What Are They Supposed To Do?

From the Balloon Juice comments:

what exactly is the Obama administration supposed to do about the oil spill?

How about we issue subpoenas against those responsible?
How about finding what that big party on the rig was about before the explosion?
How aboutNOT allowing BP to gather their own evidence in advance of them being a defendant in a future trial?
How about taking action against the oil thugs that held survivors in
captivity for 48 hours while their family members worried about them?
How about taking action against the fatcat bubbas who tried to get
residents to sign a “we won’t sue BP” waiver for a $5k payoff?

How about getting adminstration officials on TV who know what the hell they’re talking about?
How about doing away with the last 30 years of laissez-faire regulation for the oil industry?
How about Obama making the decision to start acting like Huey Long instead of Ghandi?

Emphasis mine.

Some of the other suggestions — nationalize the oil industry, curb-stomp the motherfuckers live on television, draft the entirety of everybody with as little expertise in the Gulf as knowing where it is into military service and basically invade the oil well — are pure Democratic Armageddon West Wing pornography. I think they should all happen tomorrow, but even I know, okay. These, though? Good plans.

Playing nice with BP in the hopes that they can actually fix this is fucked up in the extreme. Expecting major corporations to act like partners instead of the rapacious bastards they’ve always been is fucked up in the extreme. Do I think they want to cap the well and stop the spill? Hell yeah, I do, I mean, if the oil’s in the water they can’t sell it, and I don’t know about you, but in my neighborhood people are driving past the BP stations with middle fingers extended no matter how low the gas gauge gets. I believe I’d rather fill up at an Exxon station at the moment.

But do I believe they’re going to be grown-ups and fix all the damage the spilling is causing without being forced to do so? Oh hell no. They’re going to fight tooth and nail to avoid paying anybody anything, and they’ll just shrug when some 7th-generation fisherman talks about his entire world caving the fuck in, because hey, it’s not their job to make sure somebody’s life always stays the same. Will Transocean pay for every single thing that any of the families of the dead will ever need for the rest of their lives, the way those who lost their lives would have provided for their families? Can you honestly pretend to a naiveté great enough to say you think so? You know what they’ll say.Only so much we can do. A terrible thing happened, and … how are they supposed to fix everything?

I mean, how many times do we hear that in America now? People who build cars, mill steel, dig canals, build bridges … how many times do we hear comfortably situated loudmouth assholes talk about the post-industrial age and how we can’t be expected to take care of the people who built this country with their hands? My grandfather was nearly deaf from working on a factory line; his pension took care of him and when he died it took care of his wife, because for years they’d lived their lives in the factory’s shadow. He came home from work in blue coveralls, fingers black with grease, smelling like the inside of a smelter.

We had a contract, once, with people like that, and they fought and they worked like dogs because they knew the other end would be upheld. When people bitch and moan these days that no one under 30 has a work ethic anymore, that people don’t want to stay in the same job for 20 years and settle down anymore, that there’s no loyalty or honor, well, I don’t frankly see a whole lot of reason why anyone would give a shit that much. Speaking for my generation, we watched our parents’ generation get screwed out of everything their parents’ generation had built. We watched pension funds disappear, we watched people who’d given 29 years of their lives to a job fired just before they hit a higher pay grade, we watched politicians mouth about “retraining” for new-age jobs like a 56-year-old steelworker can turn around and get a comp-sci degree just ‘cuz. We watched it all get stripped away and we listened while the excuses were made.

Some of us — later Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin voters — nodded along as peoplewho would never miss a meal explained away the decimation of all our parents’ middle-class hopes and their dreams of seeing kids graduate from college by talking about fucking stock prices and describing their raping and pillaging as some kind of natural inevitability. What can you do? Well, there’s a fuckload of a lot you can do, Daddy Warbucks. Give up your paycheck, for one. What are you willing to do? That’s the real question. Ask it sometime in a meeting of one of these corporate assfucks. They’ll look at you like you slapped them in the face with a bag of nickels.

p>This is how they act. This is what they do. It’s not new, even, except: We used to have something to balance the scales. And this is why anti-government screamers just do not get here: There is no place else big enough to fix this. There is nowhere else for us to go. Who do you turn to?

