Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tea Party Hypocrites

In the latest political poll in Colorado, respondents were asked their opinion of the Tea Party. They were asked if they viewed the Tea Party favorably (37%), unfavorably (29%), neutral (21%), or no opinion(14%). Then the other poll questions were run up against these categories. This is where it gets interesting. Let’s take a look at three questions.

The first question was: Are Colorado's current laws on medical marijuana ... too loose? Too restrictive? Or just about right? 61% of people with a favorable opinion of the TP believe marijuana laws are too loose. Only 37% of people with an unfavorable opinion of the TP think the laws are too loose. What happened to “keep the government out of our lives!”? What happened to personal freedom?

Another question asked: Should Colorado pass an immigration law similar to the one recently passed in Arizona? Or not? Not surprisingly, 91% of TP supporters thought Colorado should pass such a law. 28% of people unfavorable to the TP thought Colorado should pass such a law. So here we have the small government cheerleaders advocating expanding a government agency, thousands more government jobs (you know, those jobs that don’t count as “real jobs”), and billions more in government spending.

But this one is the kicker. Finally, the respondents were asked, Who should be responsible for cleaning up the oil in the Gulf of Mexico? British Petroleum? The federal government? Both BP and the federal government? Or someone else? While 75% of people viewing the TP unfavorably said BP should be responsible for the cleanup, only 50% of TP supporters agreed, fewer than any other TP category.

This makes me sick. So much for the government staying out of the private sector. The private sector screws up and now the government is responsible for it? Excuse me? How does that jive with your talking points? A group preaching small government would make the government accountable for the private sector's mistake. What, is the philosophy that the government should stay the heck out of the way and let industry have free reign, but then when the private sector messes up, taxpayers are responsible?

And Tea Partiers profess to be “libertarian.” Bullshit. I can tell you with certainty at least 50% are complete and utter frauds. We’ve already seen TPs support cutting government programs but don’t you dare touch my Medicare or Social Security. Now we see it again. It looks pretty clear they’re a bunch of raging hypocrites.

Pick your favorite new theme for the Tea Party:

“Big government for me. Small government for everybody else.”
“Keep government out of the private sector; well, except make tax payers responsible for the bill when they fuck up.”
“We want accountability from our government but expect none from the private sector.”
“Keep government out of our lives! But not out of the lives of Mexicans or pot smokers who are minding their own business.”
“The Tea Party: Gimme mine but screw you.”

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hey Obama – do something or shut up

I’m getting pretty darn sick of people using this BP oil spill to score political points. We’ve heard the right paint this as “Obama’s Katrina.” That’s ridiculous. It’s also quite ironic that these anti-government dolts are now proposing the government take over the duties of the private sector. Look, as far as preventing the spill, the Obama administration does share a portion of the blame. They could have looked at the lax regulations in place after the Bush administration and strengthened them. Specifically, they could have required a liner while cementing the well like Canada does. But Secretary Salazar has had his hands full fixing Bush’s messes, so I didn’t expect him to clean up the entire shop in less than 2 years. Besides this minor point, BP is 100% responsible for the spill.

Okay, let’s shift to cleanup. BP is responsible for the cleanup, of course, by a law passed after Valdez. It’s no secret it isn’t working so well and people of all political persuasions are screaming bloody murder. In general, the right is blaming Obama and the left is blaming BP. I’ll get to the point of piece right here: I’ve heard hundreds of attacks about the cleanup from all kinds of people and never once have a heard someone actually suggest a solution.

People attack Obama for not doing enough. On several forums, I’ve asked them what they would have Obama do. All I get for a response is talking points about Obama’s Katrina and this costing him the election. If you haven’t the foggiest clue of what else can be done, you don’t have a shred of credibility. If you don’t know the first thing about cleaning up oil, how do you even know something else can be done? I fact, I think there’s a certain possibility everything that can be done is being done. There are world-class engineers thinking about this in the private sector and government. Do windbag pundits or career politicians know more than these guys?

The Obama administration is to blame for these silly games too. Every since the spill, all Salazar and Obama have done is attack BP about the cleanup. I want to scream at Salazar “What else would you have them do, Ken???” Despite having people on his staff that may have possible solutions, not once has a solution come from his mouth. Since pressure on Obama has ramped up, he’s ramped up attacks on BP. “Mr. President, what should BP be doing?” He has no answers, no suggestions, only petty attacks. This makes it look even worse for him, as he does nothing but talk and shake his finger at BP, and the detractors use this inaction against him. This makes it obvious he’s deflecting blame and scoring political points. Deflecting makes you look guilty. The government could take over the cleanup if they wanted to, but they don't. Obama makes this obvious every time he attacks BP.

Look Obama, we know BP are the bad guys. We get your one and only point already. But unless you have some suggestions for how they can do this better, please refrain from handing out holier-than-thou lectures. It’s hurting you more than it’s helping you. What about saying “BP was fully responsible for the spill. We both have our brightest minds working on solving this cleanup. We are working together to solve this.” But then there would be no attacks, so obviously that’s not a viable political solution. Stern words do not clean up oil. Solutions do.