BP engineers aren't the only folks working hard on the oil spill:
I think it’s actually right to say that the BP oil spill is something like Obama’s Katrina, but not in the sense in which most critics seem to mean it.Apparently not only can conservatism never be failed, but it's also perpetually self-serving.
It’s like Katrina in that many people's attitudes regarding the response to it reveal completely unreasonable expectations of government. The fact is, accidents (not to mention storms) happen. We can work to prepare for them, we can have various preventive rules and measures in place. We can build the capacity for response and recovery in advance. But these things happen, and sometimes they happen on a scale that is just too great to be easily addressed. It is totally unreasonable to expect the government to be able to easily address them—and the kind of government that would be capable of that is not the kind of government that we should want.
The difficulty with trying to spin this into a Katrina-esque blunder—or a treatise on the shortcomings of a large, central government—is that not all disasters are made equal nor do they all fall under the purview of the federal government. A hurricane is the type of disaster that the federal government is specifically tasked with handling. And routinely does. Perhaps we should use this as a guidepost: You know the president is having a bad day when Sean Penn is one of the first responders to a national disaster.
Contrary to the Katrina-spin, what has become painfully obvious over the last month is that there is no federal agency trained in capping deep water oil blowouts. In a sop to conservatives, oil companies have been left to regulate themselves. And in the event something goes wrong, well, there remains a $75 million cap on what BP stands to lose. Our bizarro free market fetish of socialzing the loss and privatizing the gain is even more glaring when ecosystems and wildlife habitats are part of the loss.
But because the messenger matters, this is a missed opportunity for Republicans. Just take a look at Sarah Palin's Facebook page:
Listening to the President, you get the impression he is continually surprised by the inability of various centralized government agencies to get more involved and help solve problems. His lack of executive experience might explain this because he is apparently unaware that it’s his job as a chief executive to make sure they do their jobs and help solve problems.It would seem Palin wants Obama to a) realize the federal government isn't reliable, while b) owning up to the fact that he lacks the management skill to make sure the government handles the crisis. In the parlance of our times, I'm left to respond: "lolwut?"
That Palin manages to extend her mismatch of political sloganeering ("freedom," "security," "buck passing") for 1,300 words while failing to provide any advice on how to solve the problem is the telling detail.
It's a wonder to read about disaster response protocols from a grifter who routinely peddles the idea that government is the enemy. Palin's incoherence is a testament to the Right's inability to capitalize on the country's anger. This isn't an emergency that falls neatly into the GOP's wheelhouse. Not when the environment is the victim, Big Oil is to blame and greater regulatory oversight an obvious response.