6/16/10

The Republicans: A misplaced outrage

The Republicans and the Libertarians continue on with their enthusiastically opportunistic bashing of Obama's demonizing of BP. To hear them go on, the Republican Party and the Libertarians are beacons of sanctimonious political morality. The Republicans in particular seem to have forgotten - if in fact they ever realized - why they no longer hold political power in this country. Here's a reminder: It isn't so much that We the People were enamored of Barack H. Obama; rather, we were fed up with the Republicans. Many of us still are. They should keep that in mind.

Fox News' Judge Napolitano is incensed over the manner in which Obama shook BP down for $20 billion. Well, he has something of a point; there is, after all that pesky little business of due process, and since when does an American president simply order the forfeiture of any private property? Then Rand Paul thinks the government should keep its nose out of BP's business. Glenn Beck ... well ... Beck continues to sniff the chalk dust while Obama's cronies drink the SEIU-purple Kool-Aid.

Obama has been doing a great job of demonizing BP. He has been hammering the company at every opportunity. And, he has been rather shrilly whining about Tea Partiers and others who want 'smaller government' getting just what they asked for with the Gulf oil spill, as though the company has been operating in an environment completely free of government oversight. BP stockholders have seen their holdings drop nearly 50% in value. Obama has done a good job of making sure the company takes a beating. In the process, he has deflected a good bit of anger from his administration's inept handling of the matter, over to BP. He has also deflected anger away from his administration's lack of competent enforcement of safety rules and regulations already in place.

Obama has blamed the Bush administration for the incompetence and duplicity and negligence in the Mineral Management Service, which was responsible for conducting and overseeing inspections on the oil rigs. Yet, the only person to have been fired in this whole mess is an Obama appointee, former MMS director Elizabeth Birnbaum.

Obama seems to think that "smaller" government is synonymous with "no" government. But most of us understand that with no government oversight, business is unlikely to demonstrate much in the way of moral responsibility. Mine safety, oil rig safety, other industrial safety, securities regulation - all are necessary based on the past poor behavior on the part of capitalist America. BP's sorry performance emphasizes the need for continued oversight. Then we have civil rights enforcement, which if left up to many county and state governments would put us back into a feudal system of economic and political serfdom. Without such oversight, we would sink back into the days when workers were nothing more than an expendable commodity; the days of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle". Does anyone really think Napolitano, Paul, and Beck really care about what Carl-Henric Svanberg so condescendingly referred to as "the small people"? I think they are perfectly willing to squeeze everything they can out of the American worker, just in a different way than Obama and his union cronies. There is little difference in the end between uncontrolled capitalist robber barons and socialists and unionists with their redistribution of wealth spending frenzies:

"Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which." - George Orwell's "Animal Farm"

Both extremes give poor service to We the People, our Constitution, and our nation.