"Deregulation" is wonderful until we discover what happens when regulations aren't issued or enforced. Everyone is a capitalist until a private company blunders. Then everyone starts talking like a socialist, presuming that the government can put things right because they see it as being just as big and powerful as its Tea Party critics claim it is.
But the truth is that we have disempowered government and handed vast responsibilities over to a private sector that will never see protecting the public interest as its primary task. The sludge in the gulf is, finally, the product of our own contradictions.
E.J. Dionne is right of course - and he should have written this column two years ago when Wall Street nearly melted the economy in a shroud of non-existent regulation for an industry that Alan Greenspan said last year did the thing he couldn't understand - put short-term profits ahead of long-term survival.