Barack Obama accused George W. Bush of ”unconscionable ineptitude” in failing to respond quickly and effectively to Hurricane Katrina. Yet his administration shamelessly excuses itself of any responsibility in waiting eight days before beginning to respond in any meaningful way to the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
As usual, Obama can rely on his obsequious defenders in the liberal ‘lamestream’ media to help him obscure the truth. Time Magazine’s Joe Klein, for example, says that the oil spill was largely the fault of:
the Bush Administration’s pro-oil disdain for environmental regulation, starring Dick Cheney
However, The New York Times to its credit displayed a rare departure from its pro-Obama orthodoxy.
The Times actually criticized the current administration for its slow response to the oil spill, in an editorial last weekend:
There are many avenues to pursue. Here are two: the oil company’s response, and Mr. Obama’s. The company, BP, seems to have been slow to ask for help, and, on Friday, both federal and state officials accused it of not moving aggressively or swiftly enough. Yet the administration should not have waited, and should have intervened much more quickly on its own initiative.
A White House as politically attuned as this one should have been conscious of two obvious historical lessons. One was the Exxon Valdez, where a late and lame response by both industry and the federal government all but destroyed one of the country’s richest fishing grounds and ended up costing billions of dollars. The other was President George W. Bush’s hapless response to Hurricane Katrina.
Now we have another disaster in more or less the same neck of the woods, and it takes the administration more than a week to really get moving.
To add insult to injury, the Times pointed out in a separate article that Obama was fiddling around with celebrities at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner while ordinary Americans were losing their livelihood and wildlife was dying from an oil spill that the federal government was doing nothing to help contain:
Before it was announced that he would visit the Gulf Coast, Mr. Obama’s weekend plans had already raised the eyebrows of some administration critics. He is scheduled to attend the high-wattage, celebrity-studded White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night…
For Mr. Obama, the potential political fallout “is going to be aggravated by the fact that the president traditionally gives a humorous speech,” said Martha Kumar, a political science professor at Towson University. “There you are in Washington with celebrities and the media while wildlife and fishermen are doused in oil? That’s not going to do much for the White House or for the press, for that matter.”
To paraphrase the President, the Obama administration has shown “unconscionable ineptitude” in it slow response to the Gulf oil spill disaster. What goes around comes around. President Obama should be held to the same standard of effective federal government disaster intervention as candidate Obama held the previous administration.