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I've been amazed the last couple of days listening to conservative politicians and talking-head pundits who demand President Barack Obama must clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
It's not that I'm against government assistance in the cleanup of this spill; in fact I'm for it. My problem is the perception of hypocrisy that this demand creates for conservatives. It leaves the impression that these people are nothing more than shills and lobbyists who alternately cheer lead or scare the public into supporting whichever position best serves the interests of big business.
Compare conservative positions on the oil spill to their scorched earth rhetoric regarding Obama's health care and insurance reforms. These are the same people who screamed "take your hands off my health care" and "don't interfere with private industry," and who claimed any reform of health care would constitute "death panels."
An important question arises: Of these two things, which one is killing more Americans every day, the oil spill in the Gulf or a failed health care and insurance system that makes corporations rich by denying care and treatment to those in need?
It baffles me. How can these people demand that Obama spend government money now to fix an oil spill that was caused entirely by corporate mismanagement, when they vehemently opposed his efforts to fix a failed health care and insurance system that is literally killing people every day and sending many more to the poor house?
How is it possible that they believe free market solutions are better for the health care problem, yet at the same time they think the oil spill requires a major government intervention paid for with tax money? Is it because spending tax dollars to help big oil is good, but using government power to help Americans get better health care is bad?
Whose side are they really on?