Yesterday, Rep. Joe Barton, (R-TX), did the right thing in characterizing President Obama’s getting BP to cough up $20,000,000,000 “a tragedy in the first proportion.” He was also right in calling it a shakedown.
Welcome to President Obama’s banana republic rules. The rule of law was just sidestepped in favor of crony capitalism.
Let’s be perfectly clear. I’m not proposing to let BP off the hook. It’s quite the opposite. I’m just opposed to letting a political appointee dole out $20,000,000,000 based on anything other than established law.
Men are corruptible. The courts aren’t. Am I certain that the Obama administration won’t play favorites with this money? Not hardly. I wouldn’t trust them, or any other administration, to dispense the money to the people who have sustained damages from this oil spill.
The Obama administration’s strong-arm tactics is playing out here in Minnesota, where Michele Bachmann made a statement aimed directly at upholding the rule of law:
On a blog aimed at conservatives, Bachmann was quoted as saying she supported lifting a liability cap on legal claims against the company, which has taken heat over a blown-out well spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, some of which is washing up on beaches throughout the region and threatening fisheries, wildlife habitat and the tourism industry.
“But if I was the head of BP, I would let the signal get out there ‘We’re not going to be chumps, and we’re not going to be fleeced,'” Bachmann told the Washington Post’s blog. “And they shouldn’t be. They shouldn’t have to be fleeced and made chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest; they’ve got to be legitimate claims.”
Predictably, Tarryl Clark misused that quote for political advantage:
“Holding BP accountable for this disaster is not ‘fleecing’ it. It’s making sure they do what’s right by the citizens of the Gulf whose livelihoods are threatened and by all Americans who want the Gulf cleaned up,” Clark said in a statement released Thursday.
“Congresswoman Bachmann has made it clear where she stands: with BP, and against us.”
In siding with President Obama’s banana republic rules, Tarryl is saying that she won’t protect or defend this nation’s constitutional protections of due process.
There isn’t any due process rights when a political appointee, not the independent judiciary, determines who gets the money. A political appointee can make awards based on political pressures or arbitrary priorities. The independent judiciary makes financial awards based on codified, well established laws.
Tarryl’s statement is pure grandstanding. It proves that Tarryl won’t hesitate to throw the Constitution under the bus if she thinks there’s a political point to gain. It proves that Tarryl will say anything if she thinks it’s what people want to hear.
Tarryl didn’t take a principled, objective approach to solving this difficult problem. Instead, she did the political grandstanding thing in cheapshotting Michele Bachmann for political gain.
Rep. Barton shouldn’t have apologized for making his comments during yesterday’s committee hearing. Rep. Barton would’ve been better of if he’d followed Michele Bachmann’s lead in simply explaining that he wants the courts to administer the law, not a political appointee.
Technorati: Judiciary, Rule Of Law, Constitution, Due Process, Joe Barton, Michele Bachmann, Republicans, BP, Oil Spill, President Obama, Tarryl Clark, Banana Republic, Political Appointees, Democrats, Election 2010
Cross-posted at California Conservative