I’ll leave discussions of capping and booming and dispersents to those who know about these things. I don’t want a big showy speech from Obama, particularly. AsTreme is reminding us, Bush gave a big showy speech in NOLA after it was wrecked, and that solved fuck-all. I don’t particularly feel the need for him to demonstrate control of the oil spill and its response so much as I feel the need for all our leaders to understand that we don’t come to them for shit like this because it’s easy or it’s nice or it’s pleasant or we want some bunting draped around some stuff or we have unrealistic expectations of government handouts or some such other Reaganite bullshit.

We come to them because they’re the only ones left who even still bother to pick up the phone. And some of them don’t even do that anymore.

So what are they supposed to do here, now, today? Start with that list up there. That’s the bare minimum. That’s the first day.



15 thoughts on “What Are They Supposed To Do?

  1. All that is fine and good, but the question was what is the government supposed to do about the giant oil leak at the bottom of the ocean, not how do we punish those responsible.

  2. That $5K waiver business doesn’t even rise to the level of insult. How long will $5K last someone whose business is gone?

  3. The “what can Obama do about the oil spill?” argument drives me loco. Among the many, many reasons to dislike the Kos community is their current attempts to spin this as something soooo far beyond the Obama administration’s control.
    Horseshit. When you have a numbnuts like Ken Salazar on the Sunday morning TV shows saying that BP needs to start stepping up to the plate or else the government’s going to get involved, it has the same effect as that lady in the grocery store who keeps mumbling “Stop that, Jason, or…” “Stop that, Jason, or…”
    Jason ain’t gonna stop.
    I want to see Obama come out to the Rose Garden and announce that the feds are taking over oil collection on the beaches and sending BP the bill. I want to see BP execs squawking two hours later that they weren’t given any warning about it, that’s it’s premature, blah blah blah. I want the moratoria on oil leases to be UPHELD and not given exceptions until B-Fuckin-P figures out how to plug that thing.
    “But how?” they cry. “If it was that simple…”
    To which the American people (and the government) should reply: Not our problem. Yours. Until you can take care of it, we’ll take care of ourselves.
    And fuck the Daily Kos apologists whose first knee-jerk reaction is to protect Obama’s reputation. If Bush had let things get to this state after a month, A MONTH, you Kossuckers would be crying for his balls. And rightfully so.

  4. I may be in a minority here, but I really do believe in the rule of law. The laws say that BP is responsible for that oil well and any damages it causes. They have the lease on that well, so for now it is legally their property.
    Beyond that, even though I am an engineer, I know that I have nothing to contribute to the technical job of stopping an oil well that is spewing oil 5000 feet under water. In fact, the only ones who do have anything to contribute are in the oil industry, and, as far as I know, BP has the only expertise in working on a well at that depth. The last thing I want to see is a government bureaucrat stepping in and throwing his weight around, while knowing nothing at all about the subject. Today’s reality is that either BP stops that oil, or it isn’t stopped.
    If there is a subject for discussion, it is why we permitted deep water off shore drilling without some strong expertise in the regulatory agencies, expertise about how to handle the inevitable blowout, and expertise about how to make sure, as near as is possible, that such a blowout wouldn’t occur. That is where Obama is on thin ice. He just recently announced that more such drilling would be permitted, but made zero provisions for obtaining the expertise in his regulatory agencies to make sure accidents like this would not happen, and if they still happened, to make sure a rapid, effective response was on hand.

  5. I just feel such complete despair about this. I am all out of Hope and Change.

  6. wow. are you ever an idiot
    Nah that would be you, corporate suck-up. Go find a BP exec to deep-throat.

  7. Oh, and fuck Kos and his merry band of apologists. If The President’s name were “Clinton” or “Kucinich”, that egotistical twit would be screaming for their blood.

  8. How about requiring capital punishment be avilable for corporate ‘persons’ in any state that allows it for actual ones? They increasingly have the rights of citizenship – why not the responsibilities as well?
    Take BP behind the barn and put a bullet in its head.

  9. At the very least, the Administration could demand that BP begin collecting the oil with a method that has worked in the past–supertankers–and hopefully prevent more oil from hitting our wetlands. They could also stop whining about how none of this has ever been done before, it’s hard plugging a leak at 5,000 feet, etc. Because I, for one, am tired of hearing it.
    If BP refuses, take away their federal contracts.
    Dear BP: FYYFF.

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