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

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.