Let me finish tonight with the emerging embarrassment on the right.
Joe Barton reminds us that sometimes, politicians get what they deserve. In other words, they get caught saying exactly what they wanted to say.
Someone once said that the late Spiro Agnew had about the same depth of political belief as the tired guy on the 5:00 commuter train after his third drink. Well, they may not have bars on those trains anymore, but you get the point.
You know this guy. He picks up the newspaper but all he ends up talking about is he doesn't like taxes. He doesn't like government regulations because his boss says they're bad for profits. He doesn't like government at all because that's the way the guys talk in the executive dining room talk, guys who get "their" talking points from the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. And, oh yeah, he thinks jokes about climate change and environmental concerns are really a hoot.
And here comes the embarrassing part. All of a sudden, we're hearing this "idiot" talk – because that's what the Romans called people who were not really citizens – from people who actually get quoted. Joe Barton and Michele Bachmann, elected members of Congress, they're out there taking "BP's" side of the public debate. Why? Because they've been kennel-trained to do it: bark at regulation, bark at government and, if they can reach it, lick the hand of big corporations.
What an embarrassment, to have some of them caught in the act doing what they've been leash-trained to do all these years:
Rand Paul has called the President's pressuring of British Petroleum "un-American." Barton, the top congressional Republican on energy policy said the president was shaking down B-P for getting it to set aside $20 billion for the people they have hurt. Bachmann called that $20 billion a "redistribution of wealth," a "slush fund." As I said last week, don't say the word "slush" around BP. It's hard to discover an event in human history where someone has caused such a disgusting, oily mess.
Pay no attention to Mr. Barton's apology and Ms. Bachmann's endless regurgitations. They got it the way they wanted it the first time, the way they'd been trained. In taking BP's side against the American government, they showed us their hearts.