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June 13, 2010
Obama's alternate history musings on the oil spill
What do you do if you're president and the American people think you're handling of an environmental disaster is incompetent?
If you're Obama, you make up an alternate history scenario where you place the blame on what your opponents would have done if you had tried to prevent it:
In an interview with POLITICO, the president said: "I think it's fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending." The excuse here has the benefit that it is absolutely unsupported by the facts, while creating an alternate universe where the president was prevented from doing something when he had 60 sitting Democratic senators and a huge majority in the House.
The president also implied that anti-big government types such as tea party activists were being hypocritical on the issue.
"Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something' are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much," Obama said. "Some of the same people who are saying the president needs to show leadership and solve this problem are some of the same folks who, just a few months ago, were saying this guy is trying to engineer a takeover of our society through the federal government that is going to restrict our freedoms."
And the canard that the tea party folks are "anti-government" is a nice touch, don't you think? There is a huge difference between being "anti-statist" and "anti-government" and Obama knows it. He just finds it convenient to raise a straw man argument as he desperately tries to spread the blame for his administration's towering incompetence on the oil spill.