Sunday, June 6, 2010

Which Way Does the Right Wing Want It?

By Jon E. Easter

As I drove around running some errands yesterday evening before the IndyCar race, I tuned over to WIBC-FM. The program on the air was Saturday Open Phones with Larry Downes. I believe the program should be re-named Saturday Right Wing Phones with Larry Downes, but I digress.

In between my stop at the gas station and my drive to the convenience store for a gallon of milk, a caller on the program, whose name I cannot recall, actually said that President Obama should be getting out of the way and letting BP solve the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I almost ran off the road, into a ditch, and through the front door of the Mann Road Pantry.

Somehow, the right is trying to turn the oil spill onto the President and is now trying to make BP the hero. That just doesn't seem right, and the right wing cannot have it both ways.

You can't yell at President Obama for slowly responding to the oil spill and then say that he never should have responded in the first place. That's like having your cash for gold and keeping your gold while watching Glenn Beck, too. While I believe the President was slow to act in the beginning, I give him credit for what he has done in the interim. It now clearly appears that his administration is fully engaged in plugging the hole and cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico. Personally, I think if BP can't fix this thing soon, President Obama should force them out of the way and take the full responsibility for stopping the spill and send BP the bill for the whole mess.

One way or another, it must be stopped soon. It may already be too late to stop the oil from going around the tip of Florida, up the East Coast, and into the North Atlantic. This is about to become a global problem of the proportions we've never seen before as gallon after gallon and mile after mile of ocean becomes polluted. Animals, ecosystems, and ways of life will be forever damaged or changed.

But this right winger that called into that talk show on Saturday evening...would seem to be happy with letting the BP Executives, who have been SOOOO competent so far, run this thing until the entire world has oil and tar balls polluting its ecosystem. Well, on this accord, I'm happy to let big government stand up to big oil.

We need to stop this thing no matter what the costs, financially or politically, or else we will all lose!


kris said...

i think this is a catastrophe for the country, and politically for obama and bp. you praise obama for what he's done in the interim, but like w's slow katrina response, it's too little too late. to those whose homes were destroyed and to those who became bloated corpses, w's good intentions and photo op visits to the region couldn't save them.

had both of them been more aggressive early on, perhaps the situations might have turned out differently. at the very least, we couldn't say they did too little too late.

Sean Shepard said...

I'm going to agree with much of this sentiment Jon. Don't complain about the slow response on one hand and then complain that they shouldn't even be involved on the other.

While I absolutely believe that things like Katrina were up to the individual states and cities to deal with not the Federal Government (I don't live in a coastal community voluntarily and shouldn't be forced to subsidize losses incurred by those who voluntarily put themselves in harms way) I think it was just more evidence that government can't do everything or even do much of anything particularly well.

The BP situation is troublesome in that there are actually (your) government (at work)] legislated caps on their liability. That's ridiculous and quasi-corporatist.

But there is also a question as to whether or not if drilling restrictions on so much land or closer to shore didn't exist, would they need to be out drilling in mile deep waters? (to be fair - 4,000 rigs in the gulf and this isn't a common event)

If the department of energy that Carter created wasn't such a colossal failure ($20+ billion a year and 16,000+ employees) in its initial charter to "get us off of foreign oil" would things be different?

If there wasn't a (best guess) $68 a barrel military subsidy on the price of oil would other economically viable energy options have bubbled up (no pun intended) to the surface by now? How many more people would have electric cars by now if the full cost of a barrel of oil was carried by consumers in a free market instead of a mercantalist one?