For a year and a half, Republicans "stamped their feet and held their breath" every time President Obama tried to tackle a problem, says John Farmer at There was something oddly reassuring about conservatives' unwavering certainty that, even in these trying times, reducing government "to a permanent vegetative state" was the answer to all our problems. They were at their most strident when it came to keeping the government's "regulatory hands" off the oil industry. "Remember 'drill, baby drill?' It was the mantra of the 2008 Republican National Convention." Then BP's deepwater drilling platform sank, and oil began gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. Suddenly, Republicans seem to have decided that Big Government might not be such a bad thing, after all. Here, an excerpt:

"Now the GOP is in full cry demanding the federales step in, take charge, halt all such drilling, and immediately stem the oil flood — as if it could. Only BP and the oil giants have the technology and know-how to handle the crisis. But Republicans, after decades of coddling the oil industry and celebrating its technical skills, have lost faith in their old favorite....

We’re in a new political environment driven by a spreading sense of national powerlessness. Thus the new Republican demand that Obama act presidential, even that he 'take charge,' whether in the Gulf or on jobs.

They’ve got it right, finally.

The question is, what took them so long?"

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