Politics: Small Government – Big Oil Slick
The ridiculous demand for small government and more autonomy in states’ rights is best illustrated at times like these. This is the perfect opportunity for the Republican Party and Americans on the right wing to make a strong and convincing point. This is their chance to show all Americans, and in fact the world, that they truly have more than rhetoric in their real or imagined arsenals of power and influence, even where managing the massive oil slick is concerned. This is a huge chance for each of the bastions of ‘republican conservatism’ along the gulf coast to flex their muscles and to show the rest of us that they can handle things without government intervention.
“I don’t want to just see my president come down here and be here for a couple hours and then go back off to Chicago or go back off to Washington, D.C. I want him on the ground helping us work on the ground, managing through solutions, pushing people for answers.”
– Republican Senator George LeMieux (FL)
If I understand the Senator correctly, it makes a little bit of sense. He must be suggesting that the President, having already made three trips to the gulf coast, must not have anything else to do. Hm-m-m. That’s some serious small government to my way of thinking. Maybe he is suggesting that only the President of the United States, and not a United States Senator is capable of working on the ground, managing through solutions and pushing people for answers.
Where states rights are concerned, Senator LeMieux, on behalf of his constituency, has the right (just like the President) to question BP. Heck, he’s the former Deputy Attorney General of Florida, so he could also organize law suits or spearhead criminal charges against British Petroleum as well. But you don’t hear him spewing anything about that.
I suppose the “Drill Baby Drill” faction of his party might banish him or run another candidate in opposition to him if he did anything that might been seen as spotlighting the massive failures of corporate deregulation. If he mentioned the massive problems with the Republican version of the “Free Market System,” he would likely be publicly disgraced, given that the system has spawned so many corporate raiders. Very likely, the Senator does not want to cause Corporate America to be further scrutinized or to answer questions about the hell hole of corruption that it has become.
The President said during the healthcare debate: “Government should provide for citizens what they cannot provide for themselves.” No doubt the President still believes this. I expect that he will continue to monitor and manage efforts tied to the oil spill in the gulf as best he can. This is understanding, of course, that at this moment it does not appear that anyone on this planet has any idea how to fully stem this growing disaster.
When the nation hears the comments from the right-wingers about states’ rights, small government and an unfettered free market system, they must have certain really good examples in mind about how these things would work. In actual practice, I don’t see, nor am I aware of any really good examples of how they are managing or have managed such things.
Countless times in the last decade we have had hurricanes, floods, high unemployment and economic despair along the gulf coast. This is where I happen to live. In each and every instance, the states have individually gone running to the federal government for help. Every single time! It’s time for a reality check! Do they really want to shrink the government so that it is not there when they come calling? Do they think a couple of guys in a phone booth can manage the affairs of a nation of more than three hundred million people? Do they really want the same government safety net, but one that does not prohibit red states from establishing laws in support of ‘Bible-based’ discrimination, conservatism and profiteering?
Living in a town that is supported primarily by tourism, I understand the implications of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and the oil spill that is overtaking us. This is a demon invented by right-wing politics. I can still see John McCain and ole what’s her name, shouting “Drill Baby Drill” during the Presidential Campaign. Over the years there has been no substantial effort by Republican politicians to regulate the oil and gas industry. In fact, they have supported and spearheaded all measure of industrial deregulation over the past 30 years.
The result? To borrow a phrase from another well known American: “The chickens have come home to roost.” The implications are being felt not only along the gulf coast, or in Louisiana where the oil industry is so strongly relied upon and fully supported; but also as far away as Casper City, Wyoming, an oil town and past home to former VP Dick Cheney. The residents in Casper City are already questioning the future of the oil industry and how it will impact their livelihoods. Interestingly, both Dick and his daughter Liz have been in hiding for the entire duration of this event thus far.
This is a textbook example of states’ rights gone tragically wrong! This is to the immediate and ironic demise of other red states such as Alabama and Mississippi.
This horrific disaster was brought to you by, sponsored by, and presented by the small government, free market wisdom of Republican America. But don’t take my word for it; follow the money. They, the Republicans, will keep their supporters busy attending Tea Parties, worried about gay’s serving in the military or getting married (because the Bible supposedly says it is wrong). They will keep you focused on conservative family values in between apologizing for their sins against their god. All the while, they continue to busy themselves ignoring practices that put workers at risk , while making American consumers victims as they accept money from and succumb to influence by longstanding ruthless industry lobbyists. They have sold their souls. Now finally, as might have been expected, this might well be the final sad tribute to their demise.
Is the President going to do something about this? To quote ole what’s her name: “You bet cha”.
L. A. Walker