I once heard conservative columnist David Brooks refer to a Republican Party political miscalculation as stupidity on stilts. Well, courtesy of the national media, the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has provided a few prominent people on the right with a new opportunity to once again make fools of themselves.
Just days after the Deepwater Horizon collapsed and sank, Rush Limbaugh opined on his April 29th show: “Now, lest we forget, ladies and gentlemen, the carbon tax bill, cap and trade that was scheduled to be announced on Earth Day… But this bill, the cap-and-trade bill, was strongly criticized by hardcore environmentalist wackos because it supposedly allowed more offshore drilling and nuclear plants, nuclear plant investment. So, since they’re sending SWAT teams down there, folks, since they’re sending SWAT teams to inspect the other rigs, what better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I’m just noting the timing here.” Okay Rush, I’ll play the game, who actually blew up the Deepwater Horizon, environmentalists or the “Federal Swat Teams” that are supposed to be securing the oil patch? I know that Greenpeace has a ship it employs to disrupt whaling, but which environmentalist group has the capability to pull off an act of sabotage a mile down on the ocean floor? Could it be that this act of environmental sabotage is actually for the purposes of furthering a secret green agenda or could it be that having recently endorsed offshore oil exploration as a component of a new energy policy; Barack Obama has now destroyed an oilrig as a means of achieving energy independence?
Appearing days later on Fox and Friends former Bush White House spokesperson Dana Perino, suggested a conspiracy was afoot: “I’m not trying to introduce a conspiracy theory, but was this deliberate? You have to wonder…if there was sabotage involved.” Well that’s certainly a prescient line of logic coming from someone who publicly admitted that she “didn’t really know much about the Cuban Missile Crisis”, what was arguably the most dangerous two weeks in history. Is it not more than a little comical that fresh from her regular pratfalls in the White House, Ms. Perino feels rather qualified to comment on offshore oil drilling and underwater pyrotechnics? I mean, after all it’s pretty impressive for someone who majored in mass communications and public affairs to now have such a firm grasp on the particulars of ocean engineering and underwater ordinance. Is it me or is some of this stuff is just too ridiculous to be taken seriously?
However, in what may be the most ironic commentary of all, Michael Brown the former Director of FEMA during the Bush Administration contends that Obama wants to capitalize on the Deepwater Horizon disaster so as to pander to environmentalists. Quoting Brown: “They want this crisis so they can respond to it and shut down oil and gas drilling for being too dangerous.” Brown went on to suggest that Obama will use the current disaster to impose new restrictions on the coal industry. Well coming from a guy who’s primary qualification for being Director of FEMA was his experience with the International Arabian Horse Association, this sort of commentary is more than just a bit comical. After all, in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina, Brown had been given sufficent warning of impending disaster by the National Weather Service whereas the Deepwater Horizon disaster was unpredicted. Thus the two events are not exactly congruent, except perhaps, for the geography. Who could ever forget Bush’s praise for Brown during the Katrina Crisis: “Brownie, you’re doing a hell of a job.” Days later, Brown was sacked and yet today he feels qualified to second guess the Obama Administration based on his own botched handling of Katrina and it’s aftermath.
If stupidity makes you laugh, well Limbaugh, Perino and Brown can certainly be considered headline acts in what has become a fully booked and never ending theater of the absurd on the far right. Don’t get me wrong, thus far the Obama Administration has definitely made mistakes in handling the Deepwater Horizon crisis and there is nothing funny in that. But to suggest that Obama and his consort are destroying oilrigs to further an agenda friendly to the environment is beyond absurd and borders on the surreal. Like those crackpots on the far left, who continue to maintain that the Bush Administration was either behind the 9/11 attacks or knew something of them, these characters are just as absurd and moronic in their claims that Obama has a hand in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. I can’t help but laugh as the jokes not on the Obama Administration, but on Limbaugh, Perino and Brown for believing their own content free cackle. Likewise the laughs on those people who turn to the likes of Limbaugh or Fox News for serious political analysis or commentary and take much of what they hear as gospel. Just a few weeks ago Bill O’Reilly claimed that comedian Jon Stewart of the Daily Show had become the point man for left-wing attacks on the right and asked why there were no conservative comedians on the air to counteract Stewart and the rest of the left leaning late night comedy crowd. Well Bill, their out there, you just need to know where to look for them.
Steven J. Gulitti
New York City
May 6, 2010