Ever since the BP oil disaster everyone’s noticed that Dick Cheney has been awfully quiet. While that’s true, it doesn’t necessarily mean he hasn’t had his views “represented.” While even she was out of sight for the most part soon after the gusher, “Daddy’s little deferment,” Liz Cheney popped up once more last Sunday opposite Markos Moulitsas and Arianna Huffington on ABC’s “This Week” where she joined George Will for some good ole’ fashioned Obama bashing, claiming among other things that “to blame her father and Bush for the BP disaster was to “demonize” them.” (I say ridiculous! They’ve done a great job of that all by themselves without any outside help.) She went on to demonstrate her expertise at being the daughter of someone famous for their ability to do the wrong thing consistently by saying: (and I want to get the quote correct here) “Blah, blah, blah, dithering, and blah!”
Not that the Cheneys are the only ones who want to divert our attention from the fact that the GOP and their so-called “conservative” policies are what got us into this mess in the first place. There are plenty more because they want to win elections so they can keep doing the very same things.
They don’t care for the part of “big government” that requires things like the rich paying their fair share of taxes, or the part that impedes the corporations making big profits by cutting back on things like regulations. And yet when the mess they caused starts washing up in front of their beach houses, they cry “where’s Obama??” or scream “give me my bailout or the economy gets it!” “Conservatives” they ain’t.
Just in time for help in diverting attention comes the “new GOP,” also known as the “Tea Party” (or “Tea Baggers” depending on who you ask). The party has been dumbed down considerably over the last few years, even by their standards. This year there’s a whole new crop of blank slates at the ready just waiting for their talking points memos. It seems some of the new crowd are as dumb as a bag of rocks and will say anything for $$.
That brings us to the self-proclaimed “fiscal conservative” Marco Rubio (R-FL), who was “fiscally conservative” before he “wasn’t” fiscally conservative.” On his Rubio for Senate website his income when he was first elected to the Florida House is listed as “82,710, but he was bringing in $399,187 by the time he left. That’s a hefty jump in income while serving as a state legislator. (Click on the link that says “Personal Financial Disclosure, Senate PFD” and instead you’re directed to a Rubio campaign donation page. Click on it a second time and it leads to another campaign page.) “Conservative” he ain’t. Just in case you need further evidence of this, there’s a nicely detailed post about Rubio’s Tea Bagger facade and his dealings with Wall Street by Howie Klein over at “Down With Tyranny!”
On Saturday Rubio showed up for an interview with Larry Kudlow on CNBC to “answer questions” on offshore oil drilling, the BP mess, and that little matter of BP paying dividends to shareholders.
CNBC’s Larry Kudlow pressed Marco Rubio hard and repeatedly today on the question of offshore drilling, prompting the candidate’s reluctant confirmation that he opposes a moratorium on offshore drilling, opposes forcing BP to stop paying dividends to shareholders, and supports continued drilling off Florida’s coasts in the long run — an issue that seems to offer Charlie Crist his clearest shot at victory in the Senate race.
To put it mildly, right now Floridians aren’t exactly in the mood for offshore oil drilling no matter how far off the coast, and they’re not inclined to say things like: “By all means, please give shareholders their dividend checks, we’ll worry about cleaning up all this oil later. Our seafood industry can wait and fishermen can suck it up for a couple more decades or so! BP’s shareholders should come first!” It would be pretty dumb for a politician to side with BP over the voters, wouldn’t it?
Why yes it would be, and Marco Rubio isn’t one to disappoint in that department! Queue the standard interview talking point:
“In the long term, offshore drilling has to be part of our overall energy strategy,” Rubio said. “Other countries are going to do it, and if they have an accident, that’s going to impact [the U.S.] just the same.”
(Sure. Other countries are doing it and they’re going to blow up rigs and spill too. So? Meh.)
How do you handle oil coming ashore in Florida? What do you do?
“That depends on the federal government, and we’ve seen the trouble in Louisiana!” (No answers, but he blames government.)
“I believe in limited government, but I also believe in an effective government!” (It’s pretty hard for government to be effective when government is so limited and no one pays taxes.)
“Where was the government? We knew these rigs were out there! Where was the technology?” (Perhaps Cheney can tell you.)
“Bobby Jindal deserves a bronze star, gold medal, whatever….for all the hard work he’s had to do!” (Like feigning outrage during photo-ops? For spending only $3 million of the $25 million BP grant money for spill expenses? For only calling up 1,110 of the National Guard’s 6,000 authorized? Maybe Rubio would prefer Jindal receive a purple heart for his wounded ego too?)
Does Rubio oppose congressional action to prevent BP from paying dividends to their shareholders?
“I’ve never been in favor of interfering in the markets.” (Never mind that BP blew up a rig, killed 11 people, injured many others, and are well on their way to destroying the Gulf of Mexico and the ecosystems in the Gulf and four states so far. What would a fiscal conservative, or Cheney do? That’s right: “You’re doing GREAT BP! Profits all around!”)
Are you in favor of offshore drilling in Florida?
“We need to fix it and find out how it happened, learn how it happened so it doesn’t happen again.” (Why not ask your new BFF Cheney how it happened?)
Again, are you in favor of an offshore drilling moratorium?
“I don’t understand what the reasoning is, unless there’s something on those rigs that we don’t know about.” (You don’t understand what the reasoning is?? Pay attention. There were hearings and everything….) “We need to find out how it happened so it doesn’t happen again.”
I have to ask again, are you in favor of drilling?
“Uh…..well….yes, BUT its got to be safe.” (It isn’t safe.) “We need to fix it and find out how it happened so it doesn’t happen again. It’s got to be safe. China, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela, they’re all going to be drilling off of our coast anyway and there’s nothing we can do to stop them. And Venezuela doesn’t like us.” (I heard Rubio say this on Friday as well. My reaction was the same then too: huh??)
The polls show that Floridians are in favor of a ban on offshore drilling. Do you favor a special session to ban drilling?
“We don’t need a special session to ban something that’s already illegal.” (So you aren’t in favor of letting voters decided? But isn’t that kind of like something a big government “taking over” would do?) “But we need to find out what happened so it doesn’t happen again.” (Yes, I believe you’ve mentioned that. Several times.)
“Let me just say I’m the only candidate willing to say that the government and Obama have done a terrible job with this oil spill.” (Yes, but then you’re also the only one to get an endorsement from Dick Cheney. But good boy. You did what you were told. You can probably get your allowance and go home now.)
“One more question. Mr. Crist is going to run against offshore drilling, and you are going to run in favor of it, do I have that right?”
“We need to fix it and find out how it happened so it doesn’t happen again……..”
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