It seems like it would be really hard to find something wrong with getting BP to agree to put up $20 billion, no strings attached, to compensate people who are being harmed by the Gulf oil spill. For some reason, however, the natural instinct of many is either to criticize, or to be unimpressed with the historic nature of the president's achievement. For some balance, here is Joe Biden's take:
And here is Ed Schultz cheering the President on. Maybe we should still celebrate even if it is a shakedown, a word Schultz is not afraid to use:
Or maybe we should not waste time arguing about whether it is a shakedown or not. It could be just a smart thing for BP to do to recognize costs that it would have to assume in litigation anyway. Or it could be that the administration is using some muscle to force an oil company to pay for the damage it caused. Either way, the money is going to people who are going to have to demonstrate their entitlement to compensation for harm that BP caused. And they need the money, and should not have to wait years for it. Maybe we should just learn to say, Good job, Mr. President.