AP: Jindal and Gulf Coast Conservatives Hypocrites for Requesting Federal Oil Spill Help

An Associated Press article June 2 echoed the Left’s new talking point that small-government conservatives are being hypocrites when they ask for federal assistance during environmental disasters.

With the headline, “Conservatives seek gov’t solutions after oil spill,” reporter Emily Wagster Pettus’ article starts out quoting a conservative who says there is “nothing inherently contradictory.” The rest of the article attempts to prove a small-government conservative can’t call on the federal government for aid.

“All along the GulfCoast, where the tea party thrives and ‘socialism’ is a common description for any government program,” Pettus wrote, “conservatives who usually denounce federal activism suddenly are clamoring for it.”

The article specifically targets Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a fiscal conservative who very publicly rejected some of the federal money available under the “stimulus’ bill.

Pottus cited LouisianaStateUniversity political science professor Kirby Goidel to suggest that, “Jindal’s call for larger federal involvement in the oil spill management contradicts the governor’s usual persona.” Goidel called the response from small-government conservatives “predictable.”

Pottus and Goidel don’t mention that federal laws could be forcing Jindal to rely on the federal government’s assistance with the oil spill. Recently, the governor has clashed with federal bureaucracies like the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency over their delays and obstructions in building barrier islands. Jindal has said that if the federal agencies don’t provide the material for the barrier islands, then he would order the construction himself, in violation of federal law.

The legitimate conflicts between state and federal interests don’t seem to be of interested to the AP when there are conservatives to be bashed.

The article also characterizes Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour as a hypocrite. But, it’s worth noting, Barbour is mentioned not for complaining about a lack of federal initiative on the oil spill – he has specifically decline to criticize the federal response – but for lobbying for federal money in the cleanup of Hurricane Katrina nearly five years ago.

Beyond Jindal and Barbour, Pottus had to look deeper into state politics to find examples with even a whiff of hypocrisy. She named Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, Mississippi State Rep. Steven Palazzo, and Alabama State Sen. Ben Brooks.

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