Wednesday, June 2, 2010

BP Oil Spill: Jindal, Vitter Play Good Cop Bad Cop



As I've suggested in other posts, GOP great brown hope Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, is playing the oil spill for all it's worth. I do not mean he's putting on an act and doesn't care about what the nation's worst environmental crisis is doing to our wildlife, wetlands, and coastal culture.

I mean that Jindal is a political animal, and so he's undoubtedly aware of how all this attention--nationally broadcast soundbites of his outrage at the destruction of "our way of life" and internationally blogged clips of him blaming the Obama administration for whatever--helps him look like a presidential candidate. Even if those dreams are not in the forefront of his mind, I'm sure someone's whispering in his ear that the BP oil spill could be very good for Bobby.

There's nothing new about that as the GOP has been saying Jindal's a contender since the last election, and remember, it was a national crisis that made more people think Rudy Giuliani should run for president. So, today at CNN, Ruben Navarrette writes, "Jindal's passion on oil spill looks presidential." In late may, Johanna Neuman at the L.A. Times made a similar observation in her post, "Bobby Jindal resurrected: Nothing like environmental crisis in Louisiana to make or break political career."

God help us if people are buying "Bobby" Piyush Jindal for president. He is the same man who went on national TV praising a racist Lousiana sheriff last year, the late Harry Lee.

Commenting at BlogHer.com, Lara Colvin said this catastrophe is bigger than our national politics, implying, perhaps, that the oil spill should not be politicized. That would be nice stance to adopt if we didn't live in a nation where everything is political. There's no way to escape the politics of oil in Louisiana.

So, watch carefully our theater. Learn the actors, including Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish. These pro-oil politicians down here are playing Good Cop-Bad Cop in this crisis. Jindal can look like he's weeping for the planet before the cameras. But believe me, when the lights go down, he's a Republican. Vitter will take the heat for saying he hearts BP and oil by day, while Jindal climbs in bed with big oil by night. That's the way it works in Louisiana. Our politicians love oil and our Republican politicians are anti-regulation.

So, while in most games of Good Cop-Bad Cop, the goal is to catch the crook, in this one it's for Republican leaders to make a clean getaway and win voters over come election time, hoping no one remembers that their favorite saying has been "Drill, Baby, Drill!" Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, ladies and gentlemen.

In the meantime, the New York Times, MarketWatch, and other news sources say BP's quest to stop the oil leak has hit a snag ... again. The blade the robot was using is stuck.

MarketWatch gives this information:
analysts put the price tag of the ongoing spill at up to $40 billion, as oil from the rupture at the bottom of the Gulf spread to Mississippi for the first time. BP ... successfully cut the riser pipe from the ruptured well in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, but the diamond-edged wire saw blade got stuck during the second cut, said Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the official overseeing the federal response to the massive spill.
It's like BP's been hexed or something when it comes to stopping this leak. Unfortunately for Louisiana coastal communities, the local economy, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, the oil hex is no respecter of persons: Misery for all.

See all Oil posts at this blog, including "Flashback: Gov. Jindal Tells How He Grew Up in Oil Industry and Says Louisiana Balances Oil Production and Threat to Environment.

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