The Bumbling Barton of Bull

And so here we have Texas Congressman Bumbling Joe Barton “apologizing” for apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward during this morning’s House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing about the oil spill.

This morning Bumbling Barton looked at Hayward and said, and I quote, “I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday (when BP agreed to create a $20 billion escrow account to provide relief to Gulf coast residents decimated by the spill). I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case, a $20 billion shakedown.”

But Bumbling Barton didn’t stop there. Looking right at Hayward continued, “I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is — again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize.”

Did Bumbling Barton want the taxpayers to pay for it?

Barton is clearly more concerned with defending big business and retaining their contributions to his campaigns. The OpenSecretsblog reports that “individuals or PACs associated with the oil and gas industry as a whole have been Barton’s biggest patron since he entered Congress, donating more than $1,448,380 since the 1990 election cycle.”

Later today Barton apologized, then revised his apology. The first apology was, "And if anything I’ve said this morning has been misconstrued … I want to apologize for that … misconstruction." Well, as you might imagine, that didn’t go over well.  And so Bumbling Barton launched into rewrite mode and offered another apology, which goes like this: "I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP. As I told my colleagues yesterday and said again this morning, BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico. BP should fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt by this accident. BP and the federal government need to stop the leak, clean up the damage, and take whatever steps necessary to prevent a similar accident in the future. I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident."

Both apologies are, to quote Archie Bunker, “Crapola.” However, if you are someone who believes Bumbling Barton’s apologies to be genuine, drop me a line, I can get you a great deal on a bridge down Brooklyn way.