INADVERTENTLY ACCEPTING THE PREMISE…. Soon after the BP oil spill disaster became a genuine crisis, White House critics and the media were very aggressive in pushing the “Obama’s Katrina” frame. The line faded, due in large part to the fact that it didn’t make any sense.
And now it’s back. Just because. NBC’s Chuck Todd even asked the president directly today to respond to the media’s interest in the comparison. Obama dismissed the inquiry, saying he’s far more focused on the problem itself than what pundits have to say about historical comparisons.
But Karl Rove is doing his part to revive the narrative, prompting Alex Seitz-Wald to raise a good point.
Today in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove pens an op-ed titled: “Yes, the Gulf Spill is Obama’s Katrina.” He predictably places blame on Obama for a “lethargic,” “slow,” and “unacceptable” response to the BP oil spill. But the real significance of the op-ed is not what Rove has to say about Obama; rather, it’s that Rove is implicitly acknowledging that Bush screwed up the response to Katrina. Rove is essentially trying to make the case that Obama mismanaged a disaster almost as terribly as he and Bush did.
This is breaking news because, for years, despite all the evidence to the contrary, Rove has defended his administration’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina.
Exactly. Rove and Republicans invested heavily in the notion that the Bush/Cheney response to the Katrina disaster was perfectly admirable. The criticisms, they said, were groundless. Using Katrina as the basis for comparisons for failed government responses just wasn’t fair.
And now Rove and other Republicans are accepting the premise.
As Jon Stewart recently explained, “The crazy part is, it’s conservatives and Republicans that are in the biggest rush to make the comparison. ‘Remember that terrible thing that Bush did that we fought for eight years to convince you wasn’t bad, but actually good? Well, now we use those very incidents as the low-water mark for your guy.’ … The best part is they can’t even recognize their own tacit admission of the previous administration’s failure.”
Indeed, it wasn’t Obama who approved this rig. It wasn’t Obama who ignored the need for remote acoustic shutoff switches. It wasn’t Obama who corrupted the MMS. It wasn’t Obama who spent eight years downplaying the need for regulations and oversight of the oil industry.
Karl, I hate to break it to you, but the BP oil spill disaster certainly seems like Bush’s Katrina.