Being Wrong Does Not Equal Being Evil

Balderdash.  Poppycock.  Nonsense.  Rot.  Etc.

I’ve picked up from multiple sources in the conservative media speculation that President Obama might have purposely engineered the Gulf Coast oil spill as a means of discrediting oil-based energy and convincing people of the need to make a major shift to alternative energy plans.  While he does clearly want to focus more on “green” energy, we must make no mistake about this dangerous accusation: it is irresponsible, reprehensible, and unacceptable. 

It bothers me that so many on both sides of the political spectrum are comfortable slapping grossly wild labels on those on the other side.  One might not have liked George W. Bush’s administration, but he did not deserve to be called an empty-headed warmonger for eight years.  Similarly, President Obama deserves the same basic decency in our treatment of him.  Are people really suggesting that he might have manufactured a crisis that has cost many human and countless animal lives, and will surely devastate the environment and parts of the economy for years?  That’s not civic discourse, that’s not criticism–that’s childish demagoguery of the very worst sort. 

Many have unfairly linked Obama to this oil spill personally, comparing the crisis to Bush’s public connection to Hurricane Katrina.  But suggesting that he purposely caused the oil spill is far, far worse.  Implying that Obama created this oil spill is no more reasonable nor humane than the “truthers” who swear up and down that Bush was behind 9/11. 

I strongly disagree with many of Obama’s policy positions, but that does not make him a monster.  At the very least, we need to give the benefit of the doubt to those with whom we disagree.  Even if the worst fears of the Right about Obama are true and he really does have a hidden agenda to socialize our society as much as possible, I’m sure that he’s at least operating out of a good faith desire to help people and strengthen the country, not destroy it and sabotage our way of life.  Such groundless assumptions about the motives of others are both warped and counterproductive. 

We need to keep the criticism of politicians on the politics, not on shadowy speculations that they’re evil.  I would hope that especially after seeing how half the country treated George W. Bush, that we conservatives would show more professionalism in our analysis of his successor.  Obama may very well be a bad president, but that does not make him a bad man.

Heal the Waters

Hopefully, Barack Obama’s infamous nomination acceptance speech from two years ago will start proving prophetic any minute now:

“Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

They sure could use those magic, restorative powers in the gulf coast states right now. 

Questions: Does the “we” in that speech now include British Petroleum?  And was this foretold resurrection of the environment what the administration meant when they said that they’d had a plan and been working on fixing the oil spill “from day one?”