I’m small people. I’m not mad about that.

Supercilious indignation erupted over a BP officials’s remark after a brief, 20-minutes brief, meeting with the president today. This major economic emergency, and the worst ecological ever disaster in the Gulf of Mexico degenerated further into a carnival of political exploitation and criticism that do nothing to plug the leak, clean up the environment and compensate the gulf workers and residents.

Twenty minutes? In 18 months President Barack Obama has solved none of the nation’s problems, while those his administration focused on fixing, like health care and banking reform, are political and financial disasters. Are we to believe substantial progress was made in that meeting? (The meeting lasted more than two hours, but the president left the gathering after about 20 minutes.)

The media was waiting for BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, and his statement referenced the “small people” the oil spill is hitting. The outrage is disingenuous, malicious and a needless distraction. I’m outraged about the spill, angry at the oil industries and the past and present government’s role in this, and about the long-term impact on the environment. 

I am also one of the small people of this nation. A hundred descriptive terms could be used to label us. Like millions, I take no umbrage over being one of the small people. The small people, like me and most of us, are the backbone of this country. I do take umbrage when the people in the government and oil business who need to be working together waste time and money on kum-by-ah soporifics. 

Obama’s speech Tuesday night showed neither leadership nor real solutions and government/business cooperation to solve the immediate problems. He spouted phrases evoking military, progressive and healing themes, then campaign-speeched a sales pitch for debt-busting green energy and cap-and-trade regulation. Both are risk-laden with burgeoning costs and questionable end results, though worthy of investigating for the future—after we address the combined present emergencies in the gulf, the national economy and unemployment, just to name a few. 

Dispatching 13,000 National Guard troops sounds good, but the skill specialties many of them possess are needed in Afghanistan and Iraq, or maybe in Arizona’s border zones. Doubtless, there are military personnel who would be helpful in the gulf, but unemployment is nearly 10 percent nationwide and putting thousands of them, many with equally useful skills, on BP, private enterprise and contract payrolls should have already taken place. That immediately reduces unemployment a blip, eases demand on the military, and adds real economic stimulation. Economically, thar’s gold in them thar spills!

UPDATE:

This piece by Louisiana native Jeff Crouere on Human Events, lists the outrages that people are angry about. The Deepwater Horizon spill may not be President Obama’s Katrina. It’s becoming his Waterloo. 

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About zingstrom

Journalist, free-lance writer, photographer and aviator.
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