Obama Scores Cheap Political Points in Gulf Oil Spill

There's plenty of blame to go around, including some for Obama.


By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

It's easy to point fingers and blame the other side. It's much tougher to 'fess up and admit that one is or may be partially responsible for a terrible situation.  President Obama took the low road on this front late this week, scoring easy points against oil company executives for the horrendous oil spill still ongoing in the Gulf of Mexico. As the Washington Post reports:

Saying "the system failed" in the Gulf Coast, President Obama on Friday assailed oil company executives for their congressional testimony about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill earlier in the week. "I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle," Obama said.

Standing in the Rose Garden alongside top federal officials involved in the effort to stop ongoing the BP oil spill, Obama accused the oil executives of trying "to point the finger of blame at somebody else." "There is enough responsibility to go around," he said, including the federal government in that assessment.

Well, yes, at the end there he did include the federal government as being at fault as well. It is the U.S. government after all, that issues offshore oil drilling permits. It is the American people who are so hooked on gasoline that we are driving oil prices sky high and sucking up all available supplies.

But let's not forget the President supports offshore oil drilling. Whether he's a big fan or he comes to his support as a matter of political pragmatism, he still supports it. So he, the federal government, we gas consumers and the oil company executives are all at fault.

It should come as no surprise to anyone when an oil rig blows. It's as natural a part of the gasoline harvesting and transport process as are oil spills from tankers. As long as we love and consume gasoline, huge quantities of the oil from which it is made will end up in our waters, polluting them, killing fish and birds and ruining beaches. It's as simple as that and yes, there is plenty of blame to go around.

  • Check out this month's best political cartoons.
  • See our editorial cartoons on the Gulf oil spill.
  • Become a political insider: Subscribe to U.S. News Weekly, our digital magazine.