What I like about Rahm Emanuel is that he doesn’t just let things go. Remember how Republican congressman Joe Barton retracted his ill-advised apology to BP? Remember how that’s over now and we should just let bygones be bygones? Not so much.
Rahm sees recent statements by Joe Barton, Rand Paul, and Sharron Angle for what they are: explicit articulations of fundamental Republican values stripped of all pretense. “Fuck everybody with dark skin and less than a million dollars, let’s burn the country down,” they say, only with less poetry. Of course, once the GOP realized that the average American would be horrified by the idea of a congressman apologizing to a international oil conglomerate that just destroyed the maritime ecosystems of several southern states, they made Barton explain that his words had simply been “misconstructed.”
Rahm calls bullshit on the idea that Joe Barton misspoke:
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.
What most Democrats never seem to understand is that they actually occupy the moral high ground on the most fundamental issue of governance: whether government is worth a damn. Rahm gets it:
But the approach here, expressed and supported by other voices in the Republican Party, sees the aggrieved party as BP, not the American [people] — not the fishermen and the communities down there affected. And that would the governing philosophy. And I think what Joe Barton did is remind the American people, in case they’ve forgotten, this is how the Republicans would govern.
This speaks to the heart of the matter. Whether it was impolite to apologize to BP and not to the people whose lives and livelihoods were destroyed by the spill is irrelevant, and a retraction of that apology does nothing to change the fact that the GOP would take the multi-billion dollar industry’s side in any similar disaster. If Hurricane Katrina had been owned by Haliburton, the people of New Orleans would have gotten a bill for all the extra water.