Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency’s culture of corruption. He permitted it to rubber-stamp dangerous drilling operations by BP – a firm with the worst safety record of any oil company – with virtually no environmental safeguards, using industry-friendly regulations drafted during the Bush years. He calibrated his response to the Gulf spill based on flawed and misleading estimates from BP – and then deployed his top aides to lowball the flow rate at a laughable 5,000 barrels a day, long after the best science made clear this catastrophe would eclipse the Exxon Valdez.
Go on and read The Spill, The Scandal and the President. I’ll wait.
We won’t know the extent of the devastation of the Gulf for decades. This deliberate, calculated disaster of a event- brought about by greedy mis-management on the part of BP and a government unable to govern- will forever change life as we know it in this country. The Gulf coast will economically ruined- and it wasn’t too healthy to start with. The damage to the environment means that we are the last generation to be alive at the same time as the Gulf, because between the oil and the chemicals BP used to hide- not capture- the spill, the food chain is robbed of oxygen, and will gradually die.
Obama let this happen. He was elected solely to change the status quo, and while nobody sane would actually believe he’d have much effect, at least we were promised competency, after eight years of dimwitted buffoonery, backslapping and “bidness”. Well Obama rode into town and changed exactly…nothing. He kept in place those with financial ties to the industries they were charged with regulating, he dithered when confronted with the crisis, and seems completely incapable of doing what needs to be done- end all deep water drilling now, ban future drilling, and basically telling the oil industry and its fan boys in Congress enough is enough, you’ve had a good long unregulated run, but it stops here.
Nope. Instead he has lied to the world about the extent of the spill, allowed BP to use risky dispersant banned elsewhere in the world, and sat helplessly as BP ran the show. When George Bush used the destruction of Katrina to shovel gimmies to his friends in the GOP, we all expected that. And as horrible as the damage to New Orleans was, it was contained. One city. A vital, wonderful city, true, but one city. Obama has potentially altered the nature of our planet, at least in the short term (that term ending as soon as our destructive ass is gone from the earth), and for that, he, and his entire collection of political thugs and lying goons should be forced from office. The problem is, everyone waiting in line is just as useless as he, so who do you replace him with?
The Tea Party and GOP objection to Obama can be summed up as an over-reaction to change. They see Obama as a threat to their way of life, forever altering what America means.
The rest of us, those who live in the real world, blame him for the opposite- for not doing enough. End the wars. End Gitmo. End DADT. Medicare for all. Triple the budgets of the regulatory agencies that Bush willfully, gleefully gutted.
Instead he, or the shadowy powers behind the curtain that run the show, have done nothing to address anything but their own short-sighted needs. They won’t suffer for it- we will. We pay for it. We eat the rotten food, pay the rotten bailouts, and cope with the rotten economy. They don’t.
But even more frightening than that is the realization that we really, really don’t have any idea what we’ve unleashed in the gulf- not environmentally, not economically, none of it.
That should scare the shit out of you.