I have been watching and listening, as we all have been doing, to the words from many across the political spectrum over the need to stop the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. However, I have been smirking at times as some of the small government types, the ones that very well might latch onto a Tea Party rally for political benefit, as they also state they want more of a federal response to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf. While General Colin Powell is certainly not one of the teabaggers his words today underscore what I have often thought about during this whole dreadful mess.
This oil spill underscores the folly of the teabaggers when it comes to understanding the need for a strong federal government. After 40-plus days of pure BS from BP it is plain that private industry is not up to the task of ending this spill. With the track record of the oil companies why would we think they could be? Private industry often makes the messes that the federal government has to clean up. While the federal government should never have granted off-shore oil drilling in the first place, one other thing is also clear. A robust, energized, and full-throttled federal response is the only way to end the BS from this corporate giant. There is no soundness for the small federal government clatter that so many teabaggers would have us think is the only way for the nation to operate. At times like this it is clear why we pay taxes, and have large arms of government at the ready to act.
Today General Colin Powell makes the case for federal intervention, and he is right.
GEN. COLIN POWELL tells Jake Tapper on ABC’s “This Week” that the Gulf gusher is now “beyond the capacity” of BP to solve: “The president has to get involved as quickly as possible. If you don’t, then public opinion starts to drag you in the media, and pushes you. And so when something like this clearly is going to get beyond the capacity of whoever caused it, get beyond the capacity of local authorities, I think the federal government has to move in quickly and move in with, to use my favorite expression, decisive force and demonstrate that it’s doing everything that it can do.”
TAPPER: “And you didn’t see that … ?”
POWELL: “I think the president directly said the other day that he’d been monitoring it, following it, and … been on top of it from the beginning. But that impression was not conveyed to the American people. And the comprehensive speech he gave the other day, I think he would have been better served – and the nation would have been better served – if he had given it a few weeks earlier. But I think the federal government is now fully engaged. … ”
TAPPER: “… Do you think the military could do a better job than is being done right now?”
POWELL: “It depends what you want them to do. The military brings organization, it brings control, it brings assets. … Certainly, I am sure my colleagues in the Pentagon are looking at it. … First, you’ve got to figure out : What do we need? We need people to clean beaches. Do we need people to put out skimmers? We have LOTS of fishermen and others down there who are available, who want the work, and know the water a lot better than an Army unit coming in. But whether it’s Army, Coast Guard, local forces, it’s time for … total attack on this problem, to protect the shoreline, … to protect the wetlands, and most of all to give the people in that part of our country a sense of hope that this is going to be solved.”
2 thoughts on “Colin Powell Underscores Why Teabaggers Are Wrong About Role Of Government”
Like you, I’ve been interested in listening to the opinions of folks on the sticky issue of the role of government. I’m actually involved in a project to try to get people from all different kinds of personal backgrounds and political ideology talk about politics without resorting to hyperbole, or name-calling, or partisanship. And no matter what we’ve talked about (net neutrality, Rand Paul, BP, the stimulus), all roads lead back to this. Thought you may be interested in giving it a look… http://bit.ly/baBtbx
Anyway, my specialty being public opinion, in researching my last post, I came across a number of contradictions…
We think there’s too much government involvement in private business, and that the government is spending money irresponsibly.
But at the same time, we want the government doing more about creating jobs, even if it means increasing the deficit. We want the government to involve themselves in business by capping salaries. And we want increased government spending on alternative fuels and mass transit.
We oppose the stimulus and think that our economy would have improved without it.
Yet we also favor every major component of the stimulus in overwhelming numbers.
And finally, our beef with the stimulus has a lot to do with the perception that it helped business at the expense of the public.
Just to throw my thoughts into the matter…..
As a liberal I supported TARP and the car company funding. I am not one of those liberals who thinks that helping out the banks was a bad idea as the scope of the economic downturn was so grave that massive and unpopular measures were called for. I detest many parts of the defense department budget, but supported the stimulas funding and would have increased the funds for such things as school house construction.