When Congressmen cry over spilt oil
During a Congressional hearing on the Gulf oil spill, Rep. Charlie Melancon -who represents much of the coastal areas of Louisiana affected buy the spill- lost his composure and began to cry.
I’d like to remind my collegues … that the recovery phase is just as critical as the response phase. Everything that I know and love is at risk.
Via Yahoo News
At that point, the Congressman lost his struggle with his emotions and left the hearing, embarrassed by his inability to control his feelings.
Even for the most cynical among us, there can be no question that Rep. Melancon’s emotion was very real. What’s more, it spoke volumes about a part of this disaster that those of us living outside the impact zone simply cannot hope to grasp- the tragedy of seeing one’s home town and surroundings completely trashed by an entity that cared more about saving some money than protecting someone’s home.
In case you haven’t seen what took place, here’s the video -
I live in earthquake territory. When a shaker hits and an apartment building comes tumbling down, we look to the builder of that apartment building to see if the rules were followed or if corners were cut to save some money. If we find the corners were cut, people start going to jail.
How are the events on the offending oil rig any different? We’ve heard all about the arguments that took place on the rig over safety issues – arguments that were resolved by BP executives in favor of saving money. We’ve heard about how warnings of danger that had been received on the rig in the hours preceeding the explosion were simply ignored.
The result of this event was not only the death of 11 people who, presumably, were constituents of Rep. Melancon, but the ruination of the surroundings that are an important part of Melancon’s life.
Rep. Melancon should not be embarrassed in the least over his loss of emotional control.
While the congressman represents some 600,000 people who have been severely harmed by BP’s negligence and will continue to suffer damage for many years into the future, I think that at the moment when the congressman lost his composure it was not his constituents that were in his mind.
This is a man who clearly feels a ‘connection’ to the wetlands and beaches that are not only a part of his Congressional district but a very important part of his life and history. His loss of control was not about politics and, because of that, his tears were as refreshing as they were sad.
Typically, when I reference a member of Congress in an article, I follow the name with a disclosure of that individual’s party affiliation. If I don’t already know the party membership of the person I’m discussing, I look it up – along with any other salient details which might provide insight into the politician upon which I am focusing.
I don’t know if Rep. Melancon is a Democrat or a Republican – and I did not look it up. I don’t know because I don’t want to know and I don’t want to know because, for once, this man’s party affiliation is of absolutely no consequence. I could not care less if he is a Democrat or a Republican.
Here is what I do know.
When I’m looking for someone to serve as guide on how this matter should be handled going forward, I’ll be looking in the direction of Congressman Charlie Melancon for that guidance. And I will do so with a clear predisposition to believe what he has to say.
If Congress can satisfy Charlie Melancon, then it’s going to be all good with me.