Joe Barton, Honesty and Shakedowns

June 21, 2010

Contributed by Erick Erickson (

Let’s be honest. The White House meeting with British Petroleum was a shakedown.

The White House threatened criminal prosecution of BP, the President gave a miserably received speech, then he hauled BP into the White House and put the Attorney General in the room with the CEO to stare at him, then the President demanded $20 billion.

It was a shakedown.

Had British Petroleum affiliated with Al Qaeda and tried to blow up an airplane, it would have gotten due process rights, a court appointed lawyer, and Miranda warning while avoiding Henry Waxman.

But let’s continue our honesty: Who the heck cares besides Joe Barton? What planet has the man been living on? Has he not seen what BP has done and not done? He thinks we owe BP an apology? I don’t think so. [Note: Yeah, I do care that this is probably unconstitutional, but BP is a willing collaborator with Obama. They're made for each other. Barton should be apologizing to the American public, not BP — this administration continues to operate as a thugocracy.]

And keeping with the honesty, let’s also admit the Congressional hearing was a show trial. The only thing separating it from a Soviet show trial is Tony Hayward, the CEO of British Petroleum walked out without any lead in him. The result, however, will be the same as a Soviet show trial: not a single thing will happen. Nothing.

Why? Because while Joe Barton is mourning the shakedown on BP, Barack Obama is still the largest recipient of BP money in Washington. Rahm Emanuel gets a bedroom provided by BP’s pollster Stan Greenburg, who also happens to poll for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and is married to a member of Congress.

Were this a Republican administration the New York Times would be screaming about incest.

And now, marvel at the results. British Petroleum commits to a $20 billion escrow account to pay for damages. The Democrats get a show trial. The government has a vested interest in ensuring BP does not go belly up lest the $20 billion go the way of the dodo bird, gas prices will probably start trickling up, and BP will pay out damages to people put on the unemployment line by Barack Obama’s egregious action to shut down all deep water drilling. About the only safe bet now is British Petroleum stock — they just became too big to fail.

In Washington, BP will keep doling out contributions to Democrats through other entities and everyone will sleep well at night knowing not a single thing will really change.

Have I told you about my windmills? Ignore the oil still leaking and just gaze at my shiny windmills.

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