In Which I Give Everybody from BP to Rand Paul to the GOP At Large Unmitigated Scorn

It occurs to me that Balloon Juice’s take on whether or not the anger at the Obama administration’s handling of the BP oil spill crisis is justified is fairly on point. There seems to be a certain lack of public consideration as to the factors at play – and what the Obama Administration can realistically do in the status quo of what is now a month-old spill.

(note: I’m not even pretending impartiality here. Seriously, fuck the lot of ’em.)

To summarize, what are our options here? British Petroleum is one of the few companies with the technology and engineering experience to be digging up oil wells at thousands of feet below the sea in the first place. This isn’t an easy task. Notably, no US military branch has any particular experience in this – no engineering corps directly or even indirectly under Obama’s command. As with the banking meltdown, we are reliant upon the same companies that caused the crisis in the first place to stop it – though, unlike Wall Street, British Petroleum is doing this at an honest loss, instead of somehow profiting off the sidelines.

In such a case, the administration’s hands are tied into doing exactly what it’s doing right now: working with the culprit to solve the crime. They’re reliant on BP engineers to enact solutions to the problem – and it’s a problem that even BP isn’t used to dealing with, so of course they’re going to fail repeatedly. They’re effectively running a post-hoc experiment on the remnants of the rig.

It’s not as if the Obama administration’s handling of the affair’s been a clean record. The Coast Guard’s been a bit too fucking buddy-buddy with BP officials. Threatening to arrest journalists for doing their jobs on getting a concrete number on the size of the spill is bullshit.

It’s a little upsetting to see them work so closely with the negligent assholes that just doomed off countless miles of shoreline and countless megatons of biomass. And that irritation, magnified by millions, is understandable on part of the media. But let’s also set the record straight: it used to be that regulations were tight enough to prevent this kind of stupidity.

Deepwater Horizon, post-incident

There’s this thing called an “acoustic failsafe.” Unless you’re a conservative redneck, you might’ve heard of it – there was a brief flurry, currently buried under the attack against the administration, regarding the little controversy on just who was it that was responsible for the fact that US shoreline regulations no longer require drillers to utilize the average $500,000 widget when drilling for oil. As it happens, the BP-Transoceanic-Halliburton rig that blew under a month ago and spilled millions of gallons of unrefined petro into our – our – waters is linked, by virtue of the third name, to a certain ex-vice president.

It just so happens to be the same ex-VP that pushed strongly for the deregulation of offshore oil exploitation during his term, and especially those regarding the supposedly too expensive failsafe mechanisms.

Dick Cheney: Utter Fuckhead

Hey, Dick:



At any rate, it’s worth pointing out the certain strangeness of pitch in this symphony of anger currently spewing at Obama nearly as rapidly as the life-killing oil splashing against our harbors. It’s not an unexpected pitch, but worth keeping an ear on: the hype around Obama’s supposed “Katrina” reflects absolutely nothing of the hard and difficult to digest realities of the situation, and everything to do with political opportunism.

What’s strange about it, though, is how utterly desperate the pitch is, not that the opportunism is occurring. The oil leaking is crimson-hued with evidence of Republican involvement in every step, from setup to outbreak to even the handling – we’re still shelling out drilling licenses without mandating better safety regulations, mainly because we can’t without legislative change (and partially because other drilling companies are complete and utter fuckwits like BP-Transoceanic-Halliburton and are in the habit of installing acoustic failsafes anyhow – hey, Libertarians, how’s about that fucking free market paradigm and its preventative mechanisms, eh?! All it takes is one asshole to fuck up!). So it makes sense that they’d seek a way to mitigate the fact that their hands are dripping black with tarry petro (and hued red with the blood of those that died in the accident) – what doesn’t make sense is the lack of legislative spearheading.

They’re attacking Obama, sure, and that’s by the book so far. But perhaps the book is a bit thin? It’s almost time for the midterm election, folks. And contrary to what is apparently popular opinion, Obama isn’t up for re-election this year. On the other hand, the sitting Democrats just won the health care fight, rammed through the financial reforms bill, and barely a day before I’m typing this put the first nail in the coffin for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Though the Democrats have been accused often – and by me – of being inept and useless fucking wimps, let’s not ignore the facts at the end of the day. They had three decisive victories in a row now – and even for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the blatantly homophobic Republican party has been unable to maintain their traditional and legendary party unity – a full five votes from them swung for the repeal.

Don’t expect much help from the Tea Party, folks. As Rand Paul idiotically demonstrated, the TP movement’s all steam, no substance – and as Scott Brown, of all people, demonstrates, the Republicans cannot expect party unity from Tea Party candidates.

Even if the Republicans win a decisive victory in November, it’ll definitely be a Pyrrhic one. Not that I expect them to know their history well enough to recognize the reference. But, hey, I’ve been surprised before…


~ by Gonzo Mehum on May 28, 2010.

One Response to “In Which I Give Everybody from BP to Rand Paul to the GOP At Large Unmitigated Scorn”

  1. That does seem to be the problem – everyone now is shouting about regulatory failure and blaming the current president, while conveniently forgetting which previous administrators were the ones that brought about and pushed for the deregulation beforehand…

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