That’s the title of a damning story in Rolling Stone by Tim Dickinson. The sub-title sums it up: “The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years – and let the world’s most dangerous oil company get away with murder”
There are so many depressing aspects to this story I don’t know where to begin.
“As BP was cutting corners aboard the rig, the Obama administration was plotting the greatest expansion of offshore drilling in half a century. In 2008, as prices at the pump neared $5 a gallon, President Bush had lifted an executive moratorium on offshore drilling outside the Gulf that had been implemented by his father following the Exxon Valdez. On the campaign trail, Obama had stressed that offshore drilling “will not make a real dent in current gas prices or meet the long-term challenge of energy independence.” But once in office, he bowed to the politics of “drill, baby, drill.” Hoping to use oil as a bargaining chip to win votes for climate legislation in Congress, Obama unveiled an aggressive push for new offshore drilling in the Arctic, the Southeastern seaboard and new waters in the Gulf, closer to Florida than ever before. In doing so, he ignored his administration’s top experts on ocean science, who warned that the offshore plan dramatically understated the risks of an oil spill and petitioned Salazar to exempt the Arctic from drilling until more scientific studies could be conducted.”
As a contributor to the Obama campaign in 2008, I’m on a shit-load of mailing lists and frequently get calls to contribute. I told the last guy, “No.” He asked why and I told him I was disappointed in so many of the president’s decisions (or lack of decisions). The young man asked for specifics, ready with a screen-full of talking points and responses, but I declined.
He said something like, “In a democracy, nobody is going to agree with everything the president has to do. If you approve of 75% of his actions, that would be pretty good.” Not for me. Not if that 25% is symptomatic of the same old political shit that Obama promised to move beyond. Uh uh.
Am I sorry I voted for Obama? Not given the McCain-Palin option. Is Obama a better president that W? Yeah, probably, but so what. That aint much of a bar.
[For some reason this story is no longer available on the Rolling Stone website]