"During his interview on ABC’s Good Morning America, Paul expressed his opinion that the White House’s commitment to holding BP Plc accountable for the oil spill contributes to the blame-game society that we currently live in. Kentucky’s Republican Senate nominee stated that he does not direct blame towards BP as much as other politicians due to the oil company’s promises to pay for the spill and its cleanup.
In response to President Obama’s criticisms of BP Plc, Paul described him as un-American and anti-business. He elaborated on his opinion by saying, “What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.” "
[That was Rand Paul, not Ron Paul.]
Wow. I have so many reactions to those statements, it'll be hard to try to keep them in some sort of coherent order. But, I'll try.
First off, the last sentence: So, according to Paul, it's un-American to criticize business? Really? So Americans are here for businesses, instead of businesses for Americans? Is he serious? Of course he is. He's a Republican.
And what about free speech? That is about as American as it gets. I thought the Republicans were the party that enshrined the Constitution as Holy Writ--did Paul forget that the Bill of Rights is part of it?
(Not to mention the humor in finding it "un-American" to criticize 'British' Petroleum. That's just plain funny.)
Back to the first part, though, which is as important. So criticizing a company over its handling of an accident is part of the blame game? How about if that accident could have been prevented (maybe by preventative equipment or those monthly inspections that weren't happening at all)? Can we criticize then?
Accidents happen. Stupid things happen. People become distracted, inattentive, careless, even criminal. Equipment breaks, fails, wears out, gets sabotaged. But Rand Paul, honey, that's why we have things like life insurance and medical insurance and fire extinguishers. That's why we have police and fire departments, tow trucks, and wide shoulders on our freeways. Things go wrong, so we try to plan ahead and have mechanisms in place to handle the problems created when those things go wrong.
That makes it okay to criticize BP. They figured that since nothing had happened, nothing was likely to happen. They didn't have mechanisms in place to shut off the flow if something happened on the platform. Yesterday I read something that a mechanism that would have prevented this spill could have been had for half a million dollars, a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of the oil platform and the oil extracted by it.
And none of that addresses the issue of the workers who died in the explosion, whose deaths might have been prevented if preventive action such as inspections had been taking place. It's as if Paul doesn't even realize that men died when that rig came down. Is BP going to support their families? Put their children through college? After all, if insurance or preventative actions aren't necessary for BP, they weren't necessary for those men and their families. By Paul's logic, BP has to pay for those things.
There's no mention, either, of the environmental damage, or the damage to the fishing industry or the tourist industry or all the support industries for those primary industries. Does he really think that BP is going to take care of all those people, all those businesses? How does he think BP can fix the environmental damage? That damage isn't fixable over a short term. Does he think BP will continue writing checks for the long term, to repair whatever damage can be remedied by writing checks?
I'm with Obama in criticizing BP. I'm with Paul, too, in that I'd criticize the government, but not for its criticism of BP. My favorite headline concerning this spill read, "Government May Have Erred in Allowing Voluntary Compliance." Gee, ya' think?
There's more than enough criticism to go around.
And it's as American as apple pie.