Republican criticism of President Obama’s response to the Gulf of Mexico spill is escalating. The President needs to get down there, say his critics — even his friends. He says he’s heading back to the coast for his second visit, this Friday.
While President Obama certainly needs to be doing something other than attending fundraisers at the Getty mansion (imagine the grief George W. Bush would have gotten from that) it’s actually not in the marshlands that he can do most good.
What he needs to be doing is in Washington. Three things that the GOP would steadfastly oppose.
First, as laid out by GRITtv correspondent Mike Papantonio, as in Iraq where there was de-Baathification in the government, there needs to be de-Bushificiation of federal agencies. Then debarment: BP, a repeat offender corporation, needs to be universally barred from receiving further federal contracts. That means no licenses to drill on federal lands, in US waters, anywhere, and no contracts from the US taxpayer’s coffers until further notice. That’s not instead of criminal investigation — there’s more than enough evidence of wrong-doing to bring a case against the company. But debarring’s a start.
And finally the President needs to use his bully pulpit to debunk all those myths about how regulation is bad for us. For the sake of our air and water, our economy, our health and our jobs. DeBush, debar and debunk, Mr. President. You may not be able personally to cap the pipeline or clean those precious marshes, but there are some things you can do.
The world’s biggest megaphone is yours.
LAURA FLANDERS is the host of GRITtv, which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV on cable, public television and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GritLaura on Twitter.com.