Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Dutch oil skimmers aren't allowed to operate because they don't meet EPA rules governing how high a concentration of oil can be in water dumped at sea. A number of barges weren't allowed out because they hadn't yet met Coast Guard safety restrictions.
Pundits on the right decry these, as well as other laws and rules, that, in their eyes, tie our hands in cleaning up the oil mess, claiming that dealing with a national emergency such as the oil spill is more important than following some laws and rules that surely weren't intended to restrict our ability to deal with such a dire situation.
And yet it wasn't so long ago that those on the right were criticizing Obama for brushing aside rules and regulations in, for example, the GM and Chrysler restructurings, where bondholders were pretty much forced to accept much less than they were allegedly entitled.
But wasn't the economic crisis as severe, if not greater, a threat to our well-being as the oil spill?
And yet it wasn't long before that that liberals were screaming bloody murder about Bush allegedly ignoring the law in the way he went about responding to the 9/11 attacks, a threat to our national security at least as great as that of the financial crisis or the oil spill.
So what is it? Are our rules and laws meant to be followed, unless and until changed by legislation? Or are they, like 'parlay', merely guidelines that can be ignored if and when desired?