leaders pictured in the skit, and you have everything you need to know about Barton’s political implosion yesterday as he truthfully, though sloppily, toed the party line.

From the RSC’s own website:

Chicago-Style Political Shakedown

Washington, Jun 16 — Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) issued the following statement after the White House announced it had reached a deal with BP to require the oil company to place $20 billion into an escrow fund to pay claims filed against the company in the wake of the Gulf oil spill.

We all agree that BP should be held fully responsible for its complicity in the oil tragedy in the Gulf,” said Chairman Price. “In fact, BP has already begun paying claims.  Any attempt by the company to sidestep that responsibility should be met with the strongest legal recourses available. However, in an administration that appears not to respect fundamental American principles, it is important to note that there is no legal authority for the President to compel a private company to set up or contribute to an escrow account.

BP’s reported willingness to go along with the White House’s new fund suggests that the Obama Administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics. These actions are emblematic of a politicization of our economy that has been borne out of this Administration’s drive for greater power and control. It is the same mentality that believes an economic crisis or an environmental disaster is the best opportunity to pursue a failed liberal agenda. The American people know much better.”

Like his fellow Joe, Barton was out of the loop, likely leaking his lizard when the Rethugs realized that their extreme anti-Obamaism had gone too far. Whoring for multinationals like BP has its limits, after all. You don’t call an escort service and have them deliver the goods to the family home door, broadcast live on cable tv and streamed around the world.

When George Santayana observed that those who don’t remember history are condemned to repeat it,  he probably didn’t foresee the role that bathrooms would play.

Just ask Larry Craig.


  1. i don’t understand this argument. bp wants to do business with and in the US. the prez is the boss, so bp has to negotiate with him. he didn’t hold a gun to their heads. he simply let them know that, if they wanted to continue doing business with our government, they’d have to set aside money to cover some of their damages. the US is the landlord, bp is the tenant, and we wanted a bigger security deposit, because they’ve proven to be very destructive tenants. why is that chicago-style shakedown politics?

    then again, what do i know?

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