Is The BP Oil Spill Obama’s Katrina?

Posted by on May 2, 2010 in Politics | No Comments

The Washington Post today considers the politics (stupid as they are) of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the suddenly-ubiquitous media efforts to compare the Obama administration’s response to the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

Unlike Katrina, there has been no obvious failures of government, no images to compare to the Superdome or the flooded streets of St. Bernard Parish. And unlike Katrina, there is an easy target for blame in the current oil spill: the oil giant BP, which by law is the “responsible party” and must pay for all of the costs of the cleanup.

It is also the case that the oil rigs in the gulf today were not approved by Obama’s administration, and are the result of regulations and oversight that long predated Obama’s arrival at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave [….]

Officials point out that Coast Guard and Navy vessels were on the scene of the explosion almost immediately. By the time the scope of the possible devastation was clear, they say, more than 16 agencies were involved in helping the company and state officials try and plug the leak and confront the environmental damage.

Obama sent several Cabinet members and other top officials to the Gulf to coordinate the effort. His EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were supposed to attend Saturday’s White House Correspondent’s Association dinner but will stay in the gulf instead to attend to the incident.

Will it be enough?

Of course I won’t be enough. The Republicans will take any situation, facts be damned, to pound Obama. And the media, always happy to promote a narrative of conflict, will carry the water for them as they always do.

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