Joe Barton’s oil slick

The Republicans thought they were on a roll, with President Obama feeling the political heat on the oil spill. The anti-government Tea Party crowd stopped talking about how evil the feds were to argue that Obama and the government should be doing more. The “Drill, baby, drill!” crowd had become self-described critics.
But then Barton stepped forward to rip the phony veneer right off the Republicans’ claims to be “tough” on Big Oil.
After all, who have been the strongest advocates of oil companies; who put industry leaders in charge of regulating the industry at the Interior Department; who had a direct pipeline to the Texaco Twins, Bush and Cheney, for eight years? Answer: the Republican Party that took in 75 percent of the contributions, totaling over $238 million, since 1990.
Really, what Joe Barton did was shine the light on the Republicans who want to stand up for this outrageous behavior. He was not alone attacking the escrow fund. The embarrassment to Minnesota, Rep. Michele Bachmann, called it “a Redistribution of Wealth Fund”; the Republican Study Committee, a group of House conservatives, called it “a Chicago Style Political Shakedown” and Haley Barbour, Mississippi governor and chairman of the Republican Governors Association, announced he was against the escrow fund.
So Joe Barton’s oil slick extends across the Republican Party, despite their protestations and denials and feigned outrage at his comments.

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