Dan Kennedy

President Obama finally met with BP leaders. Immediately thereafter, Tony Hayward was made a CEO in exile. Undoubtedly he’ll soon be an ex-CEO. When Obama wants a CEO fired, by gum, they are fired.

Sen. Shelby suggested Tony needs to go altogether. Rep. Cao suggested Tony needs to commit hari kari. Gee, even Obama hasn’t yet dared suggest a CEO kill himself. The Congressman making this suggestion has not been asked by anybody to apologize, let alone resign.

And don’t dare call the administration’s thuggery by its name. When Rep. Barton suggested that Obama had subjected BP’s executives to “a shakedown,” the media wolves leapt on him and his cowardly colleagues disowned him.

Sure, everybody’s got a right to be mad as an oil-soaked pelican at BP. And yes, BP must bear the legitimate costs of damage it wrought. But not for additional economic destruction wrought by Obama’s knee-jerk stoppage of all drilling – against the advice, hue and cry from everybody in the region, in the industry, and on both sides of the aisle who know anything. But yes, for all they actually cause.

Glenn Beck

But do we really want our president and his gang dragging executives of companies behind closed doors and threatening them with who-knows-what in order to have them fire whoever he deems unfit and, in this case, hand over $20-billion of shareholders’ money to be dispensed as he sees fit, with no say-so by the owners of that money or their elected representatives on the board? I guess that might sound cool when done to a big, bankrupt car maker or a giant insurance company or a bunch of banks or, now, the company responsible for Gulf disaster. But how swell will it sound when He destroys the company you work for or your entire industry (as he has the home mortgage industry)?

And are you sure you want to applaud Obama’s consistent disregard for (or, in my opinion, pleasure in the destruction of) shareholder value? Countless pension funds on which “working people” depend are invested in the automakers, banks, insurers and this oil company Obama has looted, eviscerated, put in needless jeopardy. The very raising of the issue of shareholder rights would be seen as siding with evil villains, so nothing is said by politicians, press or pundits.

Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is a serial entrepreneur and contributor to the Business & Media Institute.