On BP And Obama, Carville Is Right, Allimadi Is Wrong

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Re: Milton Allimadi's "2012 Politics: The Real Motive Behind James Carville's Super-Rage Over BP Spill," blackstarnews.com

I must say that as much as I admire and highly regard my colleague, Milton Allimadi, I must respectfully disagree with him on this. Not because I have any love for the “Ragin Cajun... See More” James Carville, because believe me, I don’t.

But because, beyond knowing a little bit more about the South than Milt, many of the arguments Milt puts forth, respectfully, just don’t add up in the face of what is amounting to be our nation’s greatest natural tragedy --remember, Katrina was man-made.

The question isn’t is President Obama “less enraged” than James Carville has been on CNN about how tens of thousands of crude is destroying the Louisiana coastline, and with it, the livelihoods of so many families and businesses that depend on the Gulf of Mexico for fishing and tourism.

Of course Obama is less enraged! Louisiana is Carville’s home state. When he and conservative wife Mary Matlin aren’t cutting deals on K Street in Washington, that’s where their family lives.

Now let BP pull the same crap and muck up Hawaii, and yeah, the president would certainly flip his wig, because like Carville, he would deeply resent a foreign oil company irresponsibly drilling off shore, with no contingency for emergencies, resulting in possibly generations of disaster and ruin for what would otherwise be a tropical paradise.

So yes, there is nothing wrong with the president being less outraged than Carville because this happened in Louisiana.

And yes, there is nothing wrong, upon seeing the state of his childhood being destroyed by a bunch of greedy British profiteers, for Carville, or any other Louisianan, with being so blazing enraged that BP is seemingly getting away with lies, stonewalling, and yes, even alleged manslaughter --11 men lost their lives aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig when it blew up reportedly because the BP manager on board wanted to bypass safety in order to speed up the operation-- that they would DEMAND that the most powerful man in the world step up his game an show BP who is boss.

Wouldn’t you? When you’re faced with a power greater than yourself, don’t you immediately call on a power you think is either equal to or greater than to seek justice? The answer is yes, because my phone is always ringing with calls from people who have a “somebody-done-done-me-wrong song.”

So Carville’s frustration, maximum anger, and outrage that the White House he helped to get elected wasn’t moving at break neck to go after the perpetrators full force, is understandable.

Now there is no question that the Obama Administration moved fast after the May 22 disaster at sea. The US Coast Guard was dispatched within hours, and the president pressed all departments to be engaged for further rapid response.

No argument. But I think it’s also true that Obama’s natural instinct for fair play allowed him to get suckered by BP in the very beginning as they stalled for time to minimize their damages. Thus, he and the Coast Guard bought their lines about the amount of oil being spewed, not knowing, or moving independently to confirm, what the true nature of the disaster was.

By the time it became apparent what the true scope of the crisis was, there was no way to head off the looming damage. And even after the feds got something close to a halfway decent handle on reality, there was evidence that BP was still lying to protect its immediate bottomline -read stock prices- at the expense of what the ultimate long-term damage would be.

Yeah, I can see James Carville and the rest of Louisiana foaming at the mouth over that kind of deception. It’s a helpless feeling when you know that the bad guys are three steps ahead of the hero, and he hasn’t even gotten out of bed yet.

Milt says Carville wanted Obama to emote, “…with saliva flying from the corners of his mouth.”

Respectfully, no.

Carville, in his crazy Cajun ballistic way, wanted the president of the United States to definitely lay down a firm marker of what he was going to do to take CONTROL of this mess, and then firmly TAKE CONTROL OF THIS MESS in a way where BP and world could SEE that he was TAKING CONTROL OF THIS MESS.

James, Spike Lee and everybody else ... knows that this president speaks softly. That’s never been a secret. But they were willing to accept that as long as he wielded a BIG STICK to make them pay and correct, and fast.

Probably why Obama, in his trademark smiling but intense manner when he’s pissed, told NBC’s Matt Lauer, he was looking for whose BP “ass to kick.”

Was that BIG STICK enough for you?

You see James Carville knows power. Indeed, having helped elect a president, he knows White House power.

