Is Rep. Joe Barton on the verge of apologizing to Phillip Morris, the largest tobacco company in the U.S.? He might after learning that the "smoking toddler" from Indonesia, Ardi Rizal, has cut down from smoking 40 cigarrettes a day to just 15 after Indonesian government officials interfered with the three-year old's smoking habits.
Private companies, after all, should be allowed to peddle their wares to anyone, free from government intervention, right?
OK, Rep. Barton might not be on the verge of apologizing to Phillip Morris for Indonesia's tyrannical approach to smoking. I'm bringing this up to make a point. If taken to an extreme, Rep. Barton's decision to criticize President Obama for "shaking down" BP suggests that he and other right wing extremists are against interfering with the profit making capabilities of any corporation ... as long as corporations shove enough campaign money their way, and claim to embrace their unicorn theories of free markets.
It took over 100 years for child labor laws and consumer protections to emerge in this country. The slippery slope of deregulation that republican extremists embrace today could take us back to a darker market period in our country's history. You know, when "buyer beware" really meant "don't fight us ... your government is owned by corporate America".