So by now everyone knows that oil is being spilled into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate higher than 0 gallons. That's bad for all involved. What lessons do we draw from BP's epic failure to be regulated? Let's ask David Brooks:
Everybody is comparing the oil spill to Hurricane Katrina, but the real parallel could be the Iranian hostage crisis. In the late 1970s, the hostage crisis became a symbol of America’s inability to take decisive action in the face of pervasive problems. In the same way, the uncontrolled oil plume could become the objective correlative of the country’s inability to govern itself.
Well if by "everybody" David Brooks means "everybody on Fox News and in the Right Wing think tanks David Brooks listens to," then, yes, everyone is comparing this unrelated thing to Hurricane Katrina. In any case, the real parallel doesn't seem to be the Hostage Crisis either. By all accounts, the Iranians had something to do with that (and it wasn't an accident). (Funny thing: the other day George Will said that BP's failure demonstrates the failure of the regulatory system–rather than the failure of specific regulators).
Brooks is drawing, I think, some pretty weird conclusions from the tandem failure of BP to control their own mess and of the government to make sure they don't make a mess in the first place. What this fiasco tells me is this: BP ought to have to get some kind of permit and submit to some kind of honest inspection if they are to put everyone's oysters at risk.
Indeed, perhaps it's time for the extreme socialism Obama has been advocating.
(For the humorless, the last sentence is a joke)