We can’t have Obama-led government incompetence suck up all the oxygen in the room now, can we?
That wouldn’t be prudent:
In the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama today summoned a bipartisan group of over 20 senators to the White House to push for energy and climate change legislation.
But one thing the President did not want to talk about at the meeting was the BP disaster, a Republican source told ABC News. And that, the source said, led to a pointed exchange with GOP senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee.
“The priority should be fixing the oil spill,” Alexander told the President, according to the source. “That’s what any meeting about energy should be about.”
But when Alexander tried to interject the BP leak into the meeting, the source said, the President told the senator, “That’s just your talking point.”
Retorted Alexander, “No, it’s my opinion.”
Senator Alexander made the critical mistake of highlighting a situation where government is not only not a solution, but impeding progress towards a solution.
Given that the Barack Obama is all about bigger and intrusive government, bringing up such issues are verboten. Government, and by extension, Barack Obama, can only do good things.
Once again, it’s all about Obama. Narcissism prevails in this White House.
There’s really not much to say about this lame stab at leadership by President Obama. To me this was a waste of an Oval Office speech, only because the blatant politicization of the oil spill is reaching absurd proportions.
For Obama, everything is political, including this oil spill.
The commentariat have spoken. The most spot-on assesment I’ve seen so far however, comes from Stacy McCain:
The Gulf oil spill is not a political problem. You can’t negotiate a compromise with a broken well. Nor is the oil spill a legal problem. You can sue BP, but litigation isn’t going to cap that well. And all the “community organizing” in the world isn’t going to fix the problem, unless you’re planning to plug the well with SEIU members.
What is Obama’s greatest skill? Reading speeches. As I remarked in February 2009, Obama could read the ingredients from the side panel of a box of pancake batter (“…dextrose, partially hydrogenated soybean oil with mono- and diglycerides…“) and inspire standing ovations from an audience of adoring Democrats. But all Obama’s oratorical powers are useless to the task of plugging that well.
As I’ve noted before, the spill was not the President’s fault, no more than Katrina was Bush’s fault. And as for the President’s “response” in both of these situations? What can they do really?
At this point, anyone who doesn’t think that Obama is desperately trying to regain any shred of credibility in the wake of falling poll numbers, by grandstanding about this disaster is seriously fooling themselves. The rushed trips to the Gulf, the “kick ass” statement, etc., all culminating in this pathetic speech, everything smacked of desperation.
The need to “do something” to appear presidential just resulted in more flailing, more idiocy.
Which leads to the ultimate problem for left-wingers–their incessant belief in the power of large bureaucracies like the Federal government to be able to “solve” these problems. Couple that with an incompetent community-organizer as President and you have one heckuva problem on your hands.
No wonder why people are starting to realize that Obama kinda sucks at handling crises:
[Public Policy Polling's] new Louisiana poll has a lot of data points to show how unhappy voters in the state are with Barack Obama’s handling of the oil spill but one perhaps sums it up better than anything else- a majority of voters there think George W. Bush did a better job with Katrina than Obama’s done dealing with the spill.
50% of voters in the state, even including 31% of Democrats, give Bush higher marks on that question compared to 35% who pick Obama.
Overall only 32% of Louisianans approve of how Obama has handled the spill to 62% who disapprove. 34% of those polled say they approved of how Bush dealt with Katrina to 58% who disapproved.
That the MSM is going nuts about this speaks volumes. At this point, anything the President says or does just digs him deeper in the hole.
Cue up the propaganda machine:
President Obama will give an address to the nation on the BP oil spill this week, delivering remarks Tuesday night at the end of a two-day trip to the Gulf region.
In the address from the White House, Obama will map out the government’s next steps, senior adviser David Axelrod said on NBC’s Meet the Press. He is expected to announce plans requiring BP to put billions into an escrow account to be used for compensating victims. “We want to make sure that money is escrowed for the legitimate claims,” Axelrod said.
Asked about a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll showing public dissatisfaction with the federal response to the oil spill, now nearly two months old, Axelrod said it cannot be compared to a single-moment event such as a hurricane. “This is an ongoing crisis, much like an epidemic,” he said.
Looks like those poll numbers are really hitting the floor. Am I the only one that gets the feeling that this is just more flailing around on the part of the President, and a blatant act of desperation?
We can expect everything plus the kitchen sink in this address–the demonization of BP, the demagoguery, the implication that Republicans have to share some, if not all of the blame, etc. This should be really fun.
Except when it can.
Rolling Stone runs with an extremely detailed piece on the politics behind the BP oil spill. It’s well worth a read and filled with interesting observations:
Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency’s culture of corruption.
He permitted it to rubber-stamp dangerous drilling operations by BP – a firm with the worst safety record of any oil company – with virtually no environmental safeguards, using industry-friendly regulations drafted during the Bush years.
He calibrated his response to the Gulf spill based on flawed and misleading estimates from BP – and then deployed his top aides to lowball the flow rate at a laughable 5,000 barrels a day, long after the best science made clear this catastrophe would eclipse the Exxon Valdez.
On the campaign trail, Obama had stressed that offshore drilling “will not make a real dent in current gas prices or meet the long-term challenge of energy independence.” But once in office, he bowed to the politics of “drill, baby, drill.” Hoping to use oil as a bargaining chip to win votes for climate legislation in Congress, Obama unveiled an aggressive push for new offshore drilling in the Arctic, the Southeastern seaboard and new waters in the Gulf, closer to Florida than ever before [...]
Undeterred, Obama and Salazar appeared together at Andrews Air Force Base on March 31st to introduce the plan. The stagecraft was pure Rove in its technicolor militaristic patriotism. The president’s podium was set up in front of the cockpit of an F-18, flanked by a massive American flag. “We are not here to do what is easy,” Salazar declared. “We are here to do what is right.” He insisted that his reforms at MMS were working: “We are making decisions based on sound information and sound science.”
The president, for his part, praised Salazar as “one of the finest secretaries of Interior we’ve ever had” and stressed that his administration had studied the drilling plan for more than a year. “This is not a decision that I’ve made lightly,” he said. Two days later, he issued an even more sweeping assurance. “It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills,” the president said. “They are technologically very advanced.”
Eighteen days later, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Deepwater Horizon rig went off like a bomb.
I’m not going to make judgements entirely off of one article in Rolling Stone. But to deny that the administration, while not to blame for the explosion, has its fingerprints all over the blatant mismanagement and flailing of the layers of bureaucracies involved, is just idiotic at this point.
This made me laugh:
They told me that if I voted for John McCain in 2008, the White House would provide lame responses to national crises.
Looks like they were right:
A month and a half after the spill began, 69 percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll rate the federal response negatively. That compares with a 62 negative rating for the response to Katrina two weeks after the August 2005 hurricane.
In addition to the 7-point difference in negative ratings of the federal response to the oil spill vs. Katrina, there’s a 10-point difference in positive ratings – 28 percent for the government’s oil spill response, vs. 38 percent for its response to Katrina.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Barack Obama was supposed to bring a cool, level-headed maturity to the White House, characteristics and a presence that allegedly were absent with the previous occupant.
We were told over and over and over again, that Obama was bringing a different type of governance to Washington. Things were going to be different–government would be streamlined, more efficient, accountable.
All we see from the President is amateurish statements about kicking “ass”, plugging that “damn hole”, demonization and passing the buck. In other words, all talk and incompetence. This is not what the American people voted for in 2008, or rather, it’s not what the Obama campaign advertised.