Steve Benen and Greg Sargent have been making an important point lately that hasn’t yet received the attention it deserves: to the extent that Republicans intend to oppose efforts to hold BP accountable this summer and fall, they are extremely vulnerable politically.
Here’s Benen first, commenting on Republican confusion over just what lengths they should go to in their defense of big oil companies:
It’s no doubt tricky — the GOP has been allied with oil companies for years — and considering the party’s rhetoric of late, I’m not sure Republicans have decided exactly what point(s) they want to emphasize.
But politically, it’s worth keeping an eye on a potential trend — if Republicans position themselves as the party looking out for BP and the oil industry’s interests, there may be political consequences.
His announcement amounts to a tacit acknowledgment that public rage at BP, and the public’s desire that lawmakers hold the company accountable, have left Republicans little maneuvering room. In other words, the insistence on holding BP fully accountable is, and will continue to be, a very potent political issue for Dems.
I was especially pleased to see Politico — which typically doesn’t make smart observations about political situations in which Republicans are vulnerable — pick up on this dynamic yesterday. . .