Republican Oil Slick
The Oil Rig
On April 21, 2010 and oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded in a great ball of fire. Since then, an estimated 200,000 gallons of oil have been pouring into the Gulf. Eleven men aboard the rig died. The Coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Florida are in danger of the massive oil slick hitting their shores. The fishing industry in the area has been ruined. Livelihoods are in the balance.
The Federal and State Government responded immediately. The EPA and the United States Coast Guard worked on the environmental and human aspects of this disaster. Cabinet members were dispatched to Loiuisiana. And more imporantly, local efforts began immediately, with resources provided by the Federal Government.
The Republican Response
Republicans, and many of them, have been trying for the last week to somehow blame the Obama Administration for this growing environmental disaster. Apparently, to many Republicans this is a chance to score political points. Rush Limbaugh called this incident "Obama's Katrina" in an attempt to compare what the Federal Government has done in this crisis to the Bush Administration's lack of response to Hurricane Katrina.
Michael Browne, yes Browney himself, has been going around telling anyone who will listen that the Obama Administration is as bad as Bush and alleges that the Obama Administration wants this disaster to push forward a liberal Environmental agenda. Never mind that a month ago the President released a plan to drill more in the Gulf to the heartbreak of liberals across the country.
Are You Kidding Me?
This is a horrible disaster and many lives are going to be ruined. Eleven lives are lost and their families devastated. It is important to keep that foremost in our thoughts.
But it is also important not to let the Republican oil slick take off under these circumstances. Not everything is Obama's fault. This crisis was man made not some horrible and destructive act of God. BP, the company that owns the oil but refuses to accept responsibility for the disaster, is the primary entity that deserves blame here. It is their oil, their rig run by their agent and it broke. It broke and killed eleven people. It broke and oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and BP does not know how to stop it. And worse of all, the livelihoods of those people whose industries are going to be destroyed and not going to get fully compensated by BP. In 1990, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law a bill capping liability for these type of disasters to 75 million dollars.
Second, unlike Katrina, nobody had any notice that this disaster was going to happen.. FEMA, under Browney, had at least a week to plan for Katrina. No plans were made. No troops were moved. Nothing was done beforehand. Nothing was done afterwards, for a while at least. This incident happened without notice. It was the Federal Government that looked for the missing persons for three days. It was the Federal Government that began Environmental Safeguards, with the help and manpower of local officials.
Knock It Off
Michael Browne has some nerve. Here was a man that was not qualified for the position he held, did nothing to help people in trouble and will forever have to live with that legacy. Here he is now, in the midst of a crisis, trying to salvage his reputation by trying to compare a man made corporate oil disaster that killed eleven people, to the man made disaster caused by ineptness that killed thousands. But to be fair to Browney, he did not cause the hurricane, and neither did Bush. They don't deserve the blame for the disaster, just the aftermath.
Here Obama does not deserve blame for the crisis, and should not get the blame for the aftermath as BP is the one who will have to pay. What really can the government do that is not already being done? For all the complaining conservatives do about government intervention, when it involves corporations paying for their mistakes, the first place they look is the government. Why blame a reckless corporation who is trying to avoid liability when you can point the finger at government and deflect attention away from your friends?
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