Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bobby Jindal's Sand Berms Histrionics = Epic Fail

Remember when Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal criticized the Federal Government for not acting quickly enough to appropriate money to throw at the construction of sand berms to keep the oil from hitting the Louisiana coast without even minimal study about its efficacy or environmental impact? I do. And I remember conservatives lambasting the Obama administration for dragging its feet on the point. Michelle Malkin, referencing a comment from the Obama administration that conservatives jumped all over, went so far as to maliciously try to flip the tables on the Obama administration by writing the following: "Put the boot on their necks, Gov. Jindal." And all this came out of an understandable desire to try to do anything to mitigate the effects of the BP oil spill. Well, what came of these sand berms that Bobby Jindal so desperately wanted, careful scrutiny of the efficacy of the proposal be damned?

See for yourself.

The result: A colossal waste of taxpayer dollars. We got zero benefit (and potentially even some environmental harm) from the escapade.

Now, I understand the need to find a quick solution to a pressing problem. But it's precisely when the pressure to quickly do something, anything, takes root that calmer heads need to prevail. Had Jindal listened to the best scientific assessments of the proposal, he wouldn't have engaged in such wasteful folly. Had conservatives not pummeled Obama to act "unconservatively" (i.e. throwing money at a problem regardless of the efficacy of doing so) as a kind of political payback for the Bush Administration's pummeling over its response to Hurricane Katrina, this misguided and foolish idea of building miles of sand berms would not have seen the light of day. In fact, it seemed pretty clear to me at the time (which is why I never jumped on the "build sand berms NOW!" bandwagon to begin with), that until someone could stop the flow of oil into the gulf, it made little sense to construct sand berms that were sure to erode and wash away after a short time. Better to construct sand berms once the gusher was capped and then use the temporary reprieve provided by the sand berms to aid in the clean-up of the oil.

So, let's see how small government conservatives worried about pissing taxpayer dollars down a toilet respond to Jindal's misadvanture. Let's see if they ascribe any blame to Jindal's political grandstanding against a reluctant and hesitant Obama administration (which in retrospect seems quite prudent) for the absolute waste of taxpayer money on this debacle of a project. I doubt it. They'll probably just point to it and call it an example, once again, of wasteful liberal spending on politically motivated projects.

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