Republicans seem to have no trouble finding a microphone to spew rhetoric into and yet another example of that appeared today in a CNBC.com article about President Obama privately (okay maybe not too privately, apparently) telling members of his team and BP officials to “Plug the damn hole!” with regards to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Missouri Republican Representative Roy Blunt said in a statement, “[the government's] lack of contingency planning for this kind of catastrophe should be a wake up call.” He went on with, “The American people expect better from the federal government.”
My problem here is simply that it is abundantly clear Republicans are trying desperately to make this disaster in the Gulf a parallel to that of hurricane Katrina and the sluggish response by then President Bush and his team of folks that has me wanting to use the term ‘retarded’ here because of the words actual definition (slow, hindered, etc). In reality, the differences between the two responses have been as clear as comparing night and day, but Republicans believe (and unfortunately, might be correct) that if they just keep pounding away at the microphones that are available everywhere to speak into they will eventually win over enough ears of the sheep that believe just about everything they read.
If the current President of the United States were a Republican and his cabinet were a full stock of ‘pubs as well, and the response to this grave problem in the gulf were exactly the same, Republican members of the House and Senate would be lauding the efforts as tremendous and superior of that of what transpired following Katrina – I have no doubt about that whatsoever. Yet, here we are, listening to ‘pubs labeling the entire effort as substandard – as if there is some precedent for this accident, some standard for attending to what has happened, here. Notice how you never hear new ideas or actions being proposed or taken by the ‘pubs, you only hear the need for “more” and “faster” – the easiest low-hanging press-ready fruit to pick on.
How much more can a government administration do in this instance than what has been done so far and what continues to happen? The government is about policy, money, military assets and influential pressure. They are not about drilling rigs and oil clean-up and the know-how to correct every problem any company might have on a public scale. (Isn’t this very argument that was used by Republicans AGAINST the government rescue and management of GM?) And what do we see aimed at the gulf right now? There’s money, ships, scientists and “experts”, regulation, policing and natural resource research at every turn, not to mention an incredible amount of pressure being placed on BP to correct the situation – who technically didn’t even cause the accident at all, but is the only company with the resources to handle the aftermath and who, in fact, is responsible for the mess since the oil coming out of the well drilled by Transocean is owned by BP. The response was pretty much immediate and was heightened at every turn of the process in accordance with new findings and new information that the government’s own resources were uncovering.
This is the kind of junk that often makes people just tune out politics and politicians and claim that the whole system is worthless. People don’t want to hear tit-for-tat, they want action and benefits. Actions will always speak louder than words, even if the media is super-penetrating and our eyes over-saturated with “news” and pundits railing about that which ails only their special interest. If a ‘pub really had a problem with the way things have unfolded they would simply ACT and raise Cain within the confines of the committees and cabinets that actually produce actions and benefits for the situation and for those being affected by this mess. So far we are seeing nothing … but we are hearing a lot.
Please, shut up and do your job as an elected official. We’ll all be better for it.