Jeb Bush offered up a bizarre defense of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder in the wake of the wholesale poisoning of tens of thousands of Flint residents, somehow managing to blame the problem on confusing regulations. Because obviously, Snyder and others in his administration could not have figured out on his own that high lead levels in drinking water was a bad thing without consulting regulations.
On ABC’s This Week, co-host Martha Raddatz asked Bush who is to blame for the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and the fact that the city of more than 100,000 Americans had been “drinking, eating, brushing their teeth in lead-contaminated water, while the government was telling them repeatedly ‘it’s safe to use.’”
“We’ve created this complex, no responsibility regulatory system, where the federal government, the state government, a regional government, local and county governments are all pointing fingers at one another.” He proposed simply having a “21st century system of rules: Whenever you see a problem, it should become public, there should be transparency instead of trying to cover it up.”
This situation has precisely nothing to do with too much or confusing regulations. No one needs regulations to tell them that drinking water should not be loaded with lead, or that when tests show that there are high levels of lead you have to do something about it. Snyder did nothing for months other than continue to claim that the water was safe to drink.
He then praised Synder for having “taken responsibility” and for “rolling up his sleeves and trying to deal with it.” Bush said he should not resign, as he “needs to do what he’s doing, which is to accept responsibility and began to solve the problem,” adding that Snyder has “been a great governor for Michigan.”
Finally, Bush said that instead of “blaming people,” we should be doing what Snyder is doing, creating a strategy to fix it — praise that would seem to contradict his claim moments earlier that the state government was among those “pointing fingers.”
Funny how when someone we support screws up, it’s always terribly important to “look forward, not back” and not bother with blaming anyone. When someone we don’t support screws up, it’s just as important to assess blame.