BP is the world’s fourth largest corporation, just a little bigger than your corner candy store. There was absolutely no question that BP was “all hands on deck” to develop strategies to minimize massive damage. Remember, this is a company with a criminal history. They’re used to getting their way with governments. Treat them like stepchildren.

Carville, rightfully, wanted to see them crushed. If the state of Louisiana could do it alone, he wouldn’t need the White House. But this was bigger than the state. As far as Carville and the rest of America were concerned, this was an attack on America that had to be answered in the strongest terms.

As far as Carville was concerned, this was war, and he wanted a warlike response from the president, because ole’ Ragin’ there wanted BP to pay dearly.

And that’s why I can’t buy Milt’s argument about Carville shedding crocodile tears just to hurt Obama at the behest of his old arch-enemies, the Clinton.

Truth be told, that hatchet from the 2008 primaries was buried a long time ago.

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton is arguably Pres. Obama’s most loyal cabinet member. She really has, by all accounts, stuck by him and defended Obama on the world stage.

So not on her orders.

And Old Bill has been spending half his time actually working for the president. You know, rescuing American damsels in distress held captive by North Korea; heading up Haitian relief with former Prez. George W; and coming close to violating federal law by offering a job to Rep. Joe Sestak.

Obama has given the Clintons what they cherish most beyond power, and that’s relevance long after either one deserves it. If they wanted one of their many vocal minions to undermine Obama, why now, and why with this crisis when there were so many other opportunities?

If the Clintons were behind such a conspiracy, shouldn’t the payoff be that one of them, particularly Hillary, be made to look good in the process?

So with not even a molecule of circumstantial evidence, I can’t roll with Milt’s “politics and campaigning” rap against Carville on this. Milt clearly doesn’t like Carville, but has nothing solid as a rock to nail Carville with here in terms of his conspiracy theory.

But there’s another reason why I understand James Carville here.

Because I also understand Kanye West.

You remember the outrage when the superstar songster, during one of the major telethons five years ago in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, told the world that then-President Bush “doesn’t care about Black people.”

I was one of the millions who agreed with Kanye, especially after watching my government literally abandon American citizens who look like me in the aftermath of floods that devastated New Orleans, and killed many.

I was livid to hear that Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice was in New York buying shows one day after the storm had hit her native Alabama.

And yet, I can honestly say that as hurt as I was as a Black man that my government left my people to die to die in Katrina, I would have been beside myself if Katrina had hit my native New York City where my family lives, and George Bush had pulled the same stunt.

I’m sure, since I was long on record as having gone after Bush with criticism long before, that folks would have accused me of playing politics, just as they’re accusing Carville.

But trust me, when it’s your home and the people you know and love in the crossfire of danger and destruction, that’s all you see and all you know.

Also, maybe I can relate to Carville because here in North Carolina, I’m in hurricane and tornado country. Folks in New York really don’t know what that’s like. It’s one thing when the power of GOD destroys all you have. You suck it up, thank the Lord that he spared the lives of you and your family, and then go about the task of rebuilding your lives.

The BP disaster is a man-made catastrophe that has unleashed a natural Armageddon. Because we’re Americans, we’ll always believe that we can do anything, and we want our president to reinforce that spirit in times of crisis. That requires so show-and tell on his part to soothe that anxiety. No matter what he’s really already doing, if we don’t see it, or at least the results in due time, we start getting cranky.

That’s what happened here. If you live in New York, the BP spill is bad, but it’s also oh-so distant, so you have more patience.

But move to Florida or North Carolina right now, states along the nation’s Southeast that depend on their coastlines and the seas to sustain life, tourism and industry. Proximity to the oil spill, and that fact that it is steadily moving in your direction, changes your perspective on matters.

Trust me, if the spill hits NC’s Outer Banks, you’ll hear howls here too, from Democrats and Republicans.

So, sorry, Milt, I must disagree. The stakes are too high here, and the hurt too close to the heart of James Carville to see him not being genuine, in his own, uncontrolled rednecked way, about his fears about his home state’s future.

Beyond his family, I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe that he really loves his state, and is dearly afraid for it.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."


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