Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Obama’s Katrina?

Some are suggesting that the BP spill in the Gulf could end up being Obama’s Katrina. That’s possible, but I doubt it. My reasoning has to do with the differences between right and left, not with how Obama responds to the disaster. Here’s why. . .

There is little doubt that the BP oil spill in the Gulf is a total disaster. The spill was avoidable, its timing couldn’t have been worse for Obama -- having just proposed expanding drilling, and it is already the biggest environmental disaster the country has ever faced. Indeed, this spill, which now apparently can’t be stopped until at least August, is likely to put at least 2.3 million barrels of oil into the Gulf and will wipe out whole industries and ruin beaches all along the Gulf coast for years. The environmental and economic damage is staggering and, frankly, I am starting to suspect that BP will need to seek bankruptcy protection before this is over.

And Obama’s handling of this matter has been incompetent. He was slow to react, and has been more interested in pointing fingers than finding solutions. He has made repeated assertions that he’s in charge and keeps assuring us of quick fixes, but he’s done nothing to make things better. He’s also made huge public relations mistakes, like going golfing or going on vacation rather than visiting the Gulf. And he’s failed to get a point man on this, leaving his underlings to issue contradictory statements.

In fact, Obama’s handling has been so disastrous that the Democrats are getting nervous. The Democrats have tried hauling BP’s management (and others) into Congress as a diversion, but that didn’t work because people just wanted the thing fixed and they saw these hearings as little more than political theater.

Nancy Pelosi tried taking the preemptive step of blaming Bush, but that didn’t work either. Even if we all believed that Bush was evil, as the Democrats state reflexively, Obama has had two years to deliver us from Bush’s sins. So a failure at this point is on Obama, not Bush, especially since Obama has been unwilling to reform the problems that have now been exposed.

And now other things are coming out, like BP giving a ton of money to Obama’s campaign. And like evidence of the far-too-cozy relationship between Rahm Emanuel and BP's PR firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosne. Apparently, Stanley Greenberg is married to Democratic Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn), and Greenberg/DeLauro let Rahm live in the couple’s Capitol Hill townhouse in violation of congressional ethical guidelines. “Coincidentally,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee paid Greenberg’s firm $500,000 in 2006 and 2007 while Rahm lived in their townhouse and while Rahm “coincidentally” ran the DCCC. Whether there is a connection to BP is not known yet, but the mere fact that the MSM is looking at this is bad news for Obama.

Thus, we now have an unprecedented disaster, utter incompetence, and influence peddling. We even have Democratic newspapers like the Washington Post getting nervous with headlines like: “Obama Struggling To Show He’s In Control” and Congressional Quarterly describing Obama as “defensive, un-authoritative and equivocal, he came across as a beleaguered bureaucrat in damage control.” Bill Maher has even made jokes about Obama on this. And some have even used the words “Obama’s Katrina.”

But I don’t think this will ever become “Obama’s Katrina” because of the hypocrisy of the left. The left will attack people it doesn’t like for any reason. It will even make up reasons when it can’t find any real reasons. No fact is too significant to ignore, no lie is too obvious not to believe, and no amount of hate and anger is too much. But when leftists make the same mistakes, the left gets amazingly quiet. No error is too large to overlook, no justification is too fake to accept, no injury is too horrific to ignore, and no third party is too blameless to demonize.

If BP had happened under a Republican administration, there would be ten thousand journalists in the Gulf at the moment. We would have round-the-clock coverage of every single drop of oil, every closed business, and every protestor that the left could bus in. But it didn’t happen under a Republican, so the media is silent. Rather than rushing to the Gulf to show us "the human cost," we get stories about BP’s corporate management. Rather than attacking the President for his failures, we get Obama’s justifications and excuses fed to us without any critical examination.

Where is Greenpeace? Where is the Sierra Club? Where are any environmentalists? Where are the celebrities who flew to Alaska to wash off birds after Exxon Valdez? And where are the pictures of animals covered in oil? They don’t exist because the left and their fellow travelers who populate these groups don’t want them to exist. Dying animals is an inconvenient truth that must be avoided until a Republican fall guy can be arranged.

Before this spill can take on the political significance of a Katrina, there must be a concerted effort to make it into a huge political issue. And that is the forte of the left, not the right. For unlike the left, the right actually looks at issues on the merits. The right accepts the existence of accidents and it doesn’t automatically try to exploit these events. The left suffers no such limitations.

So unless this disaster gets big enough that the left itself turns on Obama, don’t expect this bigger-than-Katrina disaster to become anything like the politicized Katrina that Bush faced.

Of course, there is one caveat to this. While the Gulf spill may not become as politically poisonous as Katrina, it may be just one more nail in the coffin to those in the middle who thought that Obama at least offered a level of competence that Bush lacked. And if Obama spends his time trying to point fingers, the mushy middle will turn on him.

I guess we’ll see what happens.


LL said...

"But I don’t think this will ever become “Obama’s Katrina” because of the hypocrisy of the left. The left will attack people it doesn’t like for any reason. It will even make up reasons when it can’t find any real reasons. No fact is too significant to ignore, no lie is too obvious not to believe, and no amount of hate and anger is too much. But when leftists make the same mistakes, the left gets amazingly quiet. No error is too large to overlook, no justification is too fake to accept, no injury is too horrific to ignore, and no third party is too blameless to demonize."

You summarized it well.

StanH said...

Conservatives are realist, and understands “sh!t happens!” Liberals are collective sycophants who only respond for political expediency, or “what’s in it for me?” The hive is patiently waiting for a way to blame, Bush, free markets, etc. They will protect their messiah at all cost!

They are talking about a nuclear option to seal the leak. Apparently it’s been used and successfully. As I recall this was mentioned early on…keep a weather eye!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks LL. I call 'em like I see 'em and I can't help but notice that the left is silent about all the things they usually whine and protest about. In fact, they've been silent about a great many things during this administration that they used to consider crimes against humanity.

Seriously, if this had been anything other than a Democratic president, we would be hearing about marches on Washington, Congressional hearings intent on bringing down the administration, environmentalist protests everywhere, etc. Instead we get the sound of silence.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I think you're right, the difference is that conservatives by and large just want things done right, whereas leftists see the world only as (1) things they want handed out, (2) people they want punished for their success, and (3) things they can exploit to get 1 or 2.

And I think Obama's whole term has shown that the left has no principles. Obama has done almost everything Bush did which the left claimed was a crime of some sort or other, and yet they have never made a single complaint about him doing it.

BevfromNYC said...

You have to feel for them. They practically made him a god. Hey, even Newsweek's Evan Thomas said he was "sort of God". The Libs are having a religious crisis and I actually fear for Obama. I'm not trying to cute, I am dead serious. Because when they turn completely against him, it's going to get really scary.

For me personally, if this is what he does during a domestic crisis, what is he going to do if we have another 9/11?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, If they turn against him, I would expect it to be as ugly (or uglier) than their worst anti-Bush moments, only they'll take it a little more personally. I don't know if they will ever get to that point, but this next election could give us a hint.

As for another 9/11, I think that Obama is showing us in several ways how he will respond. I would say that almost before the literal dust has settled, he will send out his winged monkeys to tell us that we need to learn to respect Islam and not draw any connections between Islam and the unfortunate man-made disaster that somehow occurred. Then he'll go overseas and tell them that we learned our lessons and we're sorry. Then he goes golfing.

Then Pelosi will whine that people are being unfair in getting upset with him and that this is Bush's fault.

Finally, he'll drop a few bombs on Pakistan and tell us that he's taken care of it for us.

patti said...

when i first heard that statement about katrina, i literally rolled my eyes. as if. not that the spill isn't a huge disaster, because it is. but the left isn't anywhere near where those on middle ground or those on the right are. and the left runs media. simple as that, to me.

and as the spill continues, i keep thinking how easily it would have been diverted had leak been through a hole in the ground, and not under water. the environmentalists HATE when we talk of drilling on land, yet disasters of this sort would easily be avoided if we did.

~head banging on desk~

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, Now you're trying to bring logic into this discussion, what are you. . . some kind of crazy right-winger? LOL!

What bothers me about this is that the supervision by the government has fallen down so badly. Off shore drilling is safe, but you can't cut corners and that's what BP has done. BP will get what it deserves here and it's share price is reflecting that -- crashing. (But you're right, this would have been a lot easier to clean up if it had been in Alaska on land.)

But others share this blame. The government inspectors were supposed to catch things like that, but they didn't. And Obama has done nothing to fix them and apparently isn't interested in fixing it.

Moreover, the left has gone entirely absent on this and that's stunningly hypocritical. I think that the next time Greenpeace or the Sierra Club whines about something, we should say -- "where were you during the BP spill?" They've lost all credibility because they've shown themselves to be politically-focused rather than environmentally focused.

BevfromNYC said...

Lawhawk left SF just in time - This just in from San Fran Nan!


AndrewPrice said...

Bev, So you're saying that Pelosi's about to begin a modern inquisition and make the whole city Pelosicatholic? Scary thoughts. . .

BevfromNYC said...

Or maybe she's planning on retiring and joining a convent...or maybe this is just one more sign of the pending Apocolypse.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The end is near!!!!

MegaTroll said...

I agree. I don't see leftists ever going after Obama. They'll be happy to sweep this under the rug and wait for a Republican to attack.

AndrewPrice said...

Mega, Very true. I expect that the silence will end the moment they can find a way to excuse Obama and blame the Republicans.

Individualist said...

Hey Andrew

Not sure when you wrote this but waht is your take on Holder going down there to find out who is criminally negligible.

Seems to me the way to duck out of the embarrissment for the Big O is to have an indictment of someone anyone who is a big enough fish to get the media lapdogs salivating after Pavlov's bell.

My guess this won't work either but who knows.

AndrewPrice said...

Individualist, I wrote this on Sunday, before Holder made his announcement.

I think this is a diversion. They need to find a way to explain Obama's failures. So they want to give the sense that this wasn't just a matter of incompetence, but was actually a matter of criminality. Hence, you can't blame Obama for failing because he was struggling against "criminals."

Politically, this will work with the left. . . but then, they weren't going to blame Obama anyway. I don't think it will work with anyone else:

First, people want a fix right now, not a criminal probe. So people in the middle will not see this as productive. People on the right will see this as a witch hunt.

Secondly, as I said the other day about Sestak, people don't like it when politicians use the criminal justice system to score political points.

Third, they'll never get a conviction. As far as I can tell, BP bought cheap, but broke no rules. The problem was the rules and the lax inspection. BP apparently just took advantage of that.

If I had to guess, you'll hear all the media adopt the Democratic talking points this week about this being criminal conduct and "how can you blame Obama for someone else's criminal conduct?" Then a week before the election you'll hear about indictments.

But I don't think that will help the Democrats.

CrispyRice said...

Yeah, I'm loving the criminal probe. "Let's arrest everyone with the skills to solve the problem!" If I worked for BP, I'd walk away before I got in any more potential trouble. If Obama wants to handle it, let him. Grrrr.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, That's very typical for politicians, do the most harm as quickly as possible and then hold hearings later to deflect the blame.

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