Monday, May 31, 2010
Or maybe that's the beach. The ever challenging Frank Rich:
The only good news from the oil spill is that when catastrophe strikes, even some hard-line conservatives, like Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, start begging for the federal government to act, and act big. It’s the crunch moment for government to make its case — as Obama belatedly started to do on Thursday. But words are no match for results. As long as the stain washes up on shore, the hole in BP’s pipe will serve the right as a gaping hole in the president’s argument for expanded government supervision of, for starters, Big Oil and big banks. It’s not just the gulf that could suffer for decades to come.
I think there is some truth in what Rich says, though it takes some doing to figure it out. Here's a giant industrial accident the causes of which, I'm willing to bet, are complex. Nobody seems to know how to fix it. It's even possible, I suppose, that it can't be fixed (maybe a big nuclear bomb would help? Just asking.) Now Rich says, if nobody, and in particular, the Government, can figure out a way to fix it, and soon, that will undercut the President's argument for more supervision by the government of the banks, Big Oil, and that's just the start of things that Rich says Obama wants the government to start supervising. My guess is it's a long list. But reflect on Rich's point for a moment. He says, the government had better stop seeming so incompetent or people might reach the conclusion that they are incompetent. Actually, his argument is even more striking than that. It approaches, the government had better hurry up and do the impossible, or else people are going to jump to the conclusion that the government can't do the impossible. You can see why it's hard to disagree with Rich about this. He is a man of unusual mental qualities, without a doubt.