Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not the time, David

Yesterday we learned about the poor, poor BP executives, the hardships they're going through, and how Americans are callously withholding their sympathy for shitbags who cause oil spills.

Sure, having a BP CEO tell us we should lay off and stop hating them so much is one thing, but where is one of our elected betters to tell us that same thing and hamper any attempt to make BP liable for this? Surely there must be one asshole who is so completely bought and paid for by an oil company that he cannot help himself and starts pushing to help out BP. Anyone? Anyone? What's that, Louisiana Senator David Vitter? You say you don't want to be Senator anymore? Continue.
What happens when you're a small government, pro-business conservative and your state gets pummeled by one of the worst man made disasters ever – not five years after getting pummeled by one of the worst natural disasters (Hurricane Katrina)? If you're Louisiana Senator David Vitter, you double down on offshore drilling and push for a liability cap for BP.

Doubling down on drilling is not particularly surprising. Much of Louisiana's much-needed revenue comes from off-shore drilling leases. “By the same token, after every plane crash, you and I should both oppose plane travel,” Vitter quipped on Sunday to CNN's Candy Crowley. “I don't think that is rational.”
But it's Vitter's early support of a liability cap – he introduced legislation that he promoted in last weekend's weekly GOP radio address – he introduced legislation that he promoted in last weekend's weekly GOP radio address – that's landing the son of a Chevron petroleum engineer in trouble.

Nicely played. For the last month a busted offshore oil rig has been pouring seemingly every drop of oil in the earth into the Gulf and is in the process of ruining large parts of your state, which -if you remember- is Louisiana. So of course now is the proper time to start bitching about people who suddenly don't think offshore drilling is such a great idea, 1) because the safety procedures seems so lax, and 2) because there seems to be know way to stop the oil if one breaks. Don't forget to try to limit the amount the responsible party has to pay out in damages. I mean, why should BP be responsible for all the oil BP spills and all the costs relating to all the oil they spilled? That's madness.

It's a nice "Idiot provides opponents, opposing party, and constituents with gun, fish, an barrel during re-election campaign" story. Usually politicians aren't that stupid, especially when somehow they've been able to survive the whole "Moral crusader gets famously busted for buying hookers"/Bayou whoremaster thing. But I guess BP has given him rather a lot of money over the years and he feels he owes them. Vitter is, of course, getting pilloried by anyone with a microphone in Louisiana.

So here's TB election tip #132b: During this election season, maybe you don't want to go out of your way to publicly call for more offshore drilling and attempt to legally protect corporations from paying for all the damage they've caused. It may be unpopular with people who like coasts and water that's mostly comprised of, uh, water.

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