Friday, July 2, 2010

DeMint Scratches BP's Back

For the President's oil spill inquiry commission to investigate the causes of the BP oil spill, and more importantly to stop it from happening again, they need the power of subpoena. Last week, the House showed overwhelming bipartisan support for granting the commission subpoena power in a vote of 420-1, with the only holdout being ultra-libertarian Ron Paul (R-TX).

It would seem the Senate would have a similarly easy time granting subpoena power through unanimous consent, right? Not on Jim DeMint's watch. Sen. DeMint (R-SC) objected, which had the possibility of delaying the subpoena for several weeks. He did so, he said, not on his own behalf, but on behalf of the Republican conference. They must think DeMint can get away with anything, even taking PAC money from each of the country's biggest oil producers, BP included, since his opposition in this year's Senate race is Alvin Greene, a real "Who's Who" of who the hell is that.

Fortunately, the Republicans have now lifted their hold on granting the power of subpoena to the Gulf oil spill commission, but only because DeMint's actions were so blatantly pro-Big Oil that it was causing a political embarrassment. Even "Smokey Joe" Barton didn't let his buddies at BP off the hook on this one.

For now, Jim DeMint and a couple of "Drill, Baby, Drill" allies in the Senate have backed off to fight another day. It doesn't make their protection of Big Oil any less disgusting.