Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Few Questions for Harry Reid

Never let a crisis go to waste. It's Rahm Emmanuels' mantra and it also serves the public well, as we get a chance to watch politicians distort the truth and pander to their special interest groups. In this case, it's Harry Reid. In an embarrassing speech on the Senate floor, he had this to say:

"Wall Street isn’t the only place where a reckless pursuit of profits has proved destructive..."
"Their greed led to 11 horrific and unnecessary deaths. It has harmed an enormous tourism industry, threatened business at countless fisheries and disrupted life for many along the Gulf Coast. As the pollution grows worse, those consequences will only compound."
Video here. (But be sure to watch it on an empty stomach.)

Well, Harry, it seems you have a genuine flair for the blatently obvious. You left out a few details, though, such as why it took nine days for this disaster to be declared an emergency. Also conveniently missing was the government's disaster response team that was devised as a direct result of the Exxon Valdez spill you noted. Why wasn't that implemented on the first day, Harry?

Harry, you also don't mention why that rig was there in the first place. Wasn't it your regulations that prevented the harvesting of oil on land and forced oil drilling to move further and further out to sea? Don't you control where oil can be harvested, not those evil, greedy oil executives, Harry?




It's precisely this kind of rhetoric that serves no purpose in American politics. How does bashing a large corporation that provides a vitally important service help anything, especially when they are doing their best to stop the leak? Does Harry really think that his empty words will help stem the flow of oil from the seabed? Or bring back the 11 oil workers who tragically lost their lives at sea?

One wonders why Reid doesn't try to actually do something to make oil drilling safer, by, say, lifting the nonsensical restrictions on land drilling, where the potential damage from the spill won't affect the shoreline. That's just one idea, but that's what many Americans consider a viable alternative: it's a real solution to a dangerous problem. One that would be far more worthy of time and effort than Harry's vapid little speech.

Here's one final question for today, Harry.

Why is your approval rating so low?

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