Today, as BP engineers are apparently hoping for the best, but not expecting too much, in their numerous attempts to plug the massive oil leak that is daily imperiling our wildlife, salt water and god knows what else, some folks are blaming Obama for the seemingly languid response to the problem, even equating it with Bush’s woefully, and real, inept response to Katrina.
Peggy Noonan, in a recent Wall Street Journal column, has claimed that
I don’t see how the president’s position and popularity can survive the oil spill.
And she goes on to ask:
How could there not have been a plan? How could it all be so ad hoc, so inadequate, so embarrassing? We’re plugging it now with tires, mud and golf balls?
Great questions. But it’s BP’s oil rig, not the government’s. If an Exxon station’s gas pump line, the one that goes to the car, bursts (I’ve been at a station where this has happened), the local Exxon station will come in and, I would hope, reimburse the customer for his troubles (gas-drenched clothes, the extra time and inconveniences, etc.). The local county government or the state will not helicopter in and handle a matter that is the responsibility of a private entity.
We have eight years proof that Bush, and probably Clinton before him, likely paid no attention whatsoever to regulations of oil rigs on the seas, and the current rig in question has been in operation at least since 2002.
The disaster in the Gulf may well spell the political end of the president and his administration
And then the clear-eyed Sullivan’s reply:
Seriously? Her evidence for this? She claims the Democrats don’t love him. The latest poll of polls shows over 80 percent support. She claims that he is “weakened, polarizing and lacking broad public support.” Really? With unemployment at near record highs after a deep recession, Obama’s approval ratings are stuck just below 50 percent – and have been remarkably stable for months. At this point in his presidency, Obama is about five points more popular than Reagan, who was poised to drop to 37 percent approval by January of 1983. Clinton was lower than Obama in June 1994. In today’s polarized climate and awful economy, Obama is remarkably resilient. He has a favorable rating over 52 percent, and his unfavorable rating is at a six month low of 39 percent. This is Obama’s political end?
The premise of Noonan’s moronic column is that the federal government, especially the president, should be capable of ending an oil-pipe rupture owned and operated by private companies, using technology that only deep-sea oil companies deploy or understand. And if such a technical issue is not resolved by government immediately, it reveals paralyzing presidential weakness and the failure of an entire branch of political philosophy. Again: seriously? It’s Obama‘s fault that under Bush and Cheney, government regulation of oil exploration was so poor and corrupt, corner cutting appears to have been routine? And this, Peggy, is what governments do, even when run by crazy-ass liberals. Governments do not dig for oil; they merely regulate those who dig for oil. That the government failed to do so under the previous administration does not seem to me to be proof that this administration has failed.