So I get home from work and turn on the tv to try to find out how much the stock market plummeted today. It’s a weird game I learned to play a couple of years ago; I work my butt off, then come home to find out how much less I’m worth than I was 1o hours before. Good times. I switch across cable news programs trying to find one that isn’t in the middle of a commercial, when all of a sudden I’m hypnotized. I find myself in a wacky alternative universe when who else but Chris Matthews is making the case that the Gulf oil spill is somehow directly due to VP Cheney’s close relationship with the oil industry.

Well, let’s start by accepting the premise. Let’s just all posit that VP Cheney was tied to big oil and that caused the deregulation that eventually led to the BP spill. I may not watch the news as much as I should, but I was under the illusion that VP Cheney has been out of office for a few months now. So Cheney didn’t want the oil industry closely regulated. It’s sort of sad that President Obama hasn’t been able to do anything about it for the last 18 months. What has Obama done, though?

Well, as one of his most important acts in this area, he appointed Ken ‘All Hat, No Cattle’ Salazar as Interior Secretary. As senator, Salazar consistently voted with the different energy industries that were engaged in Colorado. But maybe he was not representing himself on those votes, but was instead voting for his constituents’ interests. Once installed as Interior Secretary, Salazar was so intent on re-regulating the oil industry that he couldn’t even clean house in an apparently corrupt agency within his purview for a year and a half. So, why did Obama appoint the Hat? He had a mere 58 member majority in the Senate at the time. It wasn’t like he had to cave in to the Republicans. He could’ve appointed anyone semi-qualified and they would have been approved. Maybe, just maybe, Obama didn’t want to change the energy policy.

Is there any evidence to suggest this? Well, Obama’s energy policy includes (I guess I should use the past tense, now) an expansion of offshore drilling, since as he said in April, offshore rigs are safer than the tankers. But, in the DC lingo vault, that phrase is probably inoperative now.

Maybe Obama was just fulfilling his constituents’ beliefs with this argument. Maybe he thought that the people who voted for him actually wanted offshore drilling. Let’s see, his opponent’s main theme that I can recall was ‘Drill, Baby, Drill.’ Who do you guess people who wanted more oil supply voted for?

So, Obama appointed someone who was antithetical to cleaning up the corruption scandal, and it didn’t get cleaned up. He said the likelihood of a spill was minuscule, and now the fishing industry is moribund in the Gulf, and resorts in Florida are counting the days until they get to start cleaning birds on the beach. The people who voted for him wanted him to move the nation a little away from our dependence upon oil, and we now find ourselves with the rapturous joy of watching a webcam provide a picture of a disaster…but it’s Cheney’s fault. Who else could we blame?