Q Michele Bachmann called the fund a redistribution of wealth fund. On FOX they’re calling it “Chavez-like” as in Venezuela Chavez. Can you speak --
MR. GIBBS: Not the boxer?
Q Not the boxer. (Laughter.) Can you speak to the larger theme here of Republican and conservative opposition to this as yet another Obama socialistic, big-government initiative?
MR. GIBBS: I mean, I don’t -- it’s hard to tell what planet these people live on. It’s hard to understand -- it’s hard to understand their viewpoint, but it may explain their votes on financial regulation; it explains how they view whether or not the banks ought to be able to write their own rules and play the game the way they played it in -- several years ago that caused our economy to crash. It’s understanding how we got an MMS that was handing out drugs in favor of drilling permits.
White House Press briefing 6/17/2010
Dear Mr. President,
I'm not often surprised by the Republicans. Normally, comparing your policies to Hugo Chavez's socialism, or kissing up to BP executives, seems like par for their particular course. But this is a national tragedy. I thought that the party of "America First" would be able to put aside their allegiance to their big donors for five minutes and recognize that an egregious crime has been committed against America and the American people and the company responsible needs to pay for the cost of cleaning it up and the livelihoods its negligence has ruined.
I suppose you have to admire their commitment to the "disagree with anything a Democrat says" strateg; such fidelity isn't often found in career politicians. Though I suppose, at this point in her career, Michele Bachmann is safe in the knowledge that her supporters don't expect a great deal of rational, or even logical thought. Still, this seems like a risky political move for any one trying to appoint themselves or their party as the standard bearer for the populist anger in this country. I'm dumbfounded. Maybe the rest of the country isn't as angry as I and most of the people I've encountered are; maybe the citizens of Texas and Minnesota who vote for Bachmann and Barton are huge supporters of BP and think that they shouldn't have to pay for this disaster. I've met my share of Minnesotans and more than a few Texans, however, and they don't seem like stupid people.
Anyway, Mr. President, I hope the next time a column is published about your lack of aggression or emotion, your inability to effectively "declare war" on BP, we all take a deep breath and remember that the legislative branch is still the most powerful, it's still run by people like Michele Bachmann and Joe Barton, still funded by BP and other corporate interests and we still have no one to blame for that but ourselves.