Saturday, June 12, 2010

The White House's Oily "If" Defense

The oil from the BP spill is not only washing up on the shores of the Gulf coast, it's also making its way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. While he seems, after nearly two months now, President Obama and his team are still clueless as to how to cutail the befoulment of our coast, he most certainly has developed a plan for his own protection.

President Obama has been in office for 18 months now, more than 1/3 of his elected term. Even with all his overblown rhetoric about "the buck stops here"; when the buck arrives, he seems reluctant to accept it and grasps for a way to blame it on the Republicans:
President Barack Obama said Friday that some members of Congress are being hypocritical when it comes to blaming the White House for its handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In an interview with POLITICO, the president said: “I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending.”
The president also implied that anti-big government types such as tea party activists were being hypocritical on the issue.

“Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much,” Obama said. “Some of the same people who are saying the president needs to show leadership and solve this problem are some of the same folks who, just a few months ago, were saying this guy is trying to engineer a takeover of our society through the federal government that is going to restrict our freedoms.”

The fact is that IF he had proposed money for technology to repond to a catastrphic spill, or tighter oversight with regard to the safety of offshore drilling on U.S. Government property (which is where this rig is, or was, located), it would have been well within the purview of the Government to do so. The fact is that he DIDN'T; it was never on his radar and it's disingenuous for him to retoactively blame his political opponants for a reaction that he feels they would have had toward a proposal that was never made.

BP, as is the case with all large corporations, has a lobbying team and a Political Action Committee. Over the past 20 years, who has been the largest recipient of their political donations? Was it George W. Bush? Dick Cheney? Was it even one of those "evil-in-the-back-pocket-of-big-oil-Republicans"? Actually, no; it was Barack Obama:
While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.

On top of that, the oil giant has spent millions each year on lobbying — including $15.9 million last year alone — as it has tried to influence energy policy.

During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

So, as Obama searches for an "ass to kick", perhaps that ass is as close as the nearest mirror....

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