If Rep. Joe Barton’s apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward was “a political gift” to Democrats, as Rahm Emmanuel put it, the Dems are working to make sure that it’s a financial gift — and one that keeps on giving. After Barton’s most impolitic statement at last week’s Capitol Hill hearing on the Gulf oil spill, the party was quick to jump online with a plea to fund TV ads against Republicans “sympathetic” to the petroleum giant. Key point: that Republican victories this Fall could put Barton in charge of the House Energy and Environment Committee, making him the legislative gatekeeper on environmental regulation. Besides the inevitable online petition, Gibbs tweet and DNC fundraising email, the DCCC has also run Facebook Ads to the tune of 20 million impressions per day, no doubt hoping for a secondary branding effect in addition to any direct click-throughs to the petition/fundraising page. Thanks, Joe! Hope that case of foot-in-mouth disease clears up soon…but not before November.