Sunday, June 20, 2010

No Apology Needed - Congressman Barton Was Right

I have stayed out of the oil spill for the most part. I have not done this because I am in anyway feeling bad about being a believer in drilling. The main reason I have stayed out of the fray is due to the disappointment in the response. By that I don’t just mean the government response. I also mean the conservative response.

We have all heard Congressman Barton’s apology. He was then forced by republican hierarchy to retract his apology with threats of losing his committee positions. This is a discussion that we should be having. Strong arming BP is a clear violation of The Constitution. Neither the President nor the attorney general has the power to force BP to do anything without due process. They are not judge and jury. BP is 100% responsible for the costs to clean up this mess. They must pay every last dime to make right (the best than can be) the lives that are being devastated by this leak. There is no question about that. I personally believe that it is a good possibility that some executives could end up in jail due to negligence that ended up with 11 dead and billions in damage. But that is for a jury to decide; not Obama or Holder.

This is yet one more example of how the executive branch is using a crisis to grab power that does not belong to them. Both parties are guilty of this. Bush did this with The Patriot Act after 9/11. Isn’t this one of the reasons that people are gathering in libraries and living rooms around the country to learn about the constitution? I say that it is.

The oil leak is reaching epic proportions that are almost biblical in nature. This is the time that conservatives need to stand up and make the case that smaller more limited government may have prevented this disaster. Had these wells had to be insured by the private sector do you think that BP would have been able to cut the corners they did? The answer to that is most likely no. An insurance company would not want to be on the hook for the billions of dollars this is going to cost. Instead we have the governmental department of MMS that is far too cozy with the oil industry turning a blind eye to BP’s shoddy cost saving measures. BP mistakenly believed that this would save them a few million. An insurance company wouldn’t have cared if they needed to spend an extra million to keep them from paying out if this type of disaster could happen. BP has a long list of violations that a private insurance company wouldn’t tolerate, but the US government did. We have yet to see the employees at MMS to be put under oath and appear at a congressional hearing. Although these hearings seem to be nothing more than a posturing and finger pointing match that is doing nothing but getting people on television with great sound bites. It is not taking care of the problems in The Gulf. This is one area that President Obama has culpability. He campaigned on the cozy relationship between big oil and MMS; yet after 18 months in office nothing has been done. This is the same sort of incompetence that we saw at the SEC that allowed Madoff to scam millions of dollars. We have government employees that are spending hours a day looking at dirty pictures yet are keeping their jobs. Conservatives are losing this opportunity to show independents that big government moves too slowly and is by nature ineffective at best and completely incompetent at worst.

This has become Obama’s Katrina. We heard the never ending mantra of how incompetent Bush was in the immediate aftermath of Katrina; some of which was well deserved. The reality remains much of the help that the victims of Katrina received came from the private sector and the charitable hearts of Americans all across the country, and don’t forget the faith based groups that converged in Louisiana helping the victims. The federal government has too many rules and regulations to move quickly let alone effectively. High profile members of the government are far too worried about scoring political points by making someone else look bad and kowtow to special interest groups to actually solve the immediate problems.

We have had offers from other countries to help us with this mess. Some of which are OPEC countries that must have experience with oil spills and leaks. Yet we turned them down because of some stupid restrictions that have more to do with keeping unions happy. That is criminal. Conservatives voices need to be spreading the word far and wide.

We also need to be saying the reasons that we are drilling in such deep waters that are inherently more dangerous. The blame for that lies strictly at the feet of far left environmental groups. These types of accidents are far less likely to happen to begin with and are far less complicated to take care of in case of emergency.

Let’s be clear on the facts:

It isn’t that we drilled; it is that we drilled at more dangerous depths. It isn’t that BP shouldn’t be held responsible; it is that the laws have to be followed. President Obama and AG Holder need to uphold due process; even when it comes to BP. If KSM needs to have due process; so does BP. 

It isn’t that President Obama doesn’t care about what is happening it is that the federal government is limited in what it can do. So I say shame on the republican leadership who stifled Barton’s apology. They don’t need to apologize for his words, they need to explain them.


RightKlik said...

I agree. GOP should have let Barton's statements stand.

Opus #6 said...

I agree. I was ashamed that they made Barton apologize.

Excellent summary of the facts.

Trestin Meacham said...

He said what most in the country (regardless of party) were thinking.

Anonymous said...

Apology or not, the Feds are doing an awful job with the cleanup which is what's to be expected from a broken "DC-Centric" system

Consider eCongress as a solution it has a lot of advantages including being totally doable under the current US Constitutional framework (from the website):


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