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Gulf oil spill is no Katrina as GOP contends
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
It should come as no surprise that the Republican right would find a way to blame Obama for the ongoing Deep Horizon Oil disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. The attempt by the national Republican right to directly connect the actual spill on Obama was not lost on the local following. The parroting began almost immediately, led off by a letter on these pages by Frank Aquila (Obama & BP: Perfect oil buddies) June 14. He scoured the Internet to find something that would support his agenda, which should be well known by now.  His letter was praised by followers, one calling his letter “beautiful” and another on the blog as “fabulous”. Really! They actually did.

No one would think that the party who, during the last election, was calling for “drill, baby, drill,” would not add to their mounting hypocrisy capital. We have seen more than enough examples of this phenomenon in almost everything put forward and passed by Obama. Passed only after roadblock after roadblock put up by the Republican right failed, programs like the “stimulus” and  “healthcare,” where those same members of the Republican right who fought and voted against these programs were only too quick to take credit for them. Remember “The Ribbon Cutters”?

Now the same hypocrisy appears over the “oil spill”. Sister Sarah, who made the term “drill, baby, drill” a favorite at campaign rallies all over the country, now claims she didn’t mean drilling offshore to be a part of it even though she is on record as saying just that. I suppose that would make her either astoundingly incompetent, a blatant liar or both. I would further say, without a doubt, both! Aquila likes to go around telling everyone who will listen, that Sister Sarah, as John McCain’s running mate, was originally his idea. Yes, he actually thinks that was a good idea. I assume he also supports everything that spills out of her mouth, including the latest oil drilling hypocrisy.

Aquila tries to connect Obama and Democrats to BP financially by quoting a web site’s numbers and that BP also spent $16 million on influential legislation as if it was one and the same. What he fails to pass on is that Democrats received 40% of BP donations. So who got the other 60%? The $16 million figure was what BP spent on lobbyists, not direct contributions to Democrats as Aquila would have you believe. It’s called the ‘Oil Lobby’, that isn’t something only BP does, every major oil corporation does the same, as does the tobacco industry, the dairy industry, etc.

The Obama response to the oil disaster will, and should, be debated but it can’t be compared with the Bush Katrina response as Aquila suggests, because unlike Katrina whose effects were known almost immediately, the oil spill is a disaster in the making and took weeks before its effects, with the exception of the loss of life, would be fully understood or comprehended. The oil didn’t just start spilling and suddenly it was hitting the wetlands and the beaches; that took time.

It didn’t, however, take much time for the hypocrisy from the right to begin and for the ‘drill, baby, drill’ folks to suddenly become environmentalists claiming an Obama/BP conspiracy. Thus the Aquila letter. These folks who, in the past, have clamored for smaller government and the end of government “corporate takeovers” suddenly wanted the government to take over BP control. Now Aquila and the Republican right want to know why government didn’t take over immediately. So much for “small government”. A cup of hypocrisy, anyone?

I wonder if Aquila thinks the $20 billion compensation guarantee and apology to the nation that Obama wrested from BP was the way “oil buddies” treat each other? I wonder if his hypocrisy would show if he would now support other Republicans who, after Obama wrested the $20B, suddenly apologized to BP for Obama using BP as a “permanent ATM card” as Joe Barton (R-Tx) did at the BP hearings, or Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) who worries BP would get “fleeced” by Obama, or John Boehner (R-OH), who said taxpayers should help bail out BP, or the entire Republican Study Committee and its caucus of over 100 conservative members of the Republican Party in the U.S House of Representatives who fully agree with Joe Barton? Or if he stands behind Carly Fiorina, California Senate candidate, who supports an expansion of oil drilling off the Santa Barbara coast and also disagrees with the president’s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf?

I believe Mr. Aquila will continue to drive down the Hypocrisy Highway without regard for speed limits or exit signs. I believe, as in the Republican right,   Aquila is incapable of embarrassment over his hypocrisy regardless of how many times he is called out for it.
Larry Baca
June 18, 2010