In Defense of the President?
June 21, 2010
I don’t agree with most of what this president is about, but I can’t find any reason to criticize him for the oil spill. I don’t feel particularly outraged against BP either. Big companies are always testing the outer limits of what is safe vs. how they can create more profits by going on the cheap. It happens.
I’m also not terribly outraged that Obama turned down help from the Dutch on day four of the disaster. The president was likely allowing BP try to solve the oil leak and didn’t think the international help was necessary. How could Obama have known how big of a mess the whole thing was going to be? Fine, don’t lift the Jones Act (or whatever it’s called) to protect union jobs that keeps other countries from helping us. Again, I don’t think this is the end all be all sign that this administration is to blame for the oil spill, the botched clean up and the prolonged delay in plugging the hole.
The outrage against Obama by both the left and my fellow right wingers smells bad. It just comes off as either political grandstanding, which is uncalled for or it sounds like Environmentalist doomsday fears.
I’m trying to picture in my mind what kind of world we would have to live in where the oil explosion and spill would have been prevented by the government or even by an oil business like BP and I don’t want to live in that world. No, I’m not talking about preventive measures that will be taken in the future because we learned something from this fiasco. I mean that for this to never happen would likely be a huge, bloated, expansion of government that, if implemented, would have prevented the spill from happening in the first place.
If we went to that universe where the oil spill didn’t happen, I guarantee you that something else would have happened; like a genetic super plague would have destroyed the world’s supply of corn. Or instead of an explosion hitting the oil derrick, the captain would have been drunk and sat on the power switch, or 19 Islamic Radicals would have crashed a plane into it causing the same eventual oil leak.
I guess I’m saying that accidents happen. Big accidents happen. More people are killed every day just by driving to work than were killed by the BP explosion and oil spill. Do you want to live in a world where a government would organize itself so that 30,000 oil derricks could never go wrong? Do you want to live in a world where the government was big enough to stop every possible car accident?
This is also why I don’t blame Bush for Katrina, and even hiring Brownie to do a poor job is no demonstration of abnormal incompetence by government. I likewise don’t blame Clinton for not getting Bin Laden and enabling 9/11 to happen. I can’t imagine a world where Clinton would be able to find second rate Muslim cult leaders and kill them or shut down airlines before they could kill people. We would practically require a government so big that it would have eyes everywhere, able to predict any possible scenario of harm, then dispatch a horde of government agents to stop any form of discomfort from ever attacking anyone at any time. That’s the standard I think people went after Obama, Bush and Clinton.
Don’t get me wrong, I have come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. Obama is the worst president of my lifetime and I agree with exactly zero of his policies and I hope he’s voted out in 2012. But I don’t expect much from government and I haven’t been disappointed with how little they’ve delivered. I don’t know how much oil would have been saved if McCain was president, but I don’t think the clean up would have gone much faster, or that we would have so many more pelicans on his watch.
It’s not Obama’s fault. There are plenty of areas to criticize Obama’s policies but this isn’t one of them.