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Like everyone else I have been watching in horror as the Gulf of Mexico turns into the world's largest gas station.  Naturally when a disaster like this happens we look for someone to blame.  Why isn't Obama doing more?  BP is responsible.  I'd love to find out what was said during Cheney's secret meetings with oil company executives,  We sit here and say if only.  The way I see it if one wants to access blame for this disaster every American should look in a mirror.

For over 30 years now we have known America was too dependent on oil to sustain our way of life.  We demanded that the oil be found whatever the cost or the danger. We elected politicians who continually told us not to worry; everything was under control.  We knew better but we want on with our daily life acting oblivious to the obvious.  We knew it was all a charade.

If a politician or scientist came along and said sacrifices would have to be made for the future we called them un-American. Why should we spend the energy to come up with a practical way to use renewable sources of energy?  After all America is omnipotent, and we must have the freedom to do what we want.  Screw the consequences!  When Jimmy Carter put up solar panels on the roof of the White House, we laughed at him.  His successor made sure they were quickly gone.

We demanded through our votes that government get off the back of business.  Let the marketplace rule.  A politician calling for more regulation whether it be environmental or financial had no chance of winning election, so both Democrats and Republicans wailed at the inadequacies of big government.

Now our decisions have come back to haunt us.  Sure, blame the media that failed to inform us of the dangers of off shoe drilling.  The truth is, we did not want to know.  We wanted our Hummers.  That was our priority.  It is easy to blame BP, but BP just did what business is meant to do--maximize profits at any cost.  If government was not going to slow them down, why would anybody expect them to put on the brakes themselves.

Blame Obama.  He should be doing something more to plug the leak.  What, I don't know.  The regulatory agencies were denuded and government never even thought about a contingency for dealing with this disaster.  Blame Bush, he put corporate hacks at the head of regulatory agencies.  People voted for him, because he was someone they wanted to have a beer with.

This is only the first catastrophe resulting from our 30 year nap.  When Obama was running for President, I said his toughest job would be rebuilding the federal bureaucracy after decades of neglect,  The best and the brightest avoid government service, because they know that they will be ignored.  We have nobody to blame but ourselves.

Originally posted to Jeffrey Kohan on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 06:05 AM PDT.

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