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Saturday, May 1, 2010

"Eight Days In April," by Paul Krugman

My my, how Paul Krugman worries that our President may come under criticism from the vast right-wing conspiracy for the Eight Days In April.

The Eight Days In April during which our President twiddled his environmental clean-up and emergency response thumbs in the face of what may be the worst oil spill "since the Great Depression."

Here is what Mr. Krugman worried about in the first moments that our President's failure became the focus of media attention:

The Oil Spill Is Obama’s Fault

No, I haven’t lost my mind — that’s not what I believe. But you know that’s what the talk-show hosts will be saying soon, if they haven’t already started. The only question is what the story will be.

Because it would be wrong to blame a President for a disaster the President did not cause, or a failure to predict when the disaster would take place, or a slower than ideal response.

Because to play the blame game would be -- dare I say -- un-American, unfair, and un-NY Times-like. Accordingly, the following columns were written by someone who had stolen Paul Krugman's identity during the Bush administration, not by the Paul Krugman we all know and love today:

  • A Can't-Do Government, September 5, 2005 - "First question: Why have aid and security taken so long to arrive? Katrina hit five days ago - and it was already clear by last Friday that Katrina could do immense damage along the Gulf Coast. Yet the response you'd expect from an advanced country never happened.... Second question: Why wasn't more preventive action taken? ... Third question: Did the Bush administration destroy FEMA's effectiveness? .... So America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job."

  • Katrina All the Time, August 31, 2007 - "Two years ago today, Americans watched in horror as a great city drowned, and wondered what had happened to their country. Where was FEMA? Where was the National Guard? Why wasn’t the government of the world’s richest, most powerful nation coming to the aid of its own citizens?"

  • Katrina and Bush, December 30, 2008 - "When Katrina struck, however, everyone could see the reality on their TVs. So what happened with Katrina wasn’t that the administration started to fail; what happened was that for the first time its failures were visible to all."

  • A Katrina mystery explained, May 17, 2009 - "One thing I remember about that time was the smear campaign carried out against anyone who suggested that the federal effort was inadequate. In particular, any suggestion that the military wasn’t doing its part was — you guessed it — denounced as an unpatriotic attack on the honor of our troops. And now we know the truth. The military wasn’t doing its part, because Donald Rumsfeld refused to deploy troops until almost a week after Katrina hit."
But not to worry, I'm sure Mr. Krugman now sees the light. I await Krugman's critique of our President, the aforementioned, "Eight Days In April." It might go something like this:
"Eight Days. In April. One day longer than the biblical story of creation. Eight days during which the President did nothing but hope the wind conditions in the Gulf would change. Eight days during which the President failed to deploy the military he had overstretched in Afghanistan. Eight days during which FEMA, neglected during the year-long health care fight, waited for orders which never came. Eight days during which the President made excuses, rather than making plans. Eight days at the end of which the failures of this administration became clear even to those who previously refused to see."
I find it hard to believe that Krugman will be as harsh on this President as he was on that President.

Because Krugman is "The Conscience of a Liberal."

Update: Krugman was right, the right-wing talk radio hosts already are playing the blame game, those bastards:

... the administration should not have waited, and should have intervened much more quickly on its own initiative. ... What we do know is that we now face a huge disaster whose consequences might have been minimized with swifter action.

And there's more from those racist wingnuts:

[Obama's] administration has publicly chastised BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher, yet a review of the response suggests it may be too simplistic to place all the blame for the unfolding environmental catastrophe on the oil company. The federal government also had opportunities to move more quickly, but did not do so while it waited for a resolution to the spreading spill from BP.

Call it political death by timeline.

Related Posts:
So, Mr. Krugman, Who Incited This Violence?
Mr. Krugman, Stop The Name Calling
Krugman Plays The Hate Card

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  1. Krugman, suspecting that outsiders have gotten hold of the Democrat disaster playbook, has simply fired a preemptive shot across the bow.

    His next column, titled "I told you so" has probably already been written.

  2. The initial explosion occurred on April 20 in the late evening. Even though the Coast Guard assigns primary responsibility for cleaning up oil spills to the party responsible, the Coast Guard was leading the emergency response the day after the spill. Initially the government focused on search and rescue missions looking for missing people, but by the 23rd had shifted to mitigating the impact of the spill. The federal government was involved from the beginning--the "8 days" accusations have their origins in the fact that it wasn't until 8 days later when the government learned that oil was leaking 5 times faster than BP originally led them to believe.

    This is not "Obama's Katrina."

  3. Before you get too upset about the oil spill, let me tell you what is down there. I worked the LA coast on a production platform somewhat near where all this is happening. There is nothing there. Period. It is all dead mud flats. I know of about two oyster beds that might be effected, but most of LA oyster beds should be closed anyhow due to disease. A few birds will be effected, but there are more birds. The fish will leave and move west and the fishing will be better, particularly around the existing oil wells. If it hits Texas, no big deal, you can't swim in that part of the Gulf due to jellyfish and other oil spills. The same is true of Mississippi and Alabama, all that area is nothing but one big port and industrial area. What little beach there is they have polluted with sewage. Now Florida might be another problem.

  4. This analogy is pathetic.

    The victims on the oil-rig were most likely killed instantly in the unexpected explosion that destroyed the platform, & every one of them was well aware in advance that their job entailed the risk of such a horrible fate.

    Many of the thousands of deaths that resulted from Katrina were utterly avoidable, & most of the victims likely assumed (wrongly) that the government would provide timely & competant aid in the wake of an emergency that was seen coming many days previously.

    PS - The repairs the Bush Administration later administered to the levees (at the lowest possible cost) are said to have involved such premium reinforcement materials as landfill & newspaper - apparently they believe that the fallacy about lightning never striking the same place twice also applies to hurricanes. America seems to have learned little or nothing from Katrina: New Orleans is just as vulnerable to lethal flooding now as it was in 2005, if not more so.

