Rush Limbaugh’s comments on the oil rig explosion and the slick have generated a fair amount of controversy. While I am no fan of Rush, I am a fan of truth and hence will try to refute what I take to be a false accusation against him. Ezra Klein and others seem to be claiming that Rush is blaming Obama for the oil rig explosion. As evidence, they point to the following:
RUSH: I want to get back to the timing of the blowing up, the explosion out there in the Gulf of Mexico of this oil rig. Since they’re sending SWAT teams down there now this changes the whole perspective of this. Now, lest we forget, ladies and gentlemen, the carbon tax bill, cap and trade that was scheduled to be announced on Earth Day. I remember that. And then it was postponed for a couple of days later after Earth Day, and then of course immigration has now moved in front of it. But this bill, the cap-and-trade bill, was strongly criticized by hardcore environmentalist wackos because it supposedly allowed more offshore drilling and nuclear plants, nuclear plant investment. So, since they’re sending SWAT teams down there, folks, since they’re sending SWAT teams to inspect the other rigs, what better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I’m just noting the timing here.
This paragraph, taken by itself, could be read as saying that Obama sent SWAT teams to blow up rigs. However, Klein and the others are engaged in a rather selective reading. Rush goes on to say:
RUSH: Wow. All right, so SWAT teams, we’re sending big sis down there, Janet Napolitano, to look at all the valves and stuff, make sure they’re properly greased. He-he-he-he. Ahem. And Lisa Jackson is doing the same thing. So obviously the regime is open to the idea that this is not an accident. The regime is open to the possibility that this could well have been on purpose. Don’t forget, the original Earth Day, 40 years ago, was inspired by the river in Cleveland catching fire. Forty years later, the day before Earth Day this year, the Gulf is on fire. Coincidence? Jury’s still out. The regime is on the case, soon to tell us what happened.
This paragraph clears things up. Rush is not saying that Obama sent SWAT teams to blow up the rigs. Rather, he is saying that Obama is sending the police because Obama is considering that the rig could have been blown up by people motivated by people with environmental concerns.
Now that his actual view is known, it can be assesed.
On one hand, it would seem unlikely that an environmentalist would blow up an oil rig. After all, a little thought would reveal that a damaged rig could lead to the sort of massive spill that exists now. A rational person who was genuinely concerned about the environment would not take such a risk.
On the other hand, such an attack is not impossible. After all, people who are strongly devoted to a cause can act and think in ways that seem rather irrational and even evil. Pro-life people who murder doctors and environmentalists who spike trees (which can injure or kill the people cutting them down) show that people can do such things. As such, some “eco-terrorists” could have blown up the rig. Another possibility is that people often act without considering or knowing the possible consequences. In this case, it is conceivable that someone wanted to merely damage the rig and did not realize that such a disaster could take place. Then again, it is possible to imagine an environmental extremist who would be willing to accept massive environmental damage if this would help put an end to offshore drilling.
Of course, while I am wildly speculating, it is also possible that the oil rig was blown up in a ploy to raise oil prices. Or perhaps it was blown up by anti-environmentalists who want to put the blame on environmentalists. That is the thing about speculation without evidence to nail it down-it can go all over the place.
Currently, there seems to be no evidence that this was anything other than an accident. However, it is worth considering that it was not an accident and the administration seems to be looking into this.
As a final comment, it is interesting how Rush takes the administration’s actions to support his own view while at the same time taking shots at it for taking those same actions.