Comparisons of the Obama administration’s slow response to the current crisis created by corporate greed in the Gulf of Mexico to the unelected Bush regime’s slow response to the crisis created by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005 perhaps have been inevitable, but they miss the point.
Yes, both catastrophes have happened in the Gulf of Mexico, but that’s just about where any valid comparison ends. And by making such clumsy comparisons, we risk the failure to prevent more massive oil spills in the future.
The Bush regime didn’t respond to Hurricane Katrina because the Bush regime didn’t give a flying fuck about a bunch of poor black people in Louisiana. Had the eye of Hurricane Katrina been headed for “President” George W. Bush’s Texas, there might actually have been a response.
What prevented the Obama administration from responding faster to British Petroleum’s disaster, however, is the vast amount of power that the mega-corporations have accrued over the past several decades.
Although Obama has claimed that his administration has been on top of BP from day one of its April 20 oil rig disaster, it seems fairly apparent to me that BP kept the Obama administration at bay for some time, and that only after it became glaringly apparent that BP didn’t have the oil leak — which now is being called the worst in U.S. history — under anything like control that the Obama administration finally stepped up to the plate, under increasing political pressure.
We can make all of the Hurricane Katrina comparisons that we want to, but unless and until we, the people, take back our power that we stupidly and slovenly ceded to the corporations, we can expect more catastrophes like BP’s.
We need to take a long, hard look at capitalism and ask ourselves whether some tasks are too important and/or too dangerous to leave to the profit-driven private sector.
The private sector can do everything better, the capitalist swine snort.
Bullshit. The profit-driven private sector keeps cutting corner after corner in order to continually increase profits until we have such things as the current catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico and the actual “death panels” that the for-profit wealth care — er, health care — industry established in order to deny people medical care in order to increase the insurance companies’ profits. (They get filthy rich only if they don’t give you the health care that they’re being paid to provide you when you need it. That’s a great fucking model for health care.) Global warming, too, is a result of corporate greed.
And speaking of global warming, to me the most alarming news today is that meteorologists predict that this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which begins next week, could be as bad as the 2005 season, which brought us Katrina.
Right about now is the perfect time for hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. Never claim that things couldn’t get any worse than they already are, because of course they always can.
But I digress…
I’m all for the private sector making and selling things like cars and iPads and television sets and telephones and clothing and computers and movies and porn. Hell, I’m even more or less OK with the private sector continuing to make and sell houses, although the housing debacle would make me want to put a lot more thought into that issue, since housing is a necessity and not a luxury.
But drilling big holes in the ocean to tap oil reserves and maintaining those big holes? Health care? Education? Ensuring an ample supply of clean drinking water?
These kinds of things are too big and/or too important to leave to money-grubbing weasels. They need to be left to the government. To introduce a profit — and thus a corner-cutting — motive into them is inviting disaster, as the crude-oil-coated creatures of the Gulf of Mexico — and those whose living depends upon the Gulf of Mexico — can attest.
And giving such huge tasks as offshore oil drilling entirely to corporations means that the government doesn’t have the equipment or the expertise to deal with any problems that might occur, because over time it’s the corporations that have taken over those tasks. Cutting out the stonewalling corporate middlemen also would mean that problems could be addressed immediately by the government, because the government wouldn’t have to coordinate its efforts with any profit-driven corporation.
And corporate-crony-loving Repugnicans have no right whatsofuckingever to criticize the Obama administration’s sluggish response to the BP debacle when the eight long nightmarish years of rule by the unelected, oily Bush regime created an awfully cushy environment for Big Oil.
The Bush crime family has had oily dealings in Texas and in Saudi Arabia, Dick Cheney’s oily Halliburton wanted and got its Vietraq War and apparently has played a significant part in the current BP disaster, and fuck, even Condoleezza “You Know She’s Lying When Her Lips Are Moving” Rice had had a fucking Chevron oil tanker named after her, for fuck’s sake.
I don’t believe in letting President Obama off the hook for shit that is his responsibility, but we can’t blame Obama for the long-standing socioeconomicopolitical environment that he not only inherited in January 2009, but that all of us have allowed.
We can’t even blame the unelected Bush regime entirely for what it allowed Hurricane Katrina to do to the Gulf Coast in 2005 — after all, we, the people, had just allowed the Bush regime to blatantly steal the White House in late 2000 with no serious opposition from us. We should have been rioting in the streets, should have taken up pitchforks and torches, but instead we sat on our asses, sipping our Slurpees, telling ourselves that this Bush guy couldn’t be that bad.
Had we acted as the patriotic citizens that we claim to be, “President” Bush, and thus Hurricane Katrina, might have been prevented.
And had we not just allowed our democracy to become a corporatocracy, we probably wouldn’t be witnessing the largest oil spill in U.S. history right now — while a savage hurricane season is just around the corner, ready to spread all of those millions of gallons of crude oil around even more quickly and more widely.
The BP oil spill should be our wake-up call and should teach us a great lesson.
And that lesson is not that we, the people, can continue to pin the blame for our national and global catastrophes on just one person, such as the president of the United States.
That lesson is that we, the people, get the kind of nation and the kind of world that we create and that we allow.
When, and if, we demand — really demand, exerting incredible political pressure — better of the powers that be, we will get better.
For right now, though, we are faced with millions of gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico while Hurricane Katrina’s sequel looms, and the only people we can blame for that is ourselves.