President Obama’s oily response to the disaster taking place off the coast of Louisiana perfectly illustrates just how at sea our president is.
Nearly two weeks into the aftermath of the BP platform explosion, President Obama traveled to the beleaguered southern state to point the finger of blame, up close and personal, to the on-scene BP executives who had already acknowledged full responsibility for the spill and announced their intention to pay for containment and clean-up costs. The President lost no time (except for the 11 days in which he was otherwise engaged 1) yucking it up with Jay Leno, 2) shaking hands with the New York Yankees, 3) tooling around Iowa looking for adulation, 4) having dinner with Barbara Boxer and the DNC, and 5) shedding a few crocodile tears at the memorial service for civil rights legend Dorothy Height) in boldly assigning guilt, “BP is responsible for this leak — BP will be paying the bill,” and doing his part to fuel emotions with predictions of doom, “The oil that is still leaking from the well could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our gulf states and it could extend for a long time.”
Mr. Obama continued to intone. “It could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home.” I don’t know about you, but when I am down in the dumps there’s nothing I like better than to have the leader of the free world tell me that things will only get worse.
Heckova job, President O.
You might be thinking that it would be terribly unfair of me to omit any reference to other parts of the president’s remarks, statements in which he enumerates all of the actions taken by the Coast Guard and other agencies in the immediate hours and days following the explosion. You can find those comments here. So there. In overlooking this portion of the presidential narrative, I am simply following the lead of today’s New York Times, the front page of which carries the story “BP Moves to Fix a Leak as Obama Warns of Damage.” While I cannot speak for the Times, I can tell you that the president’s reiteration of two-week-old news is, well, not newsworthy.
No, oddly enough, the Times got it right for once. The money quotes are indeed President Obama’s pontifical pronouncement of seven years’ bad luck for Louisianans followed by his chilling prediction about their jobless futures. While the faint stench of sulphur doesn’t emanate from these words, they do call to mind the quite reasonable question of what the president will propose to do about the doomsday scenario he’s concocted.
Could it possibly be that he is describing one of those crises so beloved of his enforcer Rahm Emmanuel? That right here in the currently despoiled Gulf of Mexico is an opportunity too good to pass up? It’s a twofer or maybe even a threefer. The president is using salvage from the exploded rigging platform as planks to further his agenda: beat-up on big business, wiggle out of the “promise” to reduce our national dependency on foreign oil, and, eventually, expand government sprawl by creating the inevitable buffet of new regulatory agencies “to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.” Of course, this won’t happen until a series of studies and blue-ribbon panels make the necessary recommendations, but just think of the good jobs at good wages will be created by all that paperwork.