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Conservatives Should Not Be Bashers
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It would appear that recently I've become at odds with some of my fellow hubbers regarding the issue of the BP oil spill and the grilling of BP CEO Tony Hayward over serious questions that BP acted in a manner that was unsafe, and that they made decisions regarding the construction of the well that ultimately exploded that were in the interest of saving time and money.
Of which, might I add, there is clear evidence in support of these accusations.
A lot of people seem to think that Congress had no right to grill anyone. Especially when you take into consideration their own abysmal and questionable track record. For all we know, the book on unscrupulous activity was practically written by our very congressmen.
In a way, I actually agree somewhat with that point. There's a ton of bad stuff happening right now, and of course the democrat party are in charge of this fine mess we're in. They have been in charge long enough now that it can no longer be Bush's fault when things aren't going exactly well. So yes, watching Congress sitting there grilling BP about potential wrongdoing, complacency, or whatever, does cause me to raise my brow a bit, and consider that perhaps you could place them all on the other side of the table, and put them to a similar line of questioning by the American people. It does not mean that I won't praise them in this particular instance.
The issue here is about the incessant bashing that is suddenly beginning to get very loud, and getting louder since this whole BP oil spill issue came about, and I think it's beginning to cloud the issues. Doesn't it seem odd that we've reduced ourselves to our former counterparts during the Bush administration? Why on earth would we want to be just like them, and start citing every move the current democratic president makes as wrong or absurd. Is it possible that everything the democrats do are just wrong?
Granted, most of them are. Still...
If we didn't think it was productive, necessary, or fair when it was being done to President Bush, or the republican party, then why would we think it is anything different to do it to President Obama or the democrat party? I'd like to think that we conservatives are better than that. That we are beyond the "I know you are but what am I" childish antics. That we come from the shared idea that "They did it to us and now its our turn" is just plain dumb.
The issue of the BP oil spill is a terrible thing. We can all recognize that. Things have not been handled particularly well on any front. Our shores are being trashed with oil, our wildlife is suffocating in the stuff, and thousands of people and businesses are now either unemployed or will wind up closing shop. To be sure no one's really got a clear handle on this thing at all, and it's coming at a pretty high price.
Still, I think we need to be fair in our analysis over the issue. We have to be honest and fair about what the president is doing or isn't doing. Or even about what he can do. Look, President Obama has gotten it mostly wrong. I'm not giving the president a pass in any way. I think even a lot of the folks on the left would agree with that assessment as well. Even staunch democrats like James Carville have been very vociferous about the president's lack of action.Former president Carter, of all people, came out and said that President Obama has been ineffective.
But just like former President Bush didn't get it all wrong when it came to the Katrina disaster, President Obama hasn't gotten it all wrong either. We wanted folks to come at the Katrina issue fairly and honestly, rather than simply use it as just one more reason to call Bush a buffoon. That's exactly how we should view this situation as well. Fairly and honestly.
While I thought it was a silly comment coming from a president to say that he couldn't suck the oil through a straw, there's actually a heck of a lot of truth in that remark. He's not the Messiah. He's not Superman. It is a far more complex operation to stop the oil and get it cleaned up than anyone can probably truly understand.
One thing President Obama did do right by, in my opinion, is to go after the $20 billion fund that he politely encouraged BP to pony up to cover any claims, and despite the bashing I think he should be praised for this action. It was the right thing to do considering that BP acted irresponsibly and caused one of the greatest oil disasters in the United States to date. And, considering that part of this whole mess was caused, mostly in the interest of saving a few million dollars building the well that exploded, I'm not so sure that BP would have been very quick to write any checks without a little arm twisting.
And who would have paid the bill? You guessed it. Us. The American taxpayers, once again front and center with our wallets at the ready to bail yet another corporation out of one hell of a big mess that got created by bad behavior and a disregard for the common good.
This isn't about President Obama wanting to take over the oil industry or trying to exert extra control over a company. It's not about influencing or directing free markets—or killing capitalism for that matter. It's about looking BP sqaure in the eyes and telling them point blank, "It's your mess. This was your well. It blew up and it made a mess, and it's up to you to get it cleaned up."
As for Congress, we sent them to Washington to do our work. In the grilling of Tony Hayward that is exactly what they were doing. Our work. The work of the American people. They were questioning the CEO of a company who has caused a lot of damage to our beaches and wildlife, and sent American workers packing amidst one of the worst economic climates since the Great Depression era.
They had every right and every reason to question BP about what they were doing, or about what they were not doing that caused the death of 11 people and a disaster that we will feel the effects of for many years more once the last drop of oil is cleared away.
The thing is, we cannot call our elected leaders, even the democrats, lackards when they do nothing, and bullies when they do something. We cannot have it both ways.
The fact that I am a conservative republican should not mean that I must be blind to any successes the democrats, or President Obama may enjoy. It doesn't mean I have to point at every action as a dismal failure. It's as sickening as when the Obama supporters point to every action as a wonderful success.
Reality is key. Fairness is essential. Bashing is pointless. We are becoming the same people we found abhorrent who bashed Bush at every turn. Let's allow ourselves to give credit when credit is due.
The enemy on this issue is clearly Tony Hayward and BP. Not the president. And not the Congress.