Monday, June 07, 2010

Craziest Republican of the Day: Haley Barbour

I think we can all agree that it doesn't get much crazier, or blowhardian, than Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a man who is as Republican as they come (and who therefore really ought to be the GOP presidential candidate in '12). On Fox News yesterday, Barbour said that "we have had virtually no oil" along the coast of his state, other than the usual "tar balls":

The average viewer to this show thinks that the whole coast from Florida to Texas is ankle-deep in oil... So it may be hard for the viewer to understand, but the worst thing for us has been how our tourist season has been hurt by the misperception of what is going on down here. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is beautiful. As I tell people, the coast is clear. Come on down!

I'm not sure what the "average viewer" thinks, but I think it's fair to say that most people who are paying any attention to the disaster in the Gulf are seized of its severity. No, the oil isn't "ankle-deep," but there still a lot of oil coming ashore, mostly (thus far) in Louisiana. Barbour is right that Mississippi has been spared, for the most part, but his comments are ignorant, insensitive, and misleading.

Simply put, the coast isn't clear, and it's only going to get worse over the summer and into fall as BP works to fix the leak. And the impact on wildlife, the environment, the fishing industry, tourism, and the economy, not to mention on the millions and millions of people affected by the disaster in one way or another, is immense. This is the reality of the horribly bleak situation along the Gulf Coast.

Meanwhile, as Think Progress notes:

Barbour has consistently refused to accept the gravity of the situation in the Gulf, and blamed the media for supposedly over-hyping the disaster. He's compared oil to tooth paste, said all the oil on Mississippi's beaches could barely "fill up a milk jug," and handed out gas cards to encourage tourists to "[c]ome on down here and play golf, enjoy the beach, catch a fish." Meanwhile, dead dolphins have washed ashore on Mississippi's beaches.

Barbour went on to suggest that President Obama was "destroying himself" by not adequately responding to the spill, but he had nothing negative to say of BP. Barbour -- who received $1.8 million from oil and gas companies for his gubernatorial campaign -- explained, "When we ask BP for something, they try to do it." The lobbying firm Barbour founded relied highly on oil industry clients, with Barbour personally lobbying for regulation changes to the Bush White House. 

Come on down? Please. I certainly don't wish harm on the people of Mississippi, who need their tourism and fishing dollars, but their governor's an idiot. (They need a real leader to help steer them through this crisis, not a right-wing cheerleader.)

Haley Barbour: a hyper-partisan, reality-denying ignoramus backed by the oil industry. He's a crazy blowhard, but he's pretty much your perfect Republican.

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  • Sometimes you just want to drag this idiot behind a ski boat for a few miles out in the Gulf and let him get up close and personal with the oil companies he shills for...
    what a sleaze...
    Mississippi, you must be soooo proud of this bloviating sack of turds.

    By Anonymous squatlo, at 9:33 AM  

  • Bloviating, now that's a choice word and quite apt.

    By Anonymous Lex, at 11:55 PM  

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