Are we just pissed off that Mr Incredible, Jesus, the Anointed One, The One, Superman, is incapable of stopping a little ol' oil leak one mile under the ocean. OR are we just trying to come to grips with the fact that Man (Humans) can really F**k it up every once in awhile and there's not much we can do about it?
Pundits, specifically cable pundits and bloggers are all a tizzy because the President had what they call a terrible speech, Tuesday. However, not one gives any specific advice on what the President is Not doing.
We get questions like "He is relying too much on BP for answers", probably the most legitimate question but who else is going to solve the issue of the leak, the military, some government agency?
BP is the only entity that will ultimately solve this issue, PERIOD! So the President has no choice but to, trust but verify, what BP is telling the administration. To my knowledge there is no SWAT team-like, para-military unit, on hand and ready to cap an oil spill one mile under the ocean.
Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, I just don't get what they are wanting from the President. They are criticizing him for what not stopping the leak? Not telling the American people what they wanted to hear, not having a plan to stop the leak? Not enough emotion?
BTW, the President does have a plan to stop the leak, its called the BP relief well digging operation, that BP says will be concluded in August.
Matthews is down on the Palin level when he says the president needs to stop relying on smart people and get someone in charge who knows what they are doing! WTF is he talking about? Who the hell on this planet knows how to stop an oil leak of this magnitude in this depth of water... Answer: NO ONE!
There is an old cliche, when you are in a hole stop digging...Most disappointing and unfortunate was Rachel's sad commentary on what she would say if she were President. The problem is, she is not the President and doesn't carry the weight of the Gulf, nation, and the people affected by this tragedy on her shoulders. So Rachel trying to IMO justify her criticism with this faux presidential speech was too cute by a half.
Reporters, talking heads, and pundits have to realize that the President carries the heavy burden of decision making that has consequences. Real people that are being affected by this catastrophe families of the dead oil rig workers, people who own shrimp boats, the bait shop guy, and the trinket seller are all out of work or have been materially affected in a negative way. The President alone carries the burden of being ACCOUNTABLE for their hurt. Accountable, not in the context of liability but accountable for "taking the thorn out of the Lion's paw", in the sense that he knows what needs to be done, but there are no good options to solve it.
Now we have Keith Olbermann upset at the backlash from his criticism saying that he is leaving the DKos community. Dude c'mon a little heat and you run? Mr. Olbermann, if you multiply that pressure and criticism by a thousand you probably get an idea of the pressure the real President is under.
I really believe that there is a huge disconnect with how difficult people perceive the office of president to be. I think some think that he is some type of monarch or supreme entity that can order different branches of government to his will.
Howard Kurtz, Washingtonpost.com's Media Notes, says what more can the President do?
As someone who thought the speech wasn't all that bad, I ask this question: What was Obama supposed to do?
If he had been less upbeat about the future, he would have been criticized for being too pessimistic and dragging everyone down.
If he had attacked BP more vigorously, he would have drawn flak for being anti-business.
If he had raised his voice and banged the desk, he would have been called too angry.
If he had failed to talk about an energy plan for the future, he would have been chided for having no vision.
If he had laid out what he wants in an environmental bill, he would have been faulted for boring the country with legislative details.
Surprisingly. Kurtz points out that a CONSERVATIVE, yes Satin himself gave the president more than passing grades with his oval office speech.
Some kind words from an unexpected conservative corner,NYT columnist Ross Douthat:
"Nobody liked it. Well, of course nobody liked it: Until the oil well stops belching crude into the Gulf of Mexico, there's nothing that the president of the United States can say about the crisis that will make anyone feel better about it. So maybe the speech shouldn't have been given at all -- except that it had to be given, because for weeks and weeks the White House has been pilloried by the cult of the presidency's true believers (and the occasional opportunist) for not doing enough about the spill, not talking tough enough or acting engaged enough or something, anything, whatever, just do something, Mr. President! And so the White House did what White Houses do, and especially White Houses with a lot of confidence in their occupant's oratorical powers: They scheduled a prime-time address, and hoped for the best.
"Given this impossible context, I thought the speech was reasonably well-crafted."
There's the headline: Obama Fails to Accomplish Mission Impossible.
Conservatives and Republicans seeking to exploit this politically stepped all over themselves by criticizing the President for working out a deal with BP to setup a $20 billion slush fund.
Then Texas Rep Joe Barton really stepped in it by apologizing to BP, WTF?
Now Barton feeling the heat from other Republicans and under threat of being asked to resign his leadership post on the Energy and Commerce Committee, issued this non-apology, apology.
Like I said above, in the ironies of ironies, the conservative Ross Douthat has captured the essence of the President's problem.
Obama continues to fail at Mission Impossible