Will the BP oil spill hurt the Democrats?

Republicans are referring to the Gulf disaster as "Obama's Katrina." Will the spill do long-term damage to the president and his party?

Critics say the Democrats have been too slow to respond to the BP spill.
(Image credit: Getty)

The Coast Guard says the "top kill" effort has temporarily stopped oil from gushing out of a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico. But — even if the fix holds — there has been untold damage done already, and Democratic strategist James Carville has joined the chorus of Republican critics blasting Obama's response to the spill as too slow. Will public anger over the BP oil gusher cost the Democrats in 2010 and beyond? (Watch James Carville's comments)

Yes, this is Obama's Katrina: Under federal law, the states slammed by Hurricane Katrina were in charge of the response, says Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal, yet George W. Bush still got blamed for the shortcomings in the relief effort. The BP accident took place at sea, where the federal government is in charge. Voters won't forget that Obama "let more than a month go by without telling BP what to do."

"Yes, the Gulf spill is Obama's Katrina"

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The public doesn't blame Obama: More Americans approve than disapprove of Obama's handling of the spill, says Christopher Beam in Slate. If anything, people share the anger he expressed when he said, "Plug the damn hole." The real problem for Democrats is that Obama has failed to seize on this disaster to make the case for far-reaching environmental and energy reforms.

"Why aren't Democrats emotionally exploiting the oil spill?"

All of Washington will pay for this: "Sad to say, the Gulf's black hole tells of a larger political gulf: The one between an angry public and a Washington that doesn't seem to work," says Gloria Berger at CNN.com. So Democratic and Republican incumbents alike should fear the backlash over the giant oil slick floating in the Gulf and threatening to smother Louisiana's wetlands. Because it will only fuel the fire in voters already eager to throw the bums out.

"Oil spill's danger for Democrats"

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