Et tu, Olbermann?
After Obama’s Oval Office address to the nation about the oil spill (which, as Ed Morrissey rightly points out, should have been on Day 1, not Day 57), Keith Olbermann and guests Chris “Tingle Me” Matthews and Howard Fineman couldn’t even find it within themselves to give their man the benefit of the doubt. As Olbermann said, “It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days.” And Matthews opined, “I don’t sense executive command.”
Remember the Wendy’s commercial with the old woman shouting, “Where’s the beef?” Essentially, that’s what Olbermann, Matthews, and Fineman were asking — along with the rest of a puzzled nation.
I didn’t think it possible for The One’s most faithful apostles to start questioning the tenets of the New Religion and criticizing its messiah. When that happens, you know things aren’t going well for the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
And we all know how well Obama deals with criticism. Whatever you might want to say about his predecessor, George W. Bush was able to take his lumps. If he complained about how the press treated him, he did it privately and no one tattled on him. Obama? Not so much. Even the teensiest bit of publicly uttered disapproval or disagreement of his agenda gets his knickers in a twist. He becomes self-defensive, testy, and downright snippy. Even during the campaign he felt as though reporters were too intrusive, whining the immortal question, “Why can’t I just eat my waffle?”
I’m half expecting him to ask, “Why can’t I just play golf?”
Here’s the thing: Barry’s the president. The oil spill is not his fault, just as Hurricane Katrina was not George Bush’s fault, no matter how the left tried to pin it on him. However, being president is a lot more than singing with Paul McCartney and expensive date nights with the missus. A slow reaction to such destruction as we’ve seen over the last month and a half does not a popular president make. Under Bush, the federal government’s response to Katrina was secondary to that of the local and state government, who should have been the first responders. But the oil spill happened in federal waters. I’m not expecting Obama to, as he put it, “plug the damn hole” or even “suck it up with a straw,” but I do expect him to delegate responsibility to those who can get the job done and to stay informed and work with the executives from BP, not go around talking about looking for some “ass to kick” in a tasteless and pathetic attempt to be the tough guy that he is not. I also expect him to accept the immediate help offered from other nations to clean up the mess, not turn them down.
In other words, I expect him to lead.