Alan Colmes asks, Who Will Be First To Call Lamar Alexander A Socialist?. From Think Progress:
Sen. Lamar Alexander Advocates A Government Takeover Of BP:
This week, a flurry of environmental organizations, members of Congress, and local officials in the states affected by the spill called for the federal government to take over the response effort from BP. “This is an all-hands-on-deck crisis, and we need to use every asset the U.S. has, including the Defense Department and all of its most sophisticated technology,” said Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA).
Today, on CBS’ Face the Nation, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) — who spends a lot of his time fearmongering about various government takeovers — seemed to advocate that the government simply take over BP entirely.
I'm waiting to see how he walks this one back later. I'm sure he'll say he was advocating them taking over the clean up and stopping the oil spill and not BP itself.
SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just start where Robert Gibbs was talking about that the administration has done everything possible--morning, noon, and daylight, nighttime, too--to get this thing fixed down in the Gulf. Senator, do you think they’ve done everything they could do?
ALEXANDER: Bob, I’m not-- I’m not going to start pointing fingers at the administration. There’s one thing they could do under the law. They can fire BP and take it over. But the truth is the federal government probably doesn’t have the capacity to do that. I think we ought to allow the administration working with the governments and others to do its best to clean it up and make our verdict about the blame later.
SCHIEFFER: But would you favor taking over BP if that became necessary?
ALEXANDER: Sure. That’s up to the President to decide. Under the law we know who pays. That’s BP. They are the responsible party. And we know who is managing the federal effort. That’s the Coast Guard. But under the law, the federal government can take it over if they choose. And I understand why they might not choose but that option exists.
Update: Think Progress changed their post title to this: Sen. Lamar Alexander Advocates A Government Takeover Of The Oil Spill Clean-Up. As I said I was pretty sure he would be walking his comments back to saying they should take care of the clean up and not actually taking over BP. Apparently Think Progress decided that's what he really meant as well. If he didn't want anyone to take him literally he should watch what comes out of his mouth.
And I'll add one last note. I'm sick to death of these free market politicians crying about what the government is doing or not doing when unregulated industries make a mess, so Lamar Alexander needs to decide what side he's on. Either you let industries run wild and the government stays out of it, or you let them regulate so they're not expected to clean up their messes later. The man is still a flaming hypocrite. He cries about "government takeovers" until he wants the government to, you know... take over. But only when it means taking over a mess.