August 3, 2010…For most politicians, campaign season comes and goes, but in the Obama White House, it is permanent. As we approach mid-term elections and get ready for the next presidential election, team Obama is working on the swing states, solidifying their support in blue states and ignoring or opposing the interests of voters in conservative red states. Two perfect examples are the states of Louisiana and Arizona .
Ever since the oil started leaking in the Gulf, the Obama administration has been delaying local efforts to attack the problem by creating unnecessary bureaucratic roadblocks. The spill has been an environmental and economic disaster for Louisiana . The state has been severely impacted by this catastrophe, but, instead of working with Louisiana officials to lessen the pain, the Obama administration has made it much worse by issuing a moratorium on deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico . This measure was not supported by the President’s own scientific advisers, his oil spill commission or any member of the state’s congressional delegation. It has already led to several rigs leaving the Gulf and many more may follow in the days ahead. Prior to the spill, 56 rigs were operating in the Gulf, but today only 14 remain. Louisiana could lose 140,000 high paying jobs if drilling does not resume soon.
Despite near universal opposition in Louisiana and opposition from 73 percent of Americans, according to a recent Bloomberg poll, the President refuses to reconsider his moratorium. Not only does it lack public approval, but the moratorium lacks court approval as well. The moratorium was struck down by U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman, who ruled that it was both arbitrary and capricious. Disregarding the wishes of the federal court and the court of public opinion, the Obama administration issued a second moratorium and the legal battles continue. With new permitting hurdles for shallow wells and the deep water moratorium, drilling is essentially shutdown in the Gulf of Mexico, delivering a major economic blow to the people of Louisiana . Thus, it is mission accomplished for the administration.
Louisiana is not the only red state to receive the wrath of team Obama as Arizona is also being targeted. In a bid to win support from a growing bloc of Hispanic voters, President Obama viciously attacked a law in Arizona designed to deal with the growing problem of illegal immigration. In fact, the administration went further than just demagoguery; it actually filed a lawsuit attempting to block the implementation of the Arizona law.
Arizona had to act because of an increasing crime problem and more intrusions from dangerous Mexican drug cartels. One painful result is that the city of Phoenix is now the kidnapping capital of the nation. It is obvious that the borders are not secure, as there are at least 500,000 illegal aliens in the state. The state is suffering because the federal government refuses to effectively address the problem. Illegal immigration is encouraged by employers who want cheap labor and Democrats who want cheap votes.
After decades of inaction, the people of Arizona reached their limit and overwhelmingly supported the new law. They are clearly sick and tired of the lawlessness. The common sense law only enforces existing federal law. Incredibly, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton, a Clinton appointee, ruled last week that the Arizona law would “impermissibly burden federal resources,” so she blocked many of the law’s key provisions. As the Governor appeals, the border chaos will continue and the people of Arizona are the losers. Once again, mission accomplished for the Obama administration.
So, Louisiana cannot drill offshore and provide jobs for their people and Arizona cannot deal with an invasion of illegal aliens that the federal government refuses to stop.
Is it any wonder that many people in both of these red states consider the federal government to be their enemy?
Jeff Crouere is the Host of “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. He is the Political Analyst for WGNO-TV ABC26 and a Columnist for selected publications. For more information, visit his web site at RingsidePolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected].