Wednesday, May 26, 2010

James Carville on Obama's BP oil spill debacle: It's the environment, stupid!

So it appears that president Obama has come under fire for his response to BP, in regards to the thirty days plus and counting oil spill in the Gulf. Not exactly as insignificant and easy to clean up as a Jheri curl stain on the back of your couch. But environmentalist, bloggers, and everyday regular citizens alike are upset.

Sheryl Contee aka"Jill Tubman" from the blog Jack & Jill Politics wrote a pretty scathing piece critiquing the response of the president. Her piece features the below video, and commentary of Democratic political strategist, and Louisiana native James Carville.

Here's an excerpt:
I’ve held my tongue about the oil spill in part because I wanted to support the president I admire so much and in part because it’s like a rolling nightmare everyday knowing that oil is just gushing without stop into our ocean. Lives have been lost already — human ones. And every oil-covered bird or turtle breaks my heart. The true toll on animals and plants — including some we like to eat — is yet to come. For the people of the gulf region, lives and livelihoods are being destroyed at an unknown scope because BP can’t — or won’t — stop the oil.

I agree with James Carville and share his frustration. Check out the video above. I want to knock loudly on the White House’s door and ask — is anyone home??? Where is the focus — if clearly not on this? I’m guessing it’s been somewhere between moving Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in Congress (YAY!) and preventing all-out war between South and North Korea (also very important).

Still, why was there not a Haiti-like all-in dedicated effort on the part of the administration. I get that they wanted the focus to be on BP and make it about their screwup and their need to clean it up. But it’s not that simple now, is it? It’s clear that there was inadequate enforcement by the Mineral Management Service, which loosened up under the Bush Administration and apparently wasn’t tightened up enough under Obama’s guy in charge of that: Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. Um, exactly why hasn’t that guy been fired yet, btw?

If there was ever proof that President Obama is no socialist and far from being a communist, well Tea Party, you can rest easy. Because Obama has clearly allowed himself to be soothed by BP’s promises and lies about how much oil was actually coming up and how they were going to be a good corporate citizen and pay for everything — that he dropped the ball. He blew it. When Bobby Jindal looks like a hero, you know things have gotten off track. Rather than taking a tough tone re: BP after the first week or even for pete’s sake — the SECOND WEEK and using this as an opportunity to talk yet again about the need for a green economy, we heard the same kind of soothing, baby talk nonsense that I assume the administration was rolling downhill from BP. (Read More)
Her piece was met with much criticism from more than a few of her regular readers. To me, this was very disappointing. I mean here was an honest opinion from an Obama supporter being met with vitriolic commentary that questioned her level of education and intellect. I believe her analysis to be valid, and like her, I too agree with James Carville.

Of course I realize that the president is unable to jump into a phone booth whip out his cape and fly to the bottom of the Gulf and plug the source of the leak. However, I don't think that many Americans have that expectation of him. Americans are simple minded people; for the most part we're satisfied with tough talk to pacify our frustrations; tough talk we have yet to see from my man Barry-O.

But as "Jill" went on to point out or suggest: Could it be that Obama's slow reaction is tied to his recent position - of which he has since backtracked - of being open to drilling off the coast of the United States? I think she asks a significant question. Maybe his recent stance combined with this mishap, has provided itself to be the proverbial foot in the mouth, and a source of embarrassment. Further, with a closer look at the ties between Obama, and BP, it's hard to ignore just what "Jill" is saying over at her site:
BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.

On top of that, the oil giant has spent millions each year on lobbying — including $15.9 million last year alone — as it has tried to influence energy policy.

During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records. (Source: Politico)
Of course the White House has denied Obama ever taking any money from Big Oil. But with BP being the fourth largest company in the world, and as addicted we are to oil, I find this hard to believe. Barack Obama is no different than all politicians who are beholden to corporate interests. But don't tell that to the countless number of Obama supporters who in my opinion suffer from battered wife syndrome. Many of them are so in love with his O-ness, that he has become a pure God-like figure who can do no wrong.

Let them tell it, none of his campaign donations came from Wall Street or from any other corporate interests in spite of the thousands of lobbyists on K Street. But if you read what my man Kris Broughton has to say about it over on Brown Man Thinking Hard, you just might have a different opinion, or change of heart. At the end of the day, Democrats are no different than Republicans when it comes to how they're influenced by corporate special interests. And much of this talk gives needed amunition to Republicans; but whose at fault for that?

And to be honest, this is why campaign funding reform is necessary in an effort of protecting the interests of "we the people." I'm not saying that Barack Obama is on the take. However, I am saying don't be foolish so as to believe that he's above doing so; or having his hands tied by said corporate interests who fund campaigns. Oh well, Obama sent troops to the southern border; maybe that's gonna help stop the oil spill. After all, it had to be an "illegal alien" who stole a job from an American who is at fault for this catastrophe in the Gulf, right?


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