According to MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan, Barack Obama is nothing more than a shill for the Republican Party. The liberal anchor on Wednesday railed against the President's plan to allow limited offshore oil drilling: "This is a fraud...Is a pattern emerging? Is President Obama nothing more than a Democrat in name only? Dare we say it? A DINO?" [Audio available here.]
According to Ratigan, Obama, the same man who created a massive new entitlement with his health care bill, who ushered in the stimulus bill, is actually an operative for the GOP. He complained, "Look at the subsidization of the banking industry that goes on to this day or reports of the impending deal with the Republicans to forego civilian trials for Gitmo terror suspects in favor of military trials. Wasn't Gitmo supposed to be closed by now, anyway?"
Ratigan's hyperbolic language continued. He fretted, "The President clearly defying expectations. The question, is it betrayal or a true bipartisanship?" As for the actual Republicans, he derided them for supporting offshore drilling: "Again, I could point to the opposition party's absurdity in dragging this country lower as opposed to calling the Democrats out for their nonsense solutions. We're accommodating another party and adding nonsense solutions."
Ratigan, who now worries that Obama might be a secret Republican, previously savaged the GOP. On October 5, 2009, he attacked, "I mean, there are people that are actually trying to derail health care in order to take down Obama, even if it means half the country dies."
A partial transcript of the March 31 Dylan Ratigan Show segment, which aired at 4:32pm EDT, follows:
[Clips from 2008 of people chanting, "Drill, baby, drill.]
DYLAN RATIGAN: God, it feels good to say, doesn't it? Drill, baby, drill. Welcome back. We're talking oil and politics. Remember those chants "Drill, baby, drill" from the Republican National Convention? Now it seems that our Democratic President has adopted the same chant. It is fun. This morning the President announced a plan to open up waters off the coast of the America, up and down the east coast, oil drilling declared the move part of a larger goal of energy independence.
BARACK OBAMA: We're going to lead by example and practice what we preach. Cutting waste, saving energy and reducing our reliance on foreign oil.
RATIGAN: Problem of course, as you likely know, is that this plan runs directly counter to what he said on the campaign trail, specifically even though the White House says the President has been consistent.
OBAMA (June 2008): Believe me, if I thought there was any evidence at all that drilling could save people money who are struggling to fill up their gas tanks by this summer or this year or even the next few years, I would consider it. But, it won't.
RATIGAN: An interesting about-face, seen as a nod to Republicans, one that may be closely tied to the fate of a climate bill in the Senate. Moderate Democrats admitting that legislation is unlikely to pass without an extension of drilling to gain Republican's support. GOP leaders today are already arguing the plan doesn't go far enough. House Minority Leader John Boehner says, quote, "keeping the pacific coast and Alaska as well as the most promising resources of the Gulf of Mexico under lock and key makes no sense at a time when gasoline prices are rising and Americans are asking, where are the jobs?" This seems like a good place to mention that of the $10.7 million spent by the oil lobby so far in 2010, granted it's only been three months, more than two-thirds of that money has gone to Republicans and the special interest giving that money stand to make a small fortune if the drilling is opened up. And yet the amount of oil made available to us to reduce our dependence on foreign energy would not come online for at least five to ten years. And even if we had all of it, might give you a year's worth of oil. This is a fraud. So, why is Democrat Obama making- proposing a plan- sure the oil companies will grin- but is it yet another false solution? Is a pattern emerging? Is President Obama nothing more than a Democrat in name only? Dare we say it? A DINO? Look at the giveaway to special interest in the health care bill. Extraordinary, their willingness to accommodate every special interest at the expense of efficiency and Americans in order to expand health care. Look at the subsidization of the banking industry that goes on to this day or reports of the impending deal with the Republicans to forego civilian trials for Gitmo terror suspects in favor of military trials. Wasn't Gitmo supposed to be closed by now, anyway? I don't know. The President clearly defying expectations. The question, is it betrayal or a true bipartisanship? Or is he simply trying to gain the next election with false solutions that may be politically popular but, actually, once again, further do a disservice to this country?
RATIGAN: But, what appears to be going on here is that we're going to be looking at rising gas prices this summer. There's a midterm election this fall. The Republicans were going to take cracks at the President for his failure do this. Again, I could point to the opposition party's absurdity in dragging this country lower as opposed to calling the Democrats out for their nonsense solutions. We're accommodating another party and adding nonsense solutions. Is there anything that you see here, Jane, that is more than political gaming at the Democrats by the expense of America?
JANE HAMSHER (Firedoglake.com): Well, he seems to think that this will bring Republican votes. Health care is any example of how successful that will be, that doesn't look like it's going to be in the game plan. They're already out there as you say demagoging the issue and saying it doesn't go far enough. So, they're going to oppose it. But, maybe, as you note, they've spent- the oil industry's spent so much money on the Republicans that he's hoping that they stay bought.