Thursday, June 10, 2010

Required Reading: "The Spill, The Scandal and the President"

Today's required reading is Tim Dickinson's "The Spill, The Scandal and the President" in RollingStone magazine. Dickinson takes the Obama administration to task for its failures in connection with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at some length and in great detail. What is more important is that Dickinson gets it right.

Right wing pundits have been looking for ways to use this story to damage Obama politically, calling it "Obama's Katrina." There is a lot to criticize about Obama's role in the BP disaster, but almost nothing for Republicans to exploit. You see, the thing that Obama did wrong, the moment where he made his greatest mistake, was when he failed to go after Republican-era policies that set the stage for this disaster. Republicans can't really go after Obama on this issue, because if they do it only exposes how corrupt and irresponsible Republicans were in the Bush-Cheney years.

Barack Obama's great, fatal mistake was that he didn't move fast enough or do nearly enough to reverse the corruption and incompetence of the Bush regime. Republicans are going to have a hard time exploiting that. After all, what are they supposed to say? Are they supposed to criticize Obama for not prosecuting enough Republicans?

That's not to say that Obama shouldn't be criticized: he should, but from the Left. Not only has Barack Obama not done enough to undo the corruption at MMS, he hasn't done enough to address corruption left over from the Bush administration throughout the federal government. Far too many Bush appointtees were left in place by the incoming Obama administration.

There are going to be other disasters in the Obama administration, perhaps some as large as the BP oil spill, because Barack Obama has not done enough to deliver the reform he promised. This doesn't mean that we let the country go back to the Republican Party. The Republican Party and its Culture of Corruption is the basis for most of what is wrong in our country today. What this means is that we have to lean on the Obama administration to deliver real reform and weed out the Bush administration's holdovers before they cause more disasters.

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