As the Anchoress writes, “Obama Knew Spill Scope from Day 1:”
President Obama surely cannot be blamed for (or personally do anything about) “the damn hole,” that–even “capped”– is still gushing oil into (and beyond) the Gulf of Mexico, and that’s why reasonable people have not been the ones insisting that the president play superhero, or display reassuring “concern” by doing a public freak-out. In a crisis, you want the president to be calm and collected.
But Obama just as surely could have informed the nation that we were facing a long-term assault on our environment that would have wide repercussions.
He could have put his legendary oratorical skills to work, communicating an appreciation of the gravity of the situation, and an assurance that everything that could possibly be done to protect the environment was being done.
That was his fundamental job as president: clear communication of the struggle ahead, and reassurance that all possible efforts at collection and containment were operational. That is what he could have done, and did not; six weeks into it, he still has not really managed it.
We’ve just spent years listening to ungenerous, miserable people excoriate President Bush for calmly taking 7 minutes, after learning of the attacks of 9/11, to allow his Secret Service to do their thing and to–with a great deal of composure–take his leave from a classroom without managing to scare the children or give an impression of fear that would be put before the nation and the world.
After watching President Obama take six weeks to process the terrible news he was given–pressing forward with golf, vacations, parties and fund-raisers in order to not scare the nation–even if that it meant he seemed a little disengaged from the BP Oil disaster, I never want to hear another sneering, idiotic My Pet Goat joke, again.
Oh you will, you will — but at least there’s a rejoinder now. (And there was back then — one: until the second plane hit the WTC, it wasn’t clear if it was a catastrophic air disaster, or terrorism; two: why scare the daylights out of a bunch of innocent kids?) Just as the original cast and writers of Saturday Night Live were doing Nixon jokes six years after he left office, it’s inevitable that we’ll be hearing My Pet Goat references at least until 2019 or so. Consider the alternative for the left, as Michael Silence wrote at the Knoxville Sentinel:
I’m not surprised that mantra is still hanging around. I mean, do you think they want to talk about the last 18 months?
But certainly those last 18 months have done much to place the previous eight years into sharp perspective.
Insert obligatory Chicago-way style reference here.