Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Privatized Government Just isn't Working for Obama
Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and leaders from several coastal parishes are urging the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately approve a $350 million plan to build artificial barrier islands out of sand to hold back the oil. Jindal - a Republican who very publicly suggested he might refuse to take President Obama's federal stimulus money in 2009 - has been pushing the federal government hard for several weeks to approve and help pay for the creation of these offshore artificial sand islands, but has been stymied by the several federal agencies who regulated coastal wetlands all saying that by law they need to do impact and other studies before they can approve these barriers. Meanwhile, the oil has already begun to move inshore past where the islands would have been. Meaning that the Republican governor of Louisiana, often mentioned as a possible Republican presidential opponent for Obama in 2012, may well be the media hero in this whole mess while President Obama, who has been relying on a slow-moving and heavily privatized federal bureaucracy to respond to the spill, will probably end up being the goat. When Republicans, early on, predicted that this oil spill would be Obama's "Katrina," they may well have been right. Just like over 90 percent of Americans don't know that Obama cut their taxes and tax rates are lower now than at any time since 1950, or that Obama has moved us from losing to creating jobs, most Americans also have no idea what Obama is doing in or about the Gulf. If the White House doesn't get control of both the disaster in the Gulf and their messaging on what they're doing, this will be Obama's Katrina and could badly hurt his 2012 chances.