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In his statement following his weather-thwarted attempt to view the enormous oil slick growing in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama repeated his leading theme about the potential disaster: It's BP's fault and BP will pay the cost of the cleanup.
Repeating: It's BP's fault.
Did you hear me? It's BP's fault!
In case you're still unclear what the point is: It's not the federal government's fault.
Whose fault is it, you ask? It's BP's fault! How many times do I have to say it?
I suppose that following Hurricane Katrina, it makes sense that a federal government whose competence has certainly not increased with this administration might worry about the political impact of not being seen to react quickly and as effectively as possible to such a disaster -- especially one which is much more clearly the province of the federal government, unlike Hurricane Katrina.
But really, who was going to blame the administration for the spill or the oil slick it created?
For Obama to keep harping on BP, whom everybody already knows is responsible (in potential combination with their subcontractors and with likely financial support from insurance policies), strikes me as more than just allocation of guilt. Instead, I suspect they see it as a great opportunity to attack a big, bad oil company, to make people hate the industry even more, and to use that hatred as a way to mend fences with radical environmentalists who were upset with Obama's (mostly bogus) statement of a couple of weeks ago which superficially supported offshore drilling (while actually closing down more drilling than it opened.)
Remember, particularly with communists & fascists (people who have far more in common than they have in difference), rhetorical imagery is a key tool in their toolbox because controlling business requires generating public anger -- enough anger to make the public cut its own throat. When you see the most aggressive imagery by someone in the administration, you know their intent is political and it's not just part of doing their job.
And so, I was not surprised -- given that this administration does nothing without considering whose vote they can buy with their actions -- when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made the following remarkable statement to CNN: "Our job basically is to keep the boot on the neck of British Petroleum..."
Are you kidding me? A cabinet secretary talking about putting a "boot on the neck" of a corporation which isn't claiming not to be responsible for this problem and which seems to be doing everything it can to fix the problem and start cleaning the spill?
In fact, BP is already saying they will pay "all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs" as well as "legitimate and objectively verifiable" claims for other related losses.
To use a phrase Obama uses too often, let me be clear: I am not here to defend BP. As oil companies go, I think they're one of the worst because of their pandering to the "green" movement and their involvement in organizations which support the fleecing of the American public of hundreds of billions of dollars through cap-and-trade. As far as oil companies go, this couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. (Update: My friend Mike R. points out accurately that in terms of schadenfreude, it might have been better if it were Citgo having these problems...assuming, of course, that someone were having them.)
But the Obama Administration's violent rhetorical response against the company, especially at this time, is utterly inappropriate and shows a tremendous amount about how their minds really work.
It's all about demonizing an industry so they can regulate it, tax it, or use its unpopularity for their own purposes.
By the way, Obama, what about a "boot on the neck" of Iran, the Taliban, Yemeni terrorists? Or are they just misunderstood and in need of a hug, unlike companies which provide a product or service that Americans use in their daily lives? Yeah, people who give us gasoline and medicine are the real enemy. Riiiight.
Until the oil leak is plugged and the oil cleaned, and unless BP actually tries to fight its clear responsibilities, someone should tell Obama and Salazar to sit down and shut up regarding the blam e game.
It's beneath an American government to behave that way. But given Obama's demonization of the insurance companies to get Obamacare passed and the probably criminal timing of charges and e-mail leaks regarding Goldman Sachs just before the Democrats' push to pass new financial regulation law, I don't put anything past these people.
Truly, friends, we are witnessing American fascism. It's repugnant, dangerous, and unfortunately it's what America deserves for blindly electing a man whose background was uniformly replete with communist haters of this nation.