Jimmy Buffet is planning a benefit concert on the Alabama Gulf Coast to help raise the spirits of those who are living with the oil that is washing up on shore and destroying their economies and livelihoods. But evidently he’s got the welfare of another on this mind. In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Buffet blames George W. Bush for the oil spill and not Barack Obama, who is actually the president:
Buffett, a supporter of President Barack Obama, said the roots of the spill lie with the administration of former President George Bush, which was often criticized for being too cozy with the petroleum industry.
“To me it was more about eight years of bad policy before (Obama) got there that let this happen. It was Dracula running the blood bank in terms of oil and leases,” he said. “I think that has more to do with it than how the president reacted to it.”
Earth to Parrothead, it was the Obama Administration that exempted BP from a thorough environmental review of its deep water drilling operations. From the Washington Post:
The Interior Department exempted BP’s calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely.
The decision by the department’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) to give BP’s lease at Deepwater Horizon a “categorical exclusion” from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on April 6, 2009 — and BP’s lobbying efforts just 11 days before the explosion to expand those exemptions — show that neither federal regulators nor the company anticipated an accident of the scale of the one unfolding in the gulf.
The folks living in the Gulf Coast are not stupid. They know full well who’s responsible for this mess and are pushing back against Buffett’s kool-aid induced diatribe:
But Buffett’s attempt to cheer up Gulf Coast residents may have backfired. According to Alabama news website Al.com, the Margaritaville-singer’s comments sparked anger among some readers who said Buffett should stick to music and stay out of partisan politics.
Al.com is a site owned by The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and The Mobile Press-Register. In an article published by the site’s staff titled, “What you’re saying: Jimmy Buffett should leave out politics,” the writers noted that Buffett’s comments sent readers “into a frenzy of discussion over the singer-songwriter’s political affiliations.”
“When is this administration going to grow up and start taking responsibility for anything?” wrote one commenter cited in the article. “I hope the people of Alabama boycott his sister’s restuarant in Gulf Shores. I will never eat there again.”
“I have tickets for the concert and plan to attend. However, if Jimmy starts with the Bush bashing and Obama praising, I won’t boo, but I will yell, “shut up and sing,'” wrote another.
What has the Gulf Coasters pissed isn’t the spill itself, but Obama’s non-reaction to the spill. If the president had actually been a caring, competent, and effective leader, he would have reacted quickly enough to get as many skimmers out onto the water to remove the oil before it reached the shores.