Sunday, June 20, 2010

Is Rahm Emanuel ready to ditch bipartisanship?

The first year-and-a-half of the Obama administration has been marked by an attempt on the part of Obama and his closest advisors to build a bipartisan consensus before moving forward on any item of Obama's agenda. In this particular context, "bipartisan consensus" meant letting Republicans rewrite legislation so that it was too weak or watered down to actually achieve its stated goal and then to go out in front of the mainstream media and badmouth the president as the most radical chief of state since Lenin. Last week's attempt on the part of a significant portion of the Republican Party to paint BP as a victim of Democratic misbehavior may have finally opened the eyes of Obama and his advisors.

On Tuesday, President Obama gave a televised address about the BP oil spill that was widely panned by commentators on the Left for not going nearly far enough to punish BP for its long history of criminal behavior. Obama and his advisors literally bent over backward to give BP the best possible bargain they could under the circumstances--and they strained their relations with many on the Left to do so.

None of this was enough for the Far Right Wing of the Republican Party. Of course the Republican Party only has a Far Right Wing now, so maybe I should just say the Republican Party. The day after Barack Obama offered BP a golden bridge to solve its problems, the Republican Party was in front of the press saying that BP was the victim of "extortion" and was being "fleeced." Republican Congressman Joe Barton went so far as to apologize to BP's CEO Tony Hayward for the way the Obama administration was acting to protect the interests of Americans living along the Gulf Coast.

Rahm Emanuel's eyes are finally opening up to the fact that the Republican Party cannot be compromised with.
"That's not a political gaffe, those are prepared remarks. That is a philosophy. That is an approach to what they see. They see the aggrieved party here as BP, not the fishermen," Emanuel said on ABC's "This Week."

Barton and Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul, who recently called Obama's criticism of BP "un-American," are a reflection of the Republican party's governing philosophy, Emanuel said. "They think that the government's the problem."

It would be "dangerous" if the GOP held power in Washington, Emanuel said.

"I think what Joe Barton did was remind the American people, in case they forgot, how the Republicans would govern."
If the GOP wins back a majority in the House of Representatives this November, Joe "I apologize" Barton will be in charge of the oversight of BP's cleanup of the Gulf of Mexico. If the Republican Party wins control of Congress this year, then BP will probably be allowed to charge Gulf Coast fishermen for the privilege of floating their boats in BP's oil.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: a vote for the Republican Party is a vote to give BP a bailout, a freebie, a handout of American taxpayers' funds instead of making this giant oil company pay for the damage it caused.

1 comment:

James Young said...

Talk about presuming a fact not in evidence, to-wit: that he had any interest in "bipartisanship" --- other than as a club with which to beat Republicans into submission --- to begin with.