California banned offshore drilling after a Unocal oil rig began leaking off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969. The US Senate banned offshore oil drilling off most federally controlled waters in 1980. Bush I grudgingly banned offshore oil drilling off Alaska, the west coast and the North Atlantic. Then, just before leaving office, the Chimperator lifted the presidential ban and urged Congress to write new legislation. Congress did nothing.
It was President Obama who undid decades of preservationist policy by lifting the presidential ban that protected 85% of the nations coastline. 22 days later, we had the greatest manmade ecological disaster in history. Obama's timing couldn't have been worse.
Worse still, the president is seen as being slow to react. Listening to BP instead of taking charge of the situation and being more forceful. He's described as lackadaisical and naive.
Faced with a growing danger to our well-being, a WWII-type government would at minimum have:
Brought in the CEOs of all the major oil companies and charged them with the duty of an all-hands collaborative effort to stop the spill and help ward off the damage.
Brought in the best minds in the country, from universities and technology, for emergency efforts to find solutions.
Moved quickly to mobilize the National Guard and other military forces, if necessary, ensuring that they received the resources needed to protect our beaches.
Made a clear call to citizen volunteers to help where necessary.
Given Cabinet officers an ultimatum: Get this under control in the next 30 days, or else.
This president WILL NOT win re-election.
You might disagree with me. You might dredge up old polls showing him doing favorably amongst Democrats. You'd be wrong. Or as banger so eloquently said:
I say this because someone I know who has spent a lifetime caring for and advocating for animals in a sometimes heroic way said to me in grief "it's the end of the world." What she meant by this I'm not sure but it came out of a heart that bleeds for all living things in a way mine doesn't. I'm trying to say to all you who might read this: do you fucking realize how fucking important this is? Do you realize what this tells us about the attitude of this country and this site when this mega, mega, event happens and people here are worried about me and others criticizing Obama?
Maybe this thing will finally, after five long weeks, be capped. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But the concern here at DKOS ought to be for what this says about Democrats and this administration. Whether or not the administration has done the right thing or not this is of the utmost importance and should be on the front burner, not because I said so, but because our oceans are very fragile right now. If you don't give a fuck about that then how about this being the crown in the jewel of this administration's show of insensitivity to anything left of center Democrats might be concerned about--we all know the long litany--war, war, war, torture, torture, bailout of Wall Street, lack of interest in prosecuting massive fraud, lukewarm support of barely breathing financial reform efforts, bogus HCR bill (sorry the bill is slightly better than worthless) to name just a few things.
Progressives are going to say "When the end of the world came, he did NOTHING." He's lost his base. Does anyone truly believe he can win without the left? What's Obama going to run on? More change? Our country can't take anymore of this kind of change! Our country is NOT going to take it!
Obama is toast.
Consider the following facts that are bound to become widely public if Obama wins the Democratic Primary:
Obama/Salazar intervened last year to allow BP to drill at Mississippi Canyon Block 252, where tens of millions of gallons of oil are now polluting the Gulf of Mexico.
The actual exploratory drilling was approved by the Obama administration on April 6, 2009.
Within days of the 2009 approval, the Center for Biological Diversity and its allies won a court order vacating the Bush Five-Year Offshore Drilling Plan. Rather than use the court order as a timeout on new offshore oil drilling to develop a new plan, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar filed a special motion with the court to exempt approved oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. He specifically identified BP's operation as one that should be released from the vacature.
So the system actually worked, and offshore drilling had been shut down around Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, but then...
Obama/Salazar intervened in court to start drilling again, in April 2009, without further evironmental review, exactly where Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank.
And in that comment section it is pointed out that:
During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.
It doesn't matter if you point out who made those donations. That will be seen as desperate spin by a populace looking for someone to blame. These facts are going to hang around Obama's neck like a noose. The general publics backlash is guaranteed to be aimed directly at him. We're facing the reality of a Republican back in the White House if we don't defeat Obama in the primaries. Simply because so many will desert the Democratic Party or refuse to show up at the polls given his miserable performance.
Notice I'm not even assessing the fallout because Obama officially did not support the public option. Or backlash from the Wall St. bailout. Or the wars. Or Gitmo. Or the failure to bring Bush to justice.
I'm saying that, given a very upset base, a very upset populace in general and a faux pas of epic proportions regarding offshore drilling, this president is toast. Could you imagine ANY president able to bounce back after something like this?
The question facing democrats - and by extension progressive democrats - is who do we want to run against whatever Republican oilman is up for election in 2012? If that person is Obama, we are going to be stuck with said oilman in the White House.
Then it truly WILL BE the end of the world.
So we need to make the hard choice now. We need to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. It's time to fold 'em on Obama and find an answer. Find someone that people will believe in once again. And this time, WE need to find that person, not the D.C. insiders, not corporate interests.
I asked FDL readers last week "Who should primary Obama?" and these are the best candidates that people suggested:
The progressive community needs to start hashing out just who they are going to get behind. As some mentioned last week, we could - and probably should - begin a "Draft Candidate X" campaign. Even before we know which one is going to agree to run.
So I've started this diary to get some momentum going. Get people discussing possible candidates and possible ways to start raising money for a progressive presidential candidates campaign.
The first question is: is such a campaign to oust our own incumbent president even feasible? You might want to consider what POLITICO has to say on this subject before you dismiss it outright:
The anti-establishment, anti-incumbent fevers on display Tuesday are not new. The ideologically charged, grass-roots activists flexing their muscle in this week’s primary showdowns are the same breed as primary voters who four years ago stripped the Democratic nomination away from Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who later won as an independent.
What’s now clear, in a way that wasn’t before, is that these results reflect a genuine national phenomenon, not simply isolated spasms in response to single issues or local circumstances.
This is a stark and potentially durable change in politics. The old structures that protected incumbent power are weakening. New structures, from partisan news outlets to online social networks, are giving anti-establishment politicians access to two essential elements of effective campaigns: publicity and financial support.
In effect, the anti-institutional forces that coalesced in recent years now look like an institutional force of their own.
In short, we are a force to be reckoned with. Do not sell yourselves short. And DON'T listen to corporate shills lurking on this website spewing their defeatist bullshit, trying to tell you this can't be done.
Yes, we CAN. We HAVE to. It's the end of the world and in any event, Obama is toast.
UPDATE: looks like yesterdays reclisted diarist was correct:
And then I looked into the comments. And I felt such a sense of loss, disgust, and depression that I was moved to make about my fifth diary in five years. It kills me to watch you guys learn to treat your fellow activists as the enemy because you don't agree about a single politician. It kills me to see you guys imitate the internal divisions that flat out killed the liberals in Weimar Germany, that killed the French Revolution, that just crippled a 60% liberal majority in Britain. And I'm NOT shaming you for your opinion on Barack Obama. I'm shaming you for your hostility and ungenerosity towards your fellow man first, and to this community that makes up the 1% of America that is closest to your beliefs, second.
Not only do the progressive haters come out in droves, I've even experienced a DOS attack requiring me to hide my IP to even get back onto this website immediately after I posted this diary.
Must have really hit a vital nerve.