What’s the deal with the White House? Leftists want to know…(Gulf Oil spill edition)
Browsing the blogosphere, I’m starting to get the feeling that the hard left is none too happy with the Obama administration’s lackadaisical response to the oil spill in the gulf. Exhibit A here.
Then there’s prominent leftist Peter Daou’s piece in the Huff Po, in which he clearly has a case of the vapors:
The Gulf disaster is a singular moment – an opportunity to bring the human race together to save itself, to protect its only home.
This should be a rocket-boost for the environmental movement, a time to finally put to rest the notion that environmentalists are misguided alarmists, a chance to finally marginalize green-bashers and put an end to their fatal obstructionism.
Instead, this grand debacle will gradually fade into the background once some political gaffe or sports game or celebrity scandal occupies us.
But kudos to Daou for laying blame at the feet of the administration:
[…]President Obama can launch as many fact-finding commissions as he sees fit. But we shouldn’t be impressed that they are doing what we elected them to do – it’s their job to deal with emergencies promptly and effectively.
The administration seems miffed and mystified that it is being criticized. After all, it can reel off dozens of swift actions taken in the aftermath of the spill.
The White House’s defenders want the spotlight aimed exclusively at BP. But this is a situation where body language and words are just as important as actions.
Scheduling an ‘angry’ presidential news conference weeks after oil started gushing into the Gulf waters is exactly the wrong thing to do.
Authentic anger isn’t something you turn on for the cameras and leak to the press the previous day. Indignation and defensiveness are precisely the wrong message…
Two things here.
First, I agree with his take on American ambivalence towards crises facing the country. The looming debt crisis, financial and mortgage crises of the last two years might as well be ancient history for example. And I’m in the camp that these are merely in remission and they will rear their ugly heads yet again. It’s speaks volumes of our political class’ whatever attitude and their unwillingness to make hard and uncomfortable decisions.
Which brings me to the second point. Despite campaigning as a different politician, one who was willing to make these hard decisions and change the way “Washington works”, Barack Obama is proving to be the complete opposite–your standard fare for DC.
This is nothing new. But it presents an interesting dynamic. The memories of the Bush administration are just beginning to fade, but the Left’s gnashing of teeth over perceived errors and bureaucratic hubris over Hurricane Katrina, the wars, etc. is essentially what got Obama elected. Obama was the anti-Bush.
So now you have the Left getting agitated over the White House sticking its thumb in their collective eye over a disaster that makes Katrina look like a spring shower.
Part of the problem is that the left assumes government can “solve” these problems. Hence, their aneurysm over Bush and Katrina. In reality, there’s not that much the federal government can do and government bureaucracy is horribly inefficient in these situations. And one could make the argument that Republicans lost the White House for less.
All I ask is for consistency from the Left on their moral equivalencies. Time will tell.