  5. I'll give Krugman a tiny bit of credit- his preemptive games, though pretty silly, are at least somewhat amusing. After all, this is a guy who argued against Obama's stimulus plan- not because he's against big-spending Keynesian economics, of course- but because he claimed 800 billion dollars wasn't big enough! That way, when the stimulus eventually failed (like anybody with half a brain knew it would), he could gloat away and say, "I told you so." And how can you prove that he's "wrong" since his advice was never put into action? Like I said, pretty silly- but I'll take it over the hyper-seriousness of most Lib.'s.

    Too bad he has no preemptive strategy for admitting when he has been proven wrong- like when he wrote recently that he never supported bank nationalization, when in fact he did- oops! (Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote a funny, snarky putdown about this entiled, "Dear Professor Krugman..." for anybody who's interested):

  6. It should also be pointed out that Obama wasn't hamstrung by having to contend with a corrupt governor and "chocolate city" mayor. He could have just issued one of his famous executive orders from the start. Now he finds himself boxed in again by the left who want an outright ban on the oil industry.

    Obama never acts boldly until he has fixed the blame for failure preemptively on someone else. That is why he and Big Sis lace every statement they make with language that excoriates BP.

    I'm waiting for them to blame Dick "Darth Vader" Cheney since Halliburton had some involvement with this oil rig at some point in its history. Probably received mail with a Halliburton return address a few years ago. That's enough to prove that Cheney blew up the oil rig personally.

  7. David7134 - you may have worked on the LA coast at some point, but your statements indicate you are missing some critical information.

    Dead mud flats? I don't think so. The Gulf of Mexico is the 6th largest economy in the WORLD. 70% of all domestically produced shrimp and oysters come from the GOM. The seafood industry is worth about $665 million, and the tourism industry about 20 billion (not a typo; BILLION).

    Further, Gulf shrimp come from the bottom; that's where the dispersants are pushing the oil right now. It's impossible to estimate the damage to the shrimp beds at this point. However, the worst case scenario for the oyster beds is that they will be gone for 20 years.

    Especially in this depressed economy, do you really think it's not a big deal to those who make a living on the TX, LA, AL, MS or FL coasts? It may not be upsetting to you, but I can guarantee you it's more than upsetting to them.

    You might try to research the facts before you post something that is ignorant, at best. I don't know if the govt. response to this disaster is the Obama administration's fault; time will tell (well, maybe, if the msm would do their jobs). But I DO know that it is a disaster of epic proportions that will negatively impact more Americans than you can possibly imagine. A little more empathy and a lot less nonchalance is called for, IMO.

  8. Do we know yet HOW it blew up? I thought that wasn't really supposed to happen, and I thought that there are things in place to make it not leak if something does go wrong. Why did Obama only send in homeland security people and not real help?

    Personally, I like to think of it as another ploy by the environmentalists. We've already seen them most recently trying to blow up IBM.

  9. So why was Obama playing golf and fundraising while this oil disaster was going on? Why did he wait nine days to do something? And why send S.W.A.T. and Homeland Security down? There, I said it. I feel better!

  10. As an oil field driller in a previous career, I explain what Obama might have done at my blog:

  11. Wow! Sharp analysis.

    "That way, when the stimulus eventually failed (like anybody with half a brain knew it would)..."

    Would be stronger if it wasn't dead wrong, though. I thought you guys had mastered the art of avoiding any checkable claim?


  12. It's just more of the same. It's bad if the other side does it, but it's OK if our side does it. Krugman, another blockhead.

  13. Some truths about Katrina...ALL levels of Gov't screwed up NOT just the Feds...The CITY let 200 buses go under water (one brave 15 year old girl stole a bus and got herself and family the hell outa there). many New Orleans police walked off the job. The STATE tried to starve the people out of the Superdome...FEMA is NOT I repeat NOT a first response life saving agency. FEMA supplies training and support to fire, Ems and police but does NOT respond like a Fire Dept does however the general public thinks it does and sadly it seems most of congress doesn't understand the role of FEMA either. FEMA does not have the people OR the equipment to effect rescues. We can change FEMA into a Federal Fire Dept if we want to but that is NOT what they are now. All levels of gov't get the blame here but once the political hacks (either side) take control of an argument all hope of good remedies come to an end.

  14. Good grief...you morons couldn't think your way out of a wet paper bag. David7134 takes the cake. There's nothing there? WTF? Only a few birds? Jeezus...and the author thinks Obama has been pulling a Bush? Damn...just when I think you morons have said the most ignorant thing I've ever heard...you douchebags top it. Pathetic.

  15. Do you really think Obama's reaction has been as uninterested as Bush's was after Hurricane Katrina? Is there some kind of analog to having a horse show lawyer in charge of the clean-up?


  16. Because Krugman is "The Conscience of a Liberal."

    This remark, as well as some of the comments, reminds me of another saying...

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

  17. "and the author thinks Obama has been pulling a Bush?"

    True. Obama's no where near as competent as Bush.

  18. Paul Krugman seems blissfully unaware that there is a thing called the Internet, and this other thing called Google, and that the two can be used in conjunction with each other to precisely point out and publicize every 180-degree about-face from 2000-2008 the lying, hyper-partisan Democrat clown has performed over the last year. It's amusing, but it's also kind of sad.

  19. And Larry comes along to illustrate just how big of a mistake it was for America to elect Barack Obama.

    America, you put illiterates and hatemongers like "Larry" in the White House. And you're surprised that we're worse off than when Obama stepped through the door by any measure - jobs, debt, deficits, corruption, housing, government-running-rampant, etc.?