I’m rarely prone to chicken-little type sky-is-falling hysteria, but these are the types of afternoons where you really feel like the world is self destructing. Between the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the deteriorating situation on the Korean peninsula, I’m just sorely disappointed that I do not have a massive amount of whiskey sitting at home. It’s no longer a matter of democrat vs. republican or conservative vs. liberal, it’s we the people that seem finally to be incapable of doing one damn simple thing. I’m almost ready to pull my rapidly thinning hair out in frustration, but I’d prefer to go home drinking to avoid the disaster.
The disaster of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is already well documented and discussed, but like we always do Americans are looking for a scapegoat and not a solution. As much as Republicans these days pray for a terrorist attack or natural disaster to slam President Obama on, the President deserves blame in this situation. When the Deepwater Horizon platform exploded and sunk, causing the oil spill to begin, BP convinced the federal government that they had everything completely under control. They most obviously did not because they viewed profits above safety. First and foremost the Obama administration believed the bullshit being fed to them by BP. Second, after a year and a half in office the Obama administration cannot continue to blame the Bush administration for the reprehensible condition of the Minerals Management Agency. The federal government whether controlled by either party plays lip service to safety. This is alll the more upsetting when you look at the continued reassurances of the safety of mining and offshore drilling by the industry and the government itself. Meanwhile the Democratic congress, despite passing several landmark pieces of legislation cannot seem to get out of its way in increasing the damage liability of BP.
While the Gulf Of Mexico turns into a terrifying cauldron of toxic sludge, republicans continue to shill for their oil barons and clumsily attempt to compare this to yet another Bush administration failure. Conservatives from coast to coast continue to giddily attempt to compare this as “Obama’s Katrina.” What the comparison fails to take into account is that there are not thousands of people stranded starving and dehydrating on top of that oil spill slick. While simultaneously trying to blame Obama for the slick, conservatives are also trying to get us to understand that the oil slick and spill are not a big deal at all. As his face slowly melted off, Britt Hume asked incredulously where the oil was? As if an oil plume hundreds of square miles in size doesn’t count so long as it doesn’t peek above the surface. Oil industry champions such as Sarah Palin now attempt to draw some kind of quid pro quo between big oil and President Obama over campaign contributions. The point remains that the oil spill in the gulf is a glaring reminder of how neither party is capable of solving the major problems of our time.
In addition to this, we seem quietly to be approaching the brink of war on the Korean peninsula. War in Korea would make the reverberations from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars look like jump rope in the park. Yet a tragedy of this level could finally force a true moment of national discussion on getting rid of our most pricey perk, our empire.