Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Six Weeks and Counting

What is truly amazing about the oil spill of 2010 is how helpless we find ourselves. People don't want government in their affairs and yet they're screaming for government to take over the plugging of the well as though Washington has a cadre of oil and gas operational experts poised and ready to deploy. Please! This gusher's mouth begins one mile down from the surface of the ocean and then continues for another three miles through the ocean floor. We don't know if anyone can fix it but the oil and gas experts have a better chance than the fuddie duddies in Washington. BP wants to end this mess as much as anyone. After all, Tony Hayward wants his life back, remember? So would I.

This whole catastrophe demonstrates how conflicted we are about government. How much government is good; how much presidential power is too much? Don't get involved in the banking crisis, but do take over the capping of the well. We want our taxes cut but don't fiddle with our Social Security or Medicare.

Additionally, we seem to need our president to "take control" but mainly we want him to show some emotion, to get up on the dais and shed a tear or two for the people suffering from loss of income, for the flora and fauna that are dead and dying. We want a touchy-feely president when what we've got is a calm, cerebral and methodical intellectual who will eventually get the job done.

Still, we're not happy with him. We'd rather have a swaggering cowboy who appeals to our machismo by "bringing it on."

And while I'm at it, let's forget about demanding "apologies" from the British Petroleum Management. I get really sick of the staged public immolation of super stars, celebrities and shameless adulterers with their oily crocodile tears. Just in case you don't know it, it is not really heartfelt in most cases. They are not truly sorry about the deed itself -- only that they got found out.

We already know Tony and his cronies want this behind them, whether it's to get the press off their necks or to get back to their golf game. I really don't care. I just want it fixed without all the political hyperbole and nasty blame games that inevitably grind on.

When will we grow up?

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