Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Oil Spill As A Metaphor For Obamanism

Ok. What I'm about to write may turn out to be some of the more controversial stuff I've ever put on this blog. I'm working this out as I write it (which is after all, both the wonder and the horror of blogging), so stay with me.

I've had a sinking feeling since Barack Obama became President that he and his administration were determined to permanently alter the political landscape, that the detrimental impact of their policies and actions would be huge, pervasive, long lasting, and very difficult to reverse. Even more than this though, I've had a feeling of powerlessness, that no matter how hard guys like Boehner, McConnell, Ryan, and Cantor work, they are really only just monkeying around on the edges; that the best we can hope for at this point is slowing down the decline and hope that they can minimize the damage to the country until such time as we are able to reverse things at the ballot box. Do you see where I'm going with this...?

The oil spill by itself is a calamity of epic proportion. The technical challenges associated with stopping a leak at 5000 feet below the surface are mind-numbing. Any suggestion that "the government" should step in and "take control" of this strains credulity. Do we REALLY think that this kind of expertise resides in the government? No. It resides in the brains of smart, rough men and women who work in private industry and who are paid massive amounts of money to perform this dangerous, rarely needed and incredibly difficult work. The charges I hear leveled against BP are amazing--we are watching a great company disintegrate before our very eyes. Do we really think that they aren't more motivated than ANYONE to plug this leak?

But because of the direction of the country, the oil spill has double the impact on me. Every time I think about the spill--unrelenting, massive in scope, devastating to whole swathes of our population, a cleanup of YEARS duration to follow, absolute powerlessness to stop, good men and women doing everything they can to reverse it--I cringe. I know in my heart that someday the gusher will be plugged somehow. But every day that it continues, I get a little more disheartened.

And so it is with our government, and so it is with our country. When I see the President stand in the Rose Garden with the Mexican President while both run down an American state trying to enforce federal law, I grow disheartened. When I see the Mexican President repeat that performance in the well of our legislative chamber to the thunderous applause of the Democrats, I grow disheartened. When the Democratic Congress and Administration pass "financial regulatory reform" that does NOTHING to address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--two organizations DEEPLY enmeshed in our financial crisis, I grow disheartened. When the Congress kvetches once again about extending unemployment benefits with no way to pay for them, I grow disheartened.

I know that this will all end. The Republicans will take a chamber of the legislature, they will eventually retake the White House. The oil leak will eventually be plugged. The shoreline will eventually be cleansed.

In the meantime, both the spill and this government will cause inestimable damage for years to come. So you tell me. Is this an apt metaphor?


"The Hammer" said...

That pretty much sums up my thinking on the Obama administration.

LTJG G said...

The only part you didn't get right on is the oil spill is primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, even if it spreads a little, a relatively small % of the world and the worlds oceans. Many, many people in the world will not be effected by this at all. The Obama administration as you mention will have much larger and longer lasting effects on our country and our lives. So, it would be more like a dozen or so oil spills in all the major oceans of the world would be closer to the effects Obama policies will have. You don't just have to clean up one spill in one location at one depth and only having to deal only with US states and our agencies. The "Obama" clean up will be in oceans of variable depths, temperature, salinity, international waters and not and so on. Its going to be a tough clean up, makes me almost envy how easy BP has it compared to the clean up conservatives will have.

Anonymous said...

A well written presentation of your opinion and a good use of metaphor. The thing is, CW, we on the other side of the political spectrum could have used the same metaphor about the former administration -- powerless in the wake of damaging circumstances. This makes me wonder if we can both be right. Regardless of which party is in power, they are going to do good and going to do bad. Like the oil leak, only time will tell to what extent the benefit or damage will be. Frankly, I don't think politics - yours or mine - will miraculously save the country (or the world) from the woes that visit us. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Anonymous said...

Like the oil leak, only time will tell to what extent the damage will be.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Thanks Anon. Nicely said.

Problem is, you couldn't have used this metaphor then--as the oil spill hadn't happened yet. I get that you felt powerless--but the key to this metaphor is that the spill IS happening now. What is the other half of your metaphor? The Bush Administration as....what? Katrina?

Sally said...

Beautifully said. Perfect metaphor and you retain 'somebody' status (which you've long held, of course). And Anon, this is not to be read as a defense of Bush, but whatever his woes, I'm not sure you could argue that they fundamentally altered the course this country is on. This administration intends on doing just that-even prides itself on it.

BigFred said...

Your best work yet.

Anonymous said...

I believe your argument is the best argument for limiting the powers of government.

Dan said...

BFFFFA topic (it's Friday here): The Oil Spill as a metaphor for the Administration's stance on illegal immigration.
I am waiting for someone to put together a montage of immigration questions juxtaposed with his answers about the Oil Spill.

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