Blindly Jerking

June 18th, 2010

Seriously, if Obama were to announce a plan to fight serial killers who target nuns and orphans, Republicans would take the side of the serial killers, just out of reflex.

Obama scored a coup with the $20 billion escrow fund (who knows how much of that will actually be paid, or if it’ll be enough to pay for what can be paid for, but hey, we can hope). Several prominent Republicans immediately took the side of BP. Palin, Limbaugh, Bachmann and others on the right were opposed to BP paying for the oil spill.

Wow. How knee-jerkingly tone deaf can you be? I mean it, seriously. And it’s not just that: they actually got upset that Obama mention God so much.

The only down side: they probably won’t pay a political price for this. Most people in America are too comfortable with the whole “It’s OK If You’re A Republican” bit. Really, a right-winger would have to sexually molest an infant on live TV to cross the line these days, and maybe not even then.

Not that I’m complaining: anything right-wingers can do to screw up the midterms for themselves is OK with me. But after Republicans succeeding by acting like hysterically demented idiots for the past year and a half, I’m not holding my breath or anything.

  1. stevetv
    June 18th, 2010 at 07:53 | #1

    You’ll be happy to know that even the Republicans (the sensible, less bellicose ones who don’t hog the media) over here are vocally speaking out against criticism of the slush fund, specifically Rep. Barton’s comments on the floor. Politico has a good article on that. They’re not going to pay a political price because I suspect they’ll shut up about it soon enough.

    I think their issue issn’t so much BP paying for the spill, but rather the government taking steps to force or coerce them into paying, ie. “government intrusion”. I’m sure that’s where comparisons with Hugo Chavez come in. Frankly, I don’t think the escrow fund goes far enough, requiring them to pay a set amount over a period of several years instead of all at once. BP can certainly afford it.

  2. stevetv
  3. Luis
    June 18th, 2010 at 10:49 | #3


    First, note that I said “Several prominent Republicans,” and not “all Republicans.” But it is worthy to note that the two most visible Republican / right-wing figures, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, both put their weight behind BP just so they could oppose Obama. Barton was just one of many voices on the right attacking Obama for something that they should have at the very least kept quiet on. He took the heat off the other voices, perhaps, but there were many people, including ones with big followings, who did this.

    That the GOP leadership told Barton to back off was damage control–the fact is, the right wing was already in this deep, and the latest chorus of conservative voices got them mired in deeper. The public is aware of the fact that it’s Republicans, not Democrats, who favor the oil industry; Republicans, not Democrats, who have pushed for more drilling; Republicans, not Democrats, who who gotten deregulation passed and relaxed safety standards; Republicans, not Democrats, who defend the oil companies and attack Obama for virtually anything that happens, even positive stuff.

    Republicans have been trying to make the oil spill “Obama’s [insert famous disaster here],” but it’s the Republicans who are hurting from this more, and they keep making it worse.

  4. Luis
    June 18th, 2010 at 11:08 | #4


    Ha. Even when Boehner and others in the GOP tell Barton to back off, they still can’t help but slip in language which takes the heat off of BP:

    “The oil spill in the Gulf is this nation’s largest natural disaster and stopping the leak and cleaning up the region is our top priority,” said the leaders. “Congressman Barton’s statements this morning were wrong. BP itself has acknowledged that responsibility for the economic damages lies with them and has offered an initial pledge of $20 billion dollars for that purpose.”

    See it? “Natural” disaster. They both praise BP (not Obama for making BP do it) for taking “responsibility” and paying money to “offer” money, and at the same time classify the spill as a “natural” disaster, as if BP didn’t really cause it and they were just being really great by agreeing to take the hit for it.

    “Behold” indeed.

  5. Troy
    June 18th, 2010 at 13:28 | #5

    This is just them playing politics. Demonize. Attack. Slur. Swiftboat. Whatever it takes to get back to 51%.

  6. creative entrepreneur
    June 18th, 2010 at 13:56 | #6

    I just feel tired when I see all this tango

  7. stevetv
    June 25th, 2010 at 07:21 | #7


    I know the issue is pretty much dead for nearly a week, but I’m compelled to respond. I guess I’m a little nonplussed. I’m looking at the responses and the follow-up post, and I’m feeling a hint of implication coming across that I’ve tried to pull a fast one, or tried to defend the Republicans, or tried to misrepresent you, and I sincerely intended none of these things. I was just giving an update, that’s all, with the premise that a Republican can go so far that even fellow Republicans can sense when “so far” is “too far” and have to step in to save face.

    I’ll accept some of the blame for stupidly writing “slush fund” instead of “escrow account” in my post. I grew up in the New York area during the era of Koch-Dinkins-Giuliani, and I’m well aware of the racist implications of that phrase. That’s the danger of writing off the cuff and not proof-reading before sending it off.

  8. Luis
    June 25th, 2010 at 10:09 | #8


    I was not implying that you pulled a fast one, but rather that you looked at Boehner’s and the Republicans’ comment uncritically, and gave them credit for “vocally speaking out against criticism” of what was set up–when in fact, they were slyly defending it. You were clearly in favor of making BP pay up, and saw many or perhaps most Republicans as being the same way; you just simply fell for a political play that was, as I noted, very slickly pulled off.

    I think the fact remains clear, though: Republicans mostly are not in favor of making BP pay. Limbaugh has asserted this outright, and while most Republicans have had the sense to publicly speak against this, the word out is just as clear that privately, they agree with Barton’s original comments.

    Like I said, I did not think for a moment that your intent was to deceive, I think you were just too faithful to the idea that high-level Republicans were as reasonable as you are. And while I am sure there are some who are, I just as firmly believe that most, especially the higher-ranking ones, continue to hold to the principle that industry always comes first–either because they think that people depend on the industries, or because they simply know who writes their paychecks.

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