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Jun. 8 2010 - 4:21 pm | 336 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

Public to Obama: kick BP’s ass!

BP CEO Tony Hayward takes a first hand look at...

Image by Getty Images North America via @daylife

There has been much discussion today over President Obama’s comment on the Today show about meeting with experts to know “whose ass to kick.”

Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit wondered if Obama’s comment was, “real or some kind of weird joke?” Ann Althouse said the comment reminded her of , “George Bush’s “dead or alive” cowboy style.” And over at Hot Air, Allahpundit thought, “nothing would top “plug the damn hole” as a feeble show of command in the teeth of pure federal impotence, but never underestimate The One.”

But a poll out today by the Washington Post and ABC News shows that the public is finished discussing the situation and knows exactly whose ass to kick: BP’s.

Among the many questions presented, pollsters asked, “Do you think the federal government should or should not pursue criminal charges against BP and other companies involved in the oil spill? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?” The response was definitive.

Of those polled, 51% strongly believe that the federal government should pursue criminal charges against BP and 14% somewhat believe that BP should be held criminally accountable. Conversely, only 14% of respondents strongly believe that the federal government should not pursue criminal charges and another 14% somewhat believe that BP should not be criminally liable.

All of which comes out as reports surface that BP has a long history of taking advantage of the regulatory capture that has plagued (or been a boon to, depending on your perspective) the US oil industry and the Minerals Management Service. Of course, we knew about those problems a while back, but better late than never.

(Image via Andrew Sullivan)

The WAPO-ABC News poll also shows the abysmal rating that the federal government and Obama have received in response to the Gulf spill. Ostensibly, President Obama’s newly found tough guy act — which continues with a comment that Obama would have fired Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, by now — is designed to address and hopefully alleviate those negative perceptions.

However, if the President is interested in bringing the public around on the spill, his course of action is relatively straight forward. Actions speak louder than words: put the full weight of the presidential bully pulpit behind pursuing criminal charges against BP.


One T/S Member Comment Called Out, 3 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    I personally think the United States Government should seize BP’s assets.

  2. collapse expand

    Deep water oil drilling or pumping major leaks rarely happen. The Gulf blow out is the first since 1969. The cause of the Gulf accident isn’t yet known.

    In the circumstances, the best plan is to put all effort to stop the leaks and clean up the mess.

    When the situation is calmer the role of the oil companies and the government can be reviewed. The necessary facts and evidence may be better known and understood. They certainly aren’t now.

  3. collapse expand

    In the beginning of this disaster, I was willing to give BP the benefit of my doubts due to the lack of information and the lack of sufficient time to evaluate whether things are going well. Lately, however, there are reports coming from the gulf regions affected by the spill that BP is using stalling tactics on payment to those who are suffering economic losses due to the slick.

    If BP is not going to come forward with more reasonable and aggressive reimbursement activities within the next couple weeks to cover the debts of those they have harmed; then I think the US government should step forward, reimburse those who are suffering from this loss, and then go after BP’s assets, the executive officers of BP’s assets, and every member of the the Board of Directors assets to seek reimbursement.

    There is already a precedent from the 2005 Texas City Refinery fire and the 2000 Grangemouth Scotland refinery fires (there were three of those) to indicate that BP’s management is very nearly criminally incompetent. I think this spill puts things over the edge.

    The officers of this company need to be held financially liable for the actions that lead to this disaster. It is the only thing that they seem to understand. If they’re going to run this corporation in to ruin, they should also feel some pain.

    As for sending them to prison: If we can find a legal way to prosecute these executives criminally that isn’t retroactive, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. For the future, I think legislation exposing executives and directors to criminal liability wouldn’t be a bad thing. We need to be careful about such things, however, or pretty soon, there will be a boom in residences of corporate officers overseas in places such as the Cayman Islands.

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    About Me

    I'm a Canadian blogger who spends far too much time reading and writing about US politics. I've been involved in various forms of political organizing for the past decade, some of which has earned me recognition and other of which has earned me the title of "no good punk".

    I also blog at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the Commons, Beams and Struts, and The Washington Examiner's Opinion Zone.

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