Don’t listen to the Great & Powerful Oz. He’s at it again: “There are a number of folk out there that are spending their time mainly on the political side and the blame side.”
That’s Gov. Rick Snyder in a Reuters report a few days ago talking about the Flint water scandal (I no longer call it a crisis – a crisis is something that happens to you; a scandal is something done to you.)
A Detroit News story had this: “Snyder, who has apologized, said he wished the national discourse about Flint ‘was more focused on solutions,’ and he complained of people ‘spending time on blame issues’ instead of waiting for multiple investigations to be finished.”
Snyder even has the usual cast of GOP defenders repeating the “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” Wizard of Oz mantra: “A crisis isn’t solved by finger pointing, grandstanding, gotcha games, exaggerations and hysteria,” Detroit News op-ed page editor Nolan Finley wrote. “That’s what’s been going on in Flint, and it isn’t helping.”
Sure it is. What’s the best way to make sure something bad isn’t repeated?Study it, figure out who did what and why, then take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again, right?
Only the people responsible for a spill don’t want blame assigned. Most people I know (meaning adults) know that if someone tells you to not bother identifying the mess-maker, that’s exactly what you should do.
If it was Snyder’s two – count ’em two – PR companies that came up with that little strategem, he got chumped. It’s the oldest and feeblest in the book.
Hitler: “Sure, I caused the greatest war in history, but let’s not focus on the past, let’s focus on the future!”
John Wilkes Booth: “OK, yes, I killed him but if all we’re going to do is play the blame game we’ll never unite the country. You people are such Negative Nellies!”
Exxon: “We get it: We spilled 38 million gallons in Alaskan waters causing the greatest environmental disaster in world history. But a crisis isn’t solved by finger-pointing, grandstanding, gotcha games, exaggerations and hysteria.”
The Wizard of Oz: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
Obi wan Kenobi: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
It’s insulting to the people of Flint to suggest they shouldn’t want to know exactly who to point the finger at.
Weirdly and ironically enough, the Detroit News own editorial page agreed in it’s editorial Saturday (Feb. 6). It took the governor to task over “this week’s alarming revelation that Gov. Rick Snyder’s staff knew about the spike in Legionnaires’ disease in Flint well before he announced it publicly calls into question the administration’s commitment to full transparency regarding this crisis.”
The editorial called on the governor to release all emails about the crisis, not just his staff’s handpicked few: “The lead poisoning alone was terrible. The Legionnaires’ spike is worse — at least nine people died. And if Snyder or his staff is caught in a cover-up, it will turn this crisis into an unmitigated disaster for Michigan. The people of Flint can’t begin to recover from this tragedy with so many questions still unanswered. Snyder owes them, and all of Michigan, a complete and unfiltered accounting. Today.”
Oooo, when the Wizard reads that he’s going to be sooo peeved.