Why the Bayou’s black sea can’t be blamed on Bush

Lenny McAllister Contributor
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In the Era of Obama, it seemingly never fails, regardless of how far away the Bush years become.

The most recent example of blame-game time travel came during a recent Sunday morning roundtable discussion that included Arianna “Nowhere Man” Huffington. Her criticism of the Obama administration on a number of issues surrounding the BP spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico has turned interesting as we have watched a staunch liberal express both disapproval and some disillusionment with the liberal leadership in the White House.

Yet, true to form with many liberals throughout the nation, before the criticism went too far in placing the void of leadership and weight of blame at President Obama’s feet, a strange comment was given from Ms. Huffington—one that echoes throughout the bloc of Obama supporters and has done so since 2008.

This—the BP oil spill—is George Bush’s fault. Or, to be more accurate, “…It (the crisis in the Gulf) is absolutely a thousand percent Bush-Cheney’s fault…”

Upon hearing that, I concluded that if this is the liberal political mindset going on today, it’s no wonder that as we approach November 2010, the liberals in Congress are in trouble.

Then again, I also thought that if this is how we are going to conduct political discourse in America—continue the blind partisan “blame game” status quo that hinders us today—it’s no wonder that as we continue through an endless and jobless recession that is coupled with geopolitical tension overseas, the future of America as we know it is in trouble.

For all of the Halliburton/Cheney comments and theories about Bush’s connections to big oil, this simple fact must not be missed: President Obama was the biggest recipient of BP-affiliated political contributions over the past 20 years, pocketing some $3 million from BP PACs and another $600k from BP employees. If the Bush-Cheney big business connections prompted Republicans to cast a blind eye towards wrongdoings—such as liberals ascribe—then it must also be true that the large contributions that aided a little-known candidate to upset legacy politicians to win the presidency after his half-term tenure on Capitol Hill must have also influenced some leniency. After all, even if the Bush-led government provided opportunities for BP to skirt the rules and risk the Gulf of Mexico’s wetlands, the Obama administration has been on the clock for 18 months, plenty of time to address the 760-plus OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) violations that BP has accrued.

Liberals focusing on how the BP spill will aid their “inconvenient truth” argument against off-shore drilling will conveniently forget that the lifted ban was the afterthought concession thrown in by a distracted Obama administration that was more focused on overhauling the American health care system against the will of most Americans instead of primarily concentrating on the two issues that people clamored for during Election 2008: a stronger economy and energy independence. Through spending exhaustive resources and political capital on unethical congressional deals and questionable spin-driven divisiveness, President Obama and the liberals received the health care votes they wanted, possibly at the expense of ignoring the issues surrounding energy independence—including safety concerns. People have commented on how the Democrats’ overreach may hurt them politically in 2010 and 2012, but their overreach over the past 18 months with their focus on the questionable health care plan of 2010 and the unsuccessful stimulus package of 2009 helped contribute to the bureaucratic oversight that has led to oil reaching onto the shores of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Leadership often wrongly opens the doors to irresponsibility and loopholes that, in turn, can hurt our communities. Perhaps that should be laid at the feet of the previous president. Yet, leadership often is called to corral dysfunction, correct the mismanaged, and conduct itself in the best interests of its people on the highest levels. That is where the Bush presidency cannot be placed on the hook for this BP tragedy, for the current presidency used off-shore drilling as a political compromise after the heated—and unethical—health care “win” it procured earlier in 2010. What liberals are learning—and perhaps the president’s ardent supporters are seeing as well—is that the matters of the nation are not mere political chips to cast in during a Washington-style game of poker. Healthcare reform matters, but getting it in the exhaustive manner and with the unethical distractions earlier this year, was not worth it, especially as we have now found out that this spill was looming because of the governmental oversight of BP’s shoddiness by at least two presidential administrations. Just because President Bush sits in retirement on a Texas ranch doesn’t mean that liberals can rightfully blame him exclusively (or, as Ms. Huffington put it, “1000%”) for the Texas Tea contaminating the Gulf Coast waters—especially when the current administration took the position of giving compromise on off-shore drilling in exchange for post-health care debate decorum before responsibly looking to see why BP repeatedly compromised the prospects of safety during their operations.

Lenny McAllister is a syndicated political commentator, podcast co-host, and the author of the book, “Diary of a Mad Black PYC (Proud Young Conservative,)” purchased online at www.tinyurl.com/lennysdiary and www.amazon.com. Catch Lenny on “Conservative Crosstalk Commentary featuring Lenny McAllister” every Friday at 12:15 PM CST on CNN Radio 650 Houston starting June 25. Follow him at www.twitter.com/lennyhhr and on Facebook at www.tinyurl.com/lennyfacebook .