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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Aren't the Republicans making themselves look like idiots for attacking the Whitehouse over the disaster in the Gulf?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (36550points) May 26th, 2010

Shouldn’t the attacks be directed at the idiots at BP? Exactly how much experience does Obama have in working 5000 feet under the sea? BP drilled this well, why should we believe they aren’t responsible for all the damage? And the government should step in and take over the cleanup, and the costs? Exactly how much of the profits, after taxes of course, did BP offer to contribute as a donation to US taxpayers just to be nice guys. Give me a break.

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18 Answers

DrBill's avatar

The President is suppose to be a leader, not a watcher.

john65pennington's avatar

BP is directly responsible for the stoppage, cleanup and payments to anyone that has suffered from the oil spill. the Federal Law enacted in 1989, forbids the government for this liability. this law was passed by Congress, after the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the huge cost involved. BP may not know what its doing in this situation, but do you believe Obama and the Federal Government would fare any better? we are talking about a lot of money from you and i in the form of taxes. BP made the mess, let BP clean it and pay for it.

lynfromnm's avatar

President Obama has no experience doing much of anything, really, does he?

I don’t remember that being an argument during the Katrina disaster – was anyone cutting President Bush a break because he “had no experience” preventing a hurricane from damaging a city that refused to prepare for it?

I agree that BP should find a way to make restitution for the harm done. I don’t think Presidents have any control over disasters, although it could be argued that humans have more control over the potential for oil spills they we do over hurricanes. I think people want Mr. Obama to bring the best resources together to mitigate the oil spill damage and stop the leaks. I think people wanted Mr. Bush to bring the best resources together to mitigate the damage by Katrina.

Apparently it’s part of being President – you are blamed for everything that happens during your watch, whether it’s fair or not, whether your predecessor(s) left you jammed up or not. But Presidential candidates know that when they decide to run for the office. It’s the nature of the beast.

arpinum's avatar

Controversial Questions
Feel free to ask questions on controversial topics; all we require is that you don’t just do it purely for the sake of it.

Asking a question on a controversial topic because you genuinely believe in the question and want an answer is acceptable, whereas doing so solely because you want to spark off a touchy discussion is not.

btw, Bush didn’t know much about floods, but that didn’t stop the criticisms

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I would disagree with comparing this to Katrina. Bush set on his ass when he should have been getting the National Guard in immediately to assist in the rescue operation. They have the logistics to handle that type of problem. There aren’t any logistics involved here.

jrpowell's avatar

The Republicans are doing something.

Edit :: Keep in mind the most BP could be fined now is 75 million. They could pretty much cut a check for chump change and walk away. But they will keep on pretending to care so they can get future drilling contracts worth billions.

MissAusten's avatar

I think this article gives a good idea of the government’s response to the oil spill so far. They are doing a bit more than sitting by and watching. The key thing to remember is that the US gov’t is “forced to rely on BP and the private oil sector’s technical know-how, reports Reuters.” Basically, these big oil people have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to attempt to manage the spill. So far they are failing spectacularly, but it’s unlikely a government takeover of the clean-up would fare any better.

I also totally agree with @Adirondackwannabe about the difference between the oil spill and Katrina. The response to Katrina was inexcusable. Obama might win points for ballsiness if he were to order BP to defer to the government, but then he’d have to take responsibility for the cost (and failure) of attempts to stop the oil leak. Instead, he (and the rest of the government) really has no choice but to let BP solve the problem. I’d rather see that than see someone who won’t admit he or she isn’t capable of the job at hand, then creates more problems. Kind of like what would happen if Sarah Palin had actually been VP or, God forbid, President.

Like always, the government will respond by changing legislation just in case the same thing happens again. It would be quite refreshing to see changes being made before this kind of disaster instead of after, but that seems to be too much to hope for.

Cruiser's avatar

Somebody has to take the White House to task over this. I said this yesterday that this is not a new problem but for far too long the fox has been ruling the hen house and chnages have to be made. The problem is what is being proposed it the biggest mound of hubris I have seen in years. One, the WH is proposing raising the cap on liabilities which amounts to not even a slap on the wrist change over before….

