Alas, it’s not a fairy tale, but an overwhelming reality that day by day is dismantling the American Fairy Tale of shining progress.
Like the hero of the musical “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, BP’s greed has not kept up with its capabilities, and now it can only run to and fro trying to stop the damage from the forces it has unleashed.
But that’s not all: the mouse BP calls its human employees “little piggies”, applying a cost/benefit analysis to the provision of safe as opposed to hazardous buildings for them to work in, oblivious to the fact that if the pigs decide to get together, they would be able to whip the mice into line.
Smarmy Democratic congressmen are starting to compare the president’s response to the Gulf Oil catastrophe to President Bush’s handling of Katrina. This is so unfair that it’s hard to believe: maybe they’re trying to take the wind out of any sails the Republicans might still have.
Senators who believe the congressional dome imbues them with special wisdom call for “the government” to take over the rescue of the Louisiana and Florida coasts: but as the Coast Guard talking head admitted yesterday, the government is not in possession of the necessary technology. In the words of the lady White House environmental advisor stuck with responding, it can only provide “the best brains”.
Meanwhile, no pundit can afford to state the obvious: we’ve gone from being the slaves of technology to being its victims.
After five decades of assuming that President Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex was mainly about the military, we now awaken to the fact that the industrial complex is perfectly capable of wrecking havoc on the world all on its own.
The Gulf oil disaster gives President Obama yet another sterling (sic) occasion to break with his handlers and chart a new course before it’s too late. Worse than the facts on the ground is the knowledge that this cannot happen. It calls for a wide-ranging discussion on the role of government in our times.