During my normal run of Sunday political talk shows, Fox News Sunday, NBC’s Meet the Press and ABCs This Week, Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar made their rounds of what can only be seen as PR damage control.
The basic line of questioning included what happened, why didn’t the numerous fail safes work and what are they going to do to fix this mess of oil damaging the Gulf of Mexico, which is not only a crucial ecological area … but an extremely important economic one as well. An oil spill who some believe will be larger and more damaging than the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
So an interesting question was raised from numerous sources as far as who is to blame… including the question being raised “Is the Gulf Oil Spill Obama’s Hurricane Katrina?”
Naturally… most pundits said no… I disagree.
Lets compare the two… Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster created by nature (we’ll leave the whole global warming argument out for now). Bush was extremely criticized (mostly incorrectly) for the governments lack of response to the situation. Lets keep in mind.. that for DAYS before the region was warned to get the hell out of dodge that a massive storm was headed their way.. and they didn’t do anything. Lets not forget that the Governor of Louisiana also took lil if no action other than to say “get out of dodge”. Then Katrina hit, and well so did the feces with the fan afterward. There were images of New Orleans completely under water because the levy didn’t hold, the people standing on roof tops and crowded up in the Super Dome and across the Louisiana State University campus.
Bush was essentially blamed for a delayed response to submit a rescue effort for people who refused to listen to the warnings. There was plenty of blame to go around, but how many lives could have been saved if they people had just listened?
A few years later, the Gulf Coast of Louisiana is at risk for yet another natural disaster, however, a man made disaster. Obama is not directly to blame for what happened here either. Those fingers should be pointed squarely at BP. They’re handling of the situation and evaluation of how bad it really was will be scrutinized for
generations to come. This incident will likely also slow or end the offshore drilling program. And it should while the leaders of that company and anyone who is responsible for making sure the multiple fail safes that were supposed to be in place and working should be tried and sent to jail for life. Its way too obvious that someone didn’t do their job.
Obama, and his Administration, should accept the same sort of blame that Bush had to endure post-Katrina. His lack of response. Obama should have not taken chances and engaged an all out effort to take care of this problem and not wait for a company to do so. Obama has to take a serious political hit for this as well. Fingers should be pointed and questions ask “You knew this was happening.. why didn’t you do more from the start?”
This just proves that government is largely ineffective. The government hasn’t learned anything from its own historical mistakes. Instead they keep repeating them. I am still waiting for a President to deliver on his promise of change that he so vigorously campaigned on.