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Conservatives Should Not Be Bashers

Updated on June 23, 2010

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.


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    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Partisan politics is a HUGE part of what enabled this mess we're in. And it's really gotten ugly. I think the walls between the two parties is so thick at present, that a nuclear bomb might not be able to penetrate it, and that bodes disaster in the grander scheme. Americans understand that there are separated ideologies. That's been the case since the beginning of parties and is the case now. But Americans also understand that there has to be a give and take as well. There has to be a willingness to compromise. There has to be an understanding that not everyone will get exactly what they want, and that NOT getting exactly what you want should not be the basis for tossing the entire idea out altogether.

      There was a cartoon, or a pic, or whatever it was I saw on Facebook the other day that sort of said in a nutshell what the state of American parties and politics is in. It was the depiction of a ballot with your affiliation choices being 1) republican 2) democrat or 3) pissed off.

      It's not so far from the truth and ALL politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle need to remind themselves of this. As far as the mid-terms go, what I really want to see is substantive debate and talk on the ISSUES and the SOLUTIONS. What I fear will go on is simply more finger pointing from both sides. The dems will shout out "I'm not Bush," and the repubs will shout out, "I'm not Obama," and nothing will get done as usual, and we'll have no more real substance about where a candidate stands on an issue than we ever did.

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      8 years ago

      Reading back through the hub and discussion is very interesting - partisan politics has enabled the mess we are in my opinion. We have allowed dog politicians to be empoered. Dog meaning blind folloers with blind loyalties - the loyalty being to those that empowered them - the puppeteers. The leis are shameful - the taxing witht he healthcare and the damage that does. The drilling maratoriom without thinking and before that the blind rush to no regulation for energy and derivatives which was really just a blind way for banks to make money without morality or ethics and look what happened. Then we have the bailout of GM - I could go on but I won't. I agree Springboard it isn't a bleak as some want to paint. There is change but it isn't the socialist what of the current poster boy for the manipulators it is true change the herd is finally realizing wtf is going on.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      I'm not sure that I see America through quite the same dismal lens as you, though I will admit freely and openly that electing a particular party in and of itself will not be THE saving factor for our country's woes. For that we need to hit the bottom—which we may have come close—and change the course of the collective ideology of the nation for good, sound, conservative principles and ideas. That means it will take the country as a whole to come together and unite the front. Not just a few guys with fancy buttons in a couple of really cool looking historic buildings in Washington.

      I think people are getting to a level of frustration we haven't seen in a very long time, and that to me marks the beginning of the end of an era.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Great article. I guess I have to be a bit contrary to popular opinions with my views. There is no Democratic voice after elections. All we get are "pro-business" people in government. It has been this way since 1776. Today it is a lock-in. Obama will do the bidding of those who are really in power. No matter what a politician will promise- the person sitting in that oval office will do the bidding of business. Our courts are corrupt because it is an ATM machine for judges and lawyers. The whole country is run by money. No surprise. But if anyone thinks that our paths will be eased by another election this is fallacy! All we have to vote for are republicans. There are no democrats. Say it backwards if it makes you feel better. Until the Golden Rule is upheld and promoted by these businesses and our government- we will be Satan's puppets. The America that we ALL hold dear and have such nostalgia for- has never existed. So- let's vote someone out and someone in. Let's continue the election process of hate, confusion, and misery equivalent to and worse than buying a used car. Thank you Springboard.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Absolutely. I think the American people are tired of finger pointing. If we go from blaming Bush to blaming Obama for all of our woes, it will get us nowhere. Like I keep on saying, I don't give a damn what you tell me the other guy isn't doing, or hasn't done, I want you to tell me what YOU are going to do to solve the issues and problems we face as a nation. Detail the actions rather than point out the inactions. Outline your PLAN rather than give me a rundown of the other guy's failures.

    • CornerStone51 profile image


      8 years ago from Mifflintown, PA

      Springboard...Bashing makes us part of the problem...not part of the solution. Very timely and very good hub.


