As a professed Republican, I have to admit that our party has been at times rabidly pro-business without articulating a proper regulatory role for government. The impression we leave is that we don’t either believe government has a role or that we don’t trust government to be fair.
Then we have a disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Like most right wingers, I listen to FOX News and I have say, their constant attack on President Obama suggests that his administration is responsible for the catastrophe. Their fervor is going way over the top. I am a little uncomfortable with the rhetoric.
I didn’t approve of the left wing attack on President Bush for his alleged failure in coming to the rescue of New Orleans and the surrounding area in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I believe there was a protocol for getting the federal government involved and mobilized to help in that emergency just like there is a “plan” in the FEMA handbook for the current one.
The problem is that the scope of an emergency is not always evident in the first days following an accident. Then, amassing the resources to remedy a problem takes additional time. The result in both disasters was the perception that the government failed to act in a timely manner.
There is no denying that I believe Obama is not a president that will be good for our country. His vision for our country is opposite my own in almost every instance.
But I am certain that every party involved in the Gulf oil well disaster (including President Obama) is doing everything they can to stop the carnage. This is not a partisan political disaster.
The attacks on the President need to stop!
Let’s solve the immediate problem first and stop the oil from gushing into the Gulf, then develop a plan to mitigate the damage while we sort out the blame. Finally, we can grade the participants on their performance.
The time for sniping will come, but this is not that time.
For me, the issue of “Regulatory Role for Government” is a huge one that needs the scrutiny of the Congress, state legislatures, the press and the pundits. The past two years have exposed the failure of regulators in too many sectors. We need to take the regulatory agencies to task for their failures and hold their feet to the fire. If anyone needs to have a “boot on their neck” it is the regulators charged with enforcing existing rules that have failed so miserably. Extending the metaphor, I wouldn’t advocate that regulators adopt that strategy with regard to their clients.
In light of the volume of existing government regulation, I doubt that we need more, but we should evaluate the efficacy of the current body and go from there.
The disaster in the Gulf may have started out as an accident, but the finger pointing in the aftermath exposed a failure of the government regulators to provide adequate oversight. We probably don’t need more regulations; we do need confidence that the ones in place are followed.
If folks want to be angry at the President for failing to adequately protect Americans, it’s clear that the Gulf oil disaster is just the tip of the ice berg. The question is whether we can raise the alarm before the next disaster so we can prevent it from happening rather than wringing our hands in the aftermath.
Let’s be proactive!