Monday, May 31, 2010

BP Bashing "Un-American"
f the oil kill in the Gulf was gushing from the site of a Venezuelan rig, we would already be bombing Caracas. If it came from Mexico’s Pemex or France’s Total, we’d be mocking their incompetence in quasi-racist terms. But since it is the dirty work of British Pollution, a premier UK multinational that we treat as one of our own, we get instead the usual tepidity from Barack Obama and no less than a defense of BP by Rand Paul, the Kentucky GOP’s Libertarian senate hope. Mr. Paul avers that the Obama administration’s underwhelming impatience with BP is “un-American.” Yes, to repeat, he says it is “un-American” to criticize a foreign conglomerate.
The pundits explain that, being new to politics, Paul has yet to master the requisite dexterity at dissembling and, on too many occasions, actually says what he means. And what he meant was that to be a patriotic American requires a forbearing attitude towards any outfit with Inc. (or the foreign equivalent of same) at the end of its name. Globalization and multinationals have been around long enough that even the most ardent yahoo's adoration of private enterprise now extends from Royal Ahold to Royal Saudi,
That’s because corporations of whatever provenance do wonderful things for America (with occasional mistakes, to be sure, like the rape and pillage of the financial system or the grand Gulf defecation) while government gets in the way and messes things up. Surely some hard-driving BP executive who was chosen CEO by a dozen or so fellow board members in a conference room in London deserves more respect and deference than a politician who was elected president with 60 million votes of mere citizens.
When conservatives make their pitch to the public, they posit a too big, bossy and bureaucratic government that stifles initiative and crushes the individual. The problem is that what they want to replace it with are too big, bossy and bureaucratic corporations that stifle initiative and crush the individual. It’s not a good trade off, if only because government is a national institution that flies our flag and whose leaders we vote for. Corporations have no nationality and are run as dictatorships--what the boss says, goes.
One wonders why intelligent people like Rand Paul haven’t figured this out? Then again, maybe they have. Maybe they are nothing more than corporate shills pretending to be be freedom-loving individualists. Why else would any real American worry about hurting the feelings of British corporate honchos?

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