Take a look at some of the comments over on the Wall Street Journal regarding the BP oil spill. You will notice certain trends, but the most glaring among them is this: the government failed to adequately regulate the oil industry.
That's right. The government failed to regulate the oil industry.
Excuse me if I'm missing something, but I assumed that the 'drill, baby, drill' slogan was about the government NOT regulating the oil industry.
Let us get things straight. Offshore oil drilling, with or without regulation, is not safe. To continue to believe it to be a secure way to drill for oil is a flight of fancy that will only have disaster at its core. The BP oil spill, while a tragedy, would still occur even with proper regulations.
What could the government have done? Well, for those who believe government regulation is necessary, the federal government has clearly failed as regulatory overseers. For the last 20 years, regulation has been ceded to the oil industry. Despite President Obama's cries against the oil industry, his team has done little to remedy the situation. And, in a blow to progressives, the president actually planned to extend offshore oil drilling.
The problem we have here is one of deep hypocrisy. Americans can not both hate regulation and then wonder where the government was when companies fail to regulate themselves.
This is why America needs to come to a consensus on the role government must play in their lives. The BP oil spill shows that we do need regulation. Even those who were anti-regulation now agree that some form of regulation in necessary.
But we also must define the boundaries of government regulation. Hyperbole and insane rhetoric will not solve crises. Hating President Bush, President Obama, or blaming Ronald Reagan will not answer the question: how big do we want our government?
Let's start discussing these questions. In the mean time, there should be no more 'anti-regulation' rhetoric. And for those who wish to blame the government for their lack of response, realize that you're angry because you believe in government, not because you don't.