Rahm Emanuel thinks there's an opportunity for Dems to capitalize on Joe Barton's BP apology

But the fact of the matter is is that the White House awhile ago realized that they do not have the sixty votes needed for a cap and trade policy on reducing carbon emissions in the Senate, and Emanuel did not answer directly Tapper's question regarding whether the energy bill that may come out of the Senate will include some sort of carbon tax.


TAPPER: Does that include the carbon tax?


EMANUEL: Yes -- no, wait, Jake, let me walk through it. In the House of Representatives, they've passed a cap and trade -- an energy bill with cap and trade as a component. He spoke about this in Pittsburgh. He also spoke about it in the Oval Office. Everybody is coming to the meeting next week. There will be a meeting on Wednesday, senators from both parties with array of ideas are coming to the table.


They know the president's perspective. He has been clear with them about what there needs to be done. His goal now, now that the House passed a bill, is to get the Senate to pass a comprehensive energy bill that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, makes key investments in the areas of alternative energy so America leads in that space, and deals fundamentally with the environmental degradation that happens from carbon pollution.


And so that's what his goals are. He is trying to find a consensus working with members of both parties. And the good news here, unlike in other past theories (ph), there obviously will be Republicans with a set of ideas, like Senator Lugar who has introduced his legislation. There are good parts of that. Senator Alexander on the Republican side. Senator Kerry and Lieberman, Senator Bingaman.


But while liberals are unhappy that there probably won't be a carbon tax/or cap and trade provision in the Senate energy bill, conservatives have been going off for the past week that Obama will do that, by exploiting the crises in the Gulf.


Marco Rubio sent out a press release Sunday in which he said,


The White House Chief of Staff may be looking for an opportunity to exploit but we need action to cap-the-well and clean-up-the-mess, not a new push for cap-and-trade. Already facing a steep economic recession and now the oil spill, the last thing the people of the Gulf Coast need right now are more economic burdens placed on them from Washington. One disaster should not be an excuse for another.



Later on This Week, Richard Haass from the Council on Foreign Relations took the bait when addressing what he thought was wrong with President Obama's speech last Tuesday night: That he didn't call on things that he can try to change right now when it comes to America's consistent voracious energy consumption:


It was very thin on the policy side. The United States uses one out of every three gallons of oil in the world that are devoted to road transit. We have got to cut that back. And what I would say that argues for a much more ambitious escalation of so-called CAFE standards, of mileage standards. Secondly, the administration seems obsessed with long-term alternative fuels and the problem it, it is long term. We need to do something about the short and medium term. What I would suggest, we have that answered here at home, which is natural gas. You don't hear those words mentioned a lot, but natural gas is competitive in price, it is incredibly omnipresent, now, in the United States and it is very good for the environment. So instead of thinking about 30- or 40-year solutions we really need to think about the near term.

Although there are still more than four months to go before the Congressional elections this November, the expectation that voters will spank President Obama and the Democrats at the polls seems to be a given at this point.  The question simply is how severe it might be (Republicans need to win 40 seats to take over the House).

But White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel tried to propose to voters still undecided the day on the day before the first day of summer begins that there is a choice between differing philosophies, and he used Republicans Joe Barton and Rand Paul as representatives of a party that the American public should think twice about while appearing on ABC's This Week program Sunday morning with host Jake Tapper:

That is a philosophy. That is an approach to what they see. They see the aggrieved party here is BP, not the fishermen. And remember, this is not just one person. Rand Paul, running for Senate in Kentucky, what did he say? He said the way BP was being treated was un-American.

Other members of the Republican leadership have come to the defense of BP and attacked the administration for forcing them to set up an escrow account and fund it to the level of $20 billion. These aren't political gaffes. You know, I've been in hearings.  Joe Barton was speaking from prepared remarks. Rand Paul, who is running Kentucky, a leading Senate candidate for the Republicans said BP, the way they were being treated was un-American.

That is an approach to — they think the government is the problem. And in this balance, and the difference here is that BP made a mess. And the government, and also in the president's view, in certain areas like MMS, hasn't done its job.

TAPPER: Minerals Management.

EMANUEL: Minerals Management. But the approach here expressed and supported by other voices in the Republican Party, sees the aggrieved party as BP, not the American — not the fishermen and the communities down there affected. And that would the governing philosophy. And I think what Joe Barton did is remind the American people, in case they've forgotten, this is how the Republicans would govern.

High ranking Republicans were mortified by Texas Representative Barton's comments on Thursday that he was "ashamed" that BP had agreed to pay $20 billion in claims in what he called a White House "shakedown", and it's evident that believe for at least a few more days they can keep the heat on that story, as the oil disaster in the Gulf approaches its ninth week (On competing Sunday shows, Republican Senators Richard Shelby and Mitch McConnell publicly rebuked Barton's remarks).

The fifty-year-old Emanuel has become a lightning rod in Barack Obama's administration, mostly by liberals who have blasted the former Chicago based Congressman and Clinton White House adviser as being the wrong man who should be in the key position as Chief of Staff (A report in a British newspaper Sunday said Emanuel is looking to leave the White House by the end of this year.  It's not the first report to indicate that he may leave before the end of the President's term).

Some of those same liberals bashed Obama's first Oval Office address to the nation last Tuesday, generally for not being specific enough about his plans to put the country on a new track regarding energy and climate change.

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