June 25, 2010



The Chamber of Commerce's ‘kumbaya’ moment
by Jim Hightower

In the category of "Big news that has gotten little coverage," consider this stunner: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has openly embraced socialism!

Not for you and me, of course, but for one of the world's largest and wealthiest corporations: BP. On May 27th, the Chamber's president, Tom Donohue, came out of his Leninist closet to assert his communitarian affinity for corporate socialism: "Everybody is going to contribute to this clean up," Donohue declared." We are all going to have to do it. We are going to have to get the money from the government and from the companies, and we will figure out a way to do that."

What a hoot! The guy who earlier this year was screeching in horror against government health care coverage for ordinary Americans, has now flipped over to the compassionate side, demanding that those same ordinary Americans simply must "contribute" their tax dollars to clean up the disaster caused by the greed of a foreign oil corporation. Hypocrisy, thy name is Donohue! Even Saturday Night Live wouldn't air a skit this crude.

BP might be a British outfit, but it's also a member and major funder of the U.S. Chamber, which in turn has been a major backer of deregulating Big Oil's offshore drilling schemes. Thus, it's really no surprise that Donohue's inner flower child would bloom in the midst of BP's oozing oil disaster. And don't you love his "kumbaya" sensitivity, his we're-all-in-this-together social sensibility?

Let's all sing along with Tom's heart-tugging song: "We are going to have to get the money from the government/We will figure out a way to do that/Kumbaya, Lord, kumbaya."

Adding to the hilarity, Donohue later tried to retract his socialist stand, but he only came off as a rhetorical contortionist, still leaving taxpayers on the hook for BP's mess.

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Copyright 2010 by Jim Hightower & Associates
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