Richard Carnes: The cup of irony runneth over |

Richard Carnes: The cup of irony runneth over

BP (British Petroleum), the fourth largest company in the world, bought out Gulf Oil in 1985, and now they are responsible for a gulf full of oil.

Oh, the slippery irony of it all. It would be funny if the whole thing weren’t so damn sad.

But let’s all (liberals, conservatives, and the rest of us; a.k.a., those with actual common sense) understand one thing up front: The Obama administration is exactly as guilty of causing the oil spill as the Bush administration was for causing Katrina.

One administration could not control the weather or Corps of Engineer retaining walls built 50 years ago any better than another can control Gulf of Mexico currents or multinational corporations following legal regulations approved 50 years ago, yet the political strategists masquerading as conspiracy theory nutjobs are out in full force.

Yep, a white president who obviously did not care in the least about po’ black folk and their N’awlin’s welfare families has been followed by a black president who obviously does not care in the least about po’ white folk and their Gulf Coast fishing families.

Colorful irony, I guess we could call it.

And they get even better: The literal tons of safety features on the rig that “failed” did so coincidentally with a vote allowing off-shore drilling as an olive branch to get Republicans on board for the financial reform bill.

Yes, and Little Bush purposely caused 9/11 to get even for Daddy Bush in Iraq and so Cheney could make billions for his Halliburton cronies.

Plain ol’, dumb, stupid, political irony, I suppose.

Either way, as usual, reality shows us the Occam’s razor of explanations.

Americans need oil.

We need it to make damn near anything, drive cars, fly airplanes, plant, grow, cultivate, and deliver food, to print this newspaper, to maintain our superior lifestyle, to grease the benevolent machine known as the U.S. economy, and, of course, to simply survive, therefore are willing to overlook certain “details” when approving plans for future oil searching endeavors.

The strategic irony of “Drill, baby, drill” is hard to miss.

So when BP and the rest of the OG (Oil Gang) want to drill wells a mile deep out in the middle of the ocean without having any clear idea how to stop a leak if an accident happens, we have no problem turning a blind eye based upon the odds, which are clearly in our favor (but only most of the time).

It’s not whatever political party happens to be in office, or greedy CEOs or greedy shareholders, it is the hypocritical jackass you see in the mirror that is truly responsible.

We elect those who make the decisions based upon our wants and wishes, and we want and wish for cheap oil.

It seems to me that we simply need to be a little more careful about what we wish for.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at

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