White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was on ABC’s This Week today, where he painted the Republican Party as dangerous to America due to their blind support of BP, “It’s dangerous for the American people.” Emanuel’s point was that if Republicans were in charge, there would be no regulation, and corporate America would run wild as they did during the Bush years.
Here is the video from ABC’s This Week:
Jake Tapper asked Emanuel if Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) should step down, and this gave Rahm the opening he needed to go off, “That’s for the Republicans to decide. What I think is more important, you can say it’s a political gift for us, and it is. But it’s dangerous for the American people, because while the ranking Republican would have oversight into the energy industry, and if the Republicans were the majority, would have actually the gavel and the chairmanship.”
Obama’s Chief of Staff tied Barton’s remarks to the overall Republican philosophy, “That’s not a political gaffe, those were prepared remarks. That is a philosophy. That is an approach to what they see. They see the aggrieved party here is BP, not the fishermen. And remember, this is not just one person. Rand Paul, running for Senate in Kentucky, what did he say? He said the way BP was being treated was un-American.”
He continued, “Other members of the Republican leadership have come to the defense of BP and attacked the administration for forcing them to set up an escrow account and fund it to the level of $20 billion. These aren’t political gaffes. You know, I’ve been in hearings. Joe Barton was speaking from prepared remarks. Rand Paul, who is running Kentucky, a leading Senate candidate for the Republicans said BP, the way they were being treated was un-American.”
Just to make sure that everyone watching got it, Emanuel repeated his point that the Republican defense of BP echoes their philosophy, “That is an approach to — they think the government is the problem. And in this balance, and the difference here is that BP made a mess. And the government, and also in the president’s view, in certain areas like MMS, hasn’t done its job.”
Republicans had best get used to this, because they are going to be bludgeoned with their defense of BP from now until November. Emanuel was correct that their defense of BP echoes the GOP’s larger philosophy that corporate America is always right, and that government exists to aid corporate America’s quest for profits. If the GOP is opposed to holding BP accountable for the worst environmental disaster in US history, then what exactly would it take for Republicans to regulate anyone?
Emanuel is the White House Chief of Staff, and one of the most powerful members of the administration, so when he ties the GOP to BP, then you can be certain that this is the White House strategy. In one swoop, the GOP managed to remind America why they voted them out of majority control and the White House. Republicans were so desperate to blame Obama for the oil spill that they couldn’t resist defending their old friend, Big Oil. The irony is that by defending BP, they have taken the focus off of Obama and placed it squarely upon themselves.