Guest post by Sophia
I had intended to write about the Left’s apparent ambivalence about women’s rights and the odd spectacle of Western leftists linking arms with people who oppress dissidents and stone women and gays, and indeed I want to tackle this issue.
Meanwhile though the political spectacle in the US has taken another huge leap forward (?) into extreme weirdness.
It’s bad enough that Mearsheimer is making lists of Jews and that a Jew as highly respected as Dennis Ross (or for that matter any American Jew) has been accused of disloyalty for being even somewhat pro-Israel by a “U.S. official.” Here’s his partner Walt on the Jewish problem.
So the old business of who is or is not “American” has reared its ugly head, with Jews as usual playing the role of canary. Subsequently the new Arizona immigration law has made it legal to demand your papers if you are deemed suspicious.
In a nutshell, as Wyatt Cenac of The Daily Show says, “They’re looking for people acting suspiciously, like gardening or burping white people’s babies.”
So against this increasingly polarized and ugly backdrop, the Tea Party Movement has been parading and now we have the specter of a genuinely radical rightist, Rand Paul, son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, being elected to the US Senate from Kentucky.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that Rand Paul had some issues with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed racial discrimination in public accomodations? Frankly I find it shocking. I thought we’d put this behind us. Right?
Meanwhile, Paul’s assertion that President Obama’s criticism of BP is un-American is absurd and vile on so many levels I don’t even know where to start.
I wonder if Mr. Paul understands that “British Petroleum” is, you know, British, which by definition isn’t “American,” and that, as we pull our hair over the dire threat posed by Mexicans and terrorists and Muslims and of course Jews we have a catastrophe unfolding in our waters, in American waters– right here, right now.
Oil-slicked animals are starting to wash ashore. There is a ban on fishing in much of the Gulf and the damage to the ecosystem as well as the economy of the region is going to be astronomical.
For people who live on the Gulf, for those of us who know it and love it, this is like a stab in the heart. There are so many birds there, animals great and small, from glass shrimp to dolphins– a complex and beautiful ecosystem.
They will die in agony and the pristine beaches and delicate marshlands will be awash in oil. Oil plumes under the water, oil in and on the water, gushing uncontrollably into the clear blue waters of the Gulf. On the shoreline little fiddler crabs come out in the thousands, waving their tiny red claws. They’re as beautifully formed as any jewel. Gulls eat out of your hands and dolphins swim right up to the beaches and sharks undulate just under the surface and sea turtles glide. Now they’re gliding in an oil slick the size of several states. So many people– American people– depend on this richness for their living. It’s nearly unbearable even to think about it.
So if it’s un-American to criticize BP, I suppose it’s American to ignore the lives of all those creatures and the Americans who live on the Gulf and who make their living from its waters– the shrimpers, the fishermen, the people who own motels and restaurants. And this is the direct consequence of drilling, baby, drilling without sufficient safety oversight, in spite of obvious environmental concerns and with the backhanded support of Federal agencies who, while charged with regulating extraction industries also have been receiving royalties from them.
So I think at the very least a little outrage at BP is justified. They have lied from Day One about the extent of the disaster and, as President Obama pointed out, the spectacle of the three companies involved in the catastrophe pointing the finger of blame at each other is just disgusting. And we should be directing some outrage at ourselves as well– for our addiction to oil, for our complacency, for our lack of creativity and enthusiasm when it comes to energy and for allowing government to side with big business, American or otherwise, against the long-range interests of the people and the environment.
In spite of all this, what do we hear from this hero of the Right, this paragon of the “little guy,” the “Tea Partier” who rallies against the government, the “nanny state”?
That it’s “un-American” for Obama to criticize British Petroleum.
Walt, Mearsheimer– where are you when we need you?