“raise the statutory expenditure limitation for the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund from $1 billion to $1.5 billion and the cap on natural resource damage assessments and claims from $500 million to $750 million.”

and now this from Salazar at the Dept of Interior…

“WASHINGTON, DC – As part of an ongoing agenda to change the way the Department of the Interior does business, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced a set of reforms that will provide federal inspectors more tools, more resources, more independence, and greater authority to enforce laws and regulations that apply to oil and gas companies operating on the Outer Continental Shelf.”

“Salazar has also enlisted the National Academy of Engineering to provide a set of fresh eyes on the issues surrounding the Deepwater Horizon incident and an independent, science-based understanding of what happened.”

Yes…more slap on the wrist penalties and a fresh set of eyes is just what we need right now thank you very little Mr. Salazar!!

Response moderated
arpinum's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe “didn’t know much about floods” different meaning if you learn to read good. Also, there is a bit of a logistical problem in cleaning the oil.

JLeslie's avatar

There are plenty of Democrats speaking out, unhappy with how the president is handeling the oil spill in the Gulf; James Carville for one. It seems to me the president should be talking to some of the very experienced oil people we have to develop a plan. I see no reason why our federal governemnt and BP can’t work in concert together to develop a solution. Maybe BP is consulting with not only people inside of their company, but also other people in the industry? I hope so. It seems that any experts in the field who have an idea should be getting their ideas heard by the white house. But, I wonder if any of the experts work for compeitiors they are reluctant to help, or unable to for non-compete clauses? Seems like there is something not maing sense with the situation, and might come down to loyalities and money, rather than focusing on the greater good. Not sure, just my theory.

Cruiser's avatar

@JLeslie I have heard that I believe both BP and the Government is consulting with anyone and everyone about this event. I read there is a group think approach where the best and the brightest minds “outside” the oil industry have been brought together to see if they can engineer an alternate solution.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cruiser Good. Then I guess maybe they are working as fast as they can? I hope so.

tinyfaery's avatar

No more than usual.

Dr_C's avatar

@john65pennington makes a valid point concerning the law that governs the cleanup of this mess. However as was also stated in the thread there is a Democratic initiative to raise the liability cap from 75 million for BP which Republicans are consistently blocking.

Don’t forget that this is not the first time that this has occurred with BP. The Exxon Valdez fiasco involved a pipeline and maintenance facilities owned by a consortium including Exxon, Alyeska and the majority owner (49%) BP. They also were the ones in charge of that cleanup and botched it due to not having the equipment and materials on hand to take care of the potential consequences of their business endeavors. (BP btw also employed Todd Palin for 18 years).

The worst part about this is how it came about so easily. I think we should place 90% of the blame and cost on BP and the rest (as well as bring criminal charges) against the people that facilitated this. Namely Dick Cheney who’s relationship with Haliburton (the company that was in charge of the cement seal on this rig) continued during his term as VP, received 64 million dollars as a “contribution” from his Oil friends, not to mention both he and Bush are former Oil executives… oh and let’s not forget, they repealed the legal safeguards requiring specific safety measures and oversight for the oil industry.

This is not the current administration’s fault but it is it’s problem. I agree that if BP continues to screw the pooch on this they should at least bring in the Army Corps of engineers to try and help. They should also hold BP financially accountable for ALL of the fallout from this spill..

The thing that makes Republicans look like idiots on this issue (If I may go back to the original question) is that they are “condeming” big oil but going out of their way to defend them! They keep talking about “small government” and “state and local governments taking charge” and if we remember the financial reform debate supported the free market in which corporations were unregulated and allowed to fail without government meddling.

Meanwhile, alleged free market state’s rights small government southern Republican politicians continue to demand federal help and socialized federal money—redistributed wealth from Pennsylvania and Illinois and New York and Massachusetts with all of its bleeding heart tree-hugging environmental wacko liberals.

This kind of blatant hypocrisy really pisses me off.

/end rant

Dr_C's avatar

This article sheds a little more light on the hypocrisy and the hilarity that is Republican politics on this issue.

mattbrowne's avatar

That’s democracy. The opposition has every right to criticize the government, for example when they are not happy about the quality of their crisis management.

However, we should note that many Republicans embrace the “drill baby drill” mantra while Democrats promote energy efficiency and green technologies.

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