Morning Bell: Obama and the Oil Spill
Rory Cooper /
The infamous words “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste” were first uttered by President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel last year, when he laid bare his intention to use the credit crisis to reorder the U.S. economy. This sentiment now seems to animate the President’s own intention to introduce economy-crushing climate legislation on the back of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, while somehow blaming Republicans and, yes, the Bush Administration for what may be the worst environmental disaster in the history of our nation.
Meanwhile nearly 48 miles out in the Gulf, and a mile below the surface, oil continues to gush out the sea floor every second, threatening the environment and the economy of the southeast United States. Hope is fading that the oil flow can be stopped in any short order. Roughly 1,200 miles away, confusion over command and control continues to build in Washington, where the White House debates cancelling official trips to Asia, but not unofficial trips to Chicago.
What the nation needs is better organization of the effort to cap the spewing well and aggressive action on the clean up front. But yesterday, the President didn’t go on the offensive against the gushing oil; he went after Republicans.
Obama suggested that the GOP’s deregulatory attitudes were the core problem faced in the Gulf. Obama said congressional Republicans have a “sincere and fundamental belief” that government has “little or no role to play in help this nation meet our collective challenges…If you’re a Wall Street banker or insurance company or oil company, you pretty much get to play by your own rules, regardless of the consequences to everyone else.” (more…)