From The Atlantic:
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, again, in my words, amounts to some sort of a shakedown.
You know, this was his opening remark. He had time to think about what he was going to say, to write it down, to read it to his wife and ask "how's that sound, hon?" It's not like this was some off-the-cuff remark, or an answer to some unexpected "gotcha" question, where maybe he could say that his words just came out wrong. This is what he meant to say.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) seems to think that BP is owed an apology. Not because they were being unfairly blamed for something that was not their fault, no he clearly acknowledges that BP has done "something that is legitimately wrong," he just apparently thinks that requiring them to pay for the damage that they have caused is just beyond the pale!
Paying for damage that your own wrongdoing has caused? Why that's nothing but a shakedown! I'm so sorry, Mr. BP. If I had my way, you'd be free to pollute any body of water in the Goddamned U S of A without having to worry about consequences. Why, a man like you should be allowed to plunder our villages, ravish our women and make slaves of our children! Why, it's the least you're entitled to! To think that you should be forced to pay for destroying the meager livelihoods of some beastly commoners, it just sickens me!
So, someone explained to Barton that this might not look great on his political resume' so he pretty quickly tried to walk it back:
From Yahoo News:
By midafternoon, Barton was back on the dais with a statement that was something short of what the leaders had demanded.
"I want the record to be absolutely clear that I think BP is responsible for this accident," he said. "If anything I said this morning has been misconstrued, in opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstruction."
okay, see, that's really not the issue. You never said or implied that they were not responsible for the spill, you just apologized to the person responsible for the very idea that he should pay for the damage for which you freely admit he was responsible. See, that's worse. If you thought that BP was somehow not responsible for the disaster, then it's just a problem of you being stupid and/or ignorant. But when you acknowledge that BP is indeed responsible, then there's no excuse for your stance.
Barton then issued, and House Republican leader John Boehner's office forwarded out a somewhat different written statement.
"I apologize for using the term 'shakedown' with regard to yesterday's actions at the White House this morning, and I retract my apology to BP," it began, and finished: "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."
NO. No, you didn't imply that they shouldn't have to pay. You apologized and called it a "shakedown." What the hell would motivate a person to act like this?
Barton has received $100,470 in campaign donations from oil and gas interests since the beginning of 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Ah. Say no more. Please, say no more.