Krugman three days ago:
Something is very wrong at the Interior Department.
Actually, that’s not news. No part of the government was as thoroughly corrupted during the Bush years; Interior became a case of government of the extractive industries, by the extractive industries, and very much for the extractive industries. And it was going to take time to clean up the mess.
But has the cleanup even started? Every day there’s another news story with Ken Salazar firmly declaring that he’s losing patience with BP, and that if the company doesn’t get with it … he’ll make another firm declaration tomorrow. Meanwhile, we get assurances that no more drilling is being allowed pending review, followed by stories that, well, actually it is; we get stories about MMS officials partying with cakes inscribed “Drill, baby, drill.”
What this says to me is that officials at Interior are acting as if nothing has changed. Maybe that’s because Salazar is just a weak leader, and they’ve concluded that they have nothing to fear from him. Or maybe the fears of environmentalists about Salazar’s motives were correct, and he’s saying one thing to the public but another thing to his subordinates, assuring them that he’s not serious about all that change stuff.
Either way, he isn’t doing his job — and the Obama administration is steadily leaking credibility. And the buck for that stops you know where.
Obama has appointed quite a few good people but I remember being saddened when his offer to Bruce Babbitt to take over Interior went nowhere. Babbitt was a serious and sterling choice. But it didn’t happen. Interior was /is a department screaming for real change.
Oil and war – one equals the other and we seem to crave both.