    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Facts are to liberals what kryptonite is to Superman. :)

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 

      8 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Very well spoken. It does not help our cause to bash. We are typically more intelligent, and can therefore attack with facts to back us up. This makes our arguments much stronger. Thanks for writing.


    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      I just happen to think it clouds reason and good judgement. Thanks for stopping by. Always great to hear from you.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      I agree - bashing is not the answer. This is a terribly difficult situation all around. Thumbs up!

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      On the last note I would only note that democrats are not exempt from guilt. ALL politicians, IMO, have a tendency to rape the system. It's one thing I do think needs change because it ties right into spending, which I think is our biggest problem. We spend and spend, and spend some more and never look at cutting things that don't work or are just plain silly to do. We only look at creating new ways to spend. It's got to stop.

      As for the bill, I'll have to look it up. Can't say whether or not I support it without looking at it.

    • LRCBlogger profile image


      8 years ago

      Springboard, regarding the "fair elections now act" (campaign finance reform), you said you have not heard of it. I actually learned about the bill when I met with my Democratic member of congress. He is a co-sponsor and is the one who informed me of the bill. Strangely I don't see any Republicans favoring this bill (only 2 co-sponsors). I truly doubt that republicans want to see a real change in govt. I've come to the conclusion that the current elected body of republicans are desperately trying to keep the status quo.

      Not being able to secure massive amounts of campaign financing would mean that they can't take their trips to Hawaii as they did during the recent economic collapse. How terrible would it be if they had to have their convention in a Hotel conference room in DC instead of on a private resort in Hawaii. I feel for them, that would be so unfair.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      LRC, I can't really speak to the bill because I haven't read it (sorry, we conservatives actually do that — come on, I was good for at least one jab in fun, no? lol), but I'm surely going to look at it a bit closer because I definitely agree that there are some things that definitely can give rise to bias in elections and campaigns, which I feel is inappropriate. I've long believed it should be the best man who wins, not the richest, and he should be voted for on his merits. Not his money. Not his party affliliations.

      I may be dreaming the impossible dream, however.

      Prasetio, I always strive to be helpful. I'm glad that I can succeed some of the time. :)

      Sheri, President Obama's handling of the situation is not in dispute. He's been a tool, if I can use that word. My main aim was to keep the real blame in perspective. President Obama is the guy in charge of dealing with the mess after the fact. He is not the maker of the mess. Nor is the Congress. Nor are any of the democrats for that matter.

      James, I simply think it's important to set aside our political bias (we all have them, I'm no exception) and try and see the forest for the trees so sensible analysis can root out the bashing and partisanship which just makes coming up with real, effective solutions practically impossible, and which discounts potentially effective ideas and solutions on the basis of which party comes up with them.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      I certainly agree with you. Conservatives need to praise Liberals when they get it right. I'm not sure they got this one right, but some things they do and credit should be graciously given when it is due. This is a good Hub. Thanks!

    • SheriSapp profile image


      8 years ago from West Virginia

      very objective and informative. I agree that Hayward is not a good guy, honestly, he sickens me even more than BO and THAT is saying something. BP did need to pony up, but we all also understand that the president has been less than engaged on dealing with this problem.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I learn much from this hub. Good information my friend. Thank you very much. Peace :)

    • LRCBlogger profile image


      8 years ago

      Springboard you are pretty much dead on. I've said a number of times to the conservatives on hubpages that if Conservatives and Liberals and everyone inbetween put their positions and opinions aside for 1 minute, we could all work together in a way that benefits everyone. There is a bigger fundamental issue and that is this: The Govt is broken and heading down an unsustainable path. The big fix is to get conflict out of congress and it starts with campaign finance reform. If you remove money from politics, our elected officials are no longer indebted to corporate America. The same idiots in congress grilling BP are the same ones who gladly take their donations and look the other way while BP racks up a record 760 OSHA violations. It is these same elected officials that say spending is out of control but when you ask them what spending can be cut in their district, there is always none. They trade our taxpayer money for campaign money.

      Listen up CONSERVATIVES: There is a bill in congress called the "fair elections now act" that is a very good (not perfect but good) campaign finance reform bill. It has 142 Democratic co sponsors and not surprisingly to me, only 2 Republicans. Learn about this bill and encourage your Republican lawmakers to support it. If you really want to start fixing government, it starts by removing corporate and special interests money from the pockets of our lawmakers. It is 'we the people' not 'we the corporate special interest group'

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Zzron, I try to keep it real. lol

    • zzron profile image


      8 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Right on brother.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Hello, I'll not go as far as to classify the $20 billion fund decision a "great" decision, just that it was an appropriate decision considering the considerable cost that will ultimately wind up having to be paid in the years to come over this. If we didn't set aside the money now, what would happen if BP were to go belly up? Who would get the bill then? It was the right decision in this case.

      Tom, absolutely. Don't misread me. Pointing out differences is very different indeed. Bashing is what we're doing to Congress, for doing their jobs no less. I also DO feel we are being slightly unfair to the president over the entire oil spill issue. He DIDN'T act fast enough. He HASN'T done all he could have done—the Jones act is one example of that. But the reality, I think, is that NO ONE really knows exactly how you cap a well in such deep water at such pressures. This is a new puppy. And so it's going to take a little bit of time and a panel of minds to figure it all out.

      Joni, I say who cares to what extent? I mean, some guy comes along and drives his car through my house, I'm going to be right at the table making sure he pays up to fix everything. If you ask me, a responsible BP would have come right to the table on their own and said, "Here's what we are going to do." Instead they brought out their checkbook to make a bunch of commercials and try to save their brand.

      As for BO making it very hard to be fair on him? Do I know, and how. :) It's damn near painful.

      Sandy, and fast. Great to hear from you.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Drbj, exactly. At the very least we need to at least know what happened—and how we may be able to prevent future happenings.

      Outdoorsguy, it's just become SO partisan to me lately that I don't think one side can even SEE the other side anymore. It makes for bad business IMO. How can you possibly have two sides get anything done if they both have pouty faces and their arms folded and their backs to each other. We need leadership, not five-year-olds, and I think right now on BOTH sides that's what we have.

      Carolina, something we HAVE to do. Definitely.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Bashing doesn't go anywhere. We need to fix the problem. Nice hub.

    • Joni Douglas profile image

      Joni Douglas 

      8 years ago

      You wrote a fair hub and although I may disagree with Obama on how he has handled just about everything he has done, I try to remain fair. He makes hard though. :)

      As for the money? I believe that Obama pressured BP into setting up that fund, to what extent, I have no idea. But I agree it was necessary, it gave the American citizens a certain peace of mind that BP is holding themselves responsible. It is essential that the fund stays in 3rd party hands and that Congress never gets their fingers into pot.

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      While I agree bashing is not a good thing. I think that pointing out differences in policy is not bashing!!!!!

      I've heard more bashing from the left than conservatives.

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      I agree bashing is not a good thing.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Springboard, you wrote a super hub. Very true and perfect in its statements. That bashing is pathetic. Unless people, congress and the President doesn't put pressure on BP won't do anything. I always thought Mr Obama done a great job on that. Thank you for the pleasure of reading such perfect article as yours.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I agree with you... lets fix it and make sure they do better in the future !

    • outdoorsguy profile image


      8 years ago from Tenn

      gets out the club.. LOL. I agree with you that we need to keep a clear and open mind and not scream and yell at the other side. which is why Ive avoided posting anything so far. nothing productive can come out of it for the moment.

      Thanks for the Great hub. I voted up.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      8 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Springboard, for a clarifying, non-emotional look at what has become a very emotional issue - the BP oil spill. Will we ever know exactly what caused it and how much oil is spilling out daily? Will our shoreline, the ocean and our wild life ever fully recover?

      No one has these answers. We can only hope this sort of disaster never happens again. And that our leader who has made many a misstep so far and BP, find a way to solve this oily mess.


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