Wasn’t Obama Supposed to be Competent?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m in the Jonah Goldberg camp where I’m, “…usually singing from the same “It’s Obama’s Fault and We Know It” songbook. But I just can’t bring myself to agree with the folks who think that the BP spill is a major indictment of Obama.” That said, I’m also a snarky asshole who revels in seeing Obama followers slowly start to realize that maybe Hillary Clinton was right aboot this guy.

First you have Chris Matthews, famous for the now infamous leg tingly he got whenever candidate Obama spoke. That was then. Yesterday, we went so far as to compare this to the way Jimmy Carter handled to Iran Hostage Crisis…which is pretty damn funny since a) it’s Chris Matthews, and b) he used to work for Jimmy Carter.

Then you have conservative laureate Peggy Noonan who, while not a follower like a lot of her colleagues in the media, was a lot more open minded aboot an Obama presidency than a lot of her colleagues on the right. From her latest prose, “He Was Supposed to be Competent….”

There was the tearing and unnecessary war over his health-care proposal and its cost. There was his day-to-day indifference to the views and hopes of the majority of voters regarding illegal immigration. And now the past almost 40 days of dodging and dithering in the face of an environmental calamity. I don’t see how you politically survive this…

The original sin in my view is that as soon as the oil rig accident happened the president tried to maintain distance between the gusher and his presidency. He wanted people to associate the disaster with BP and not him. When your most creative thoughts in the middle of a disaster revolve around protecting your position, you are summoning trouble. When you try to dodge ownership of a problem, when you try to hide from responsibility, life will give you ownership and responsibility the hard way. In any case, the strategy was always a little mad. Americans would never think an international petroleum company based in London would worry as much about American shores and wildlife as, say, Americans would. They were never going to blame only BP, or trust it.

I wonder if the president knows what a disaster this is not only for him but for his political assumptions. His philosophy is that it is appropriate for the federal government to occupy a more burly, significant and powerful place in America—confronting its problems of need, injustice, inequality. But in a way, and inevitably, this is always boiled down to a promise: “Trust us here in Washington, we will prove worthy of your trust.” Then the oil spill came and government could not do the job, could not meet need, in fact seemed faraway and incapable: “We pay so much for the government and it can’t cap an undersea oil well!”

You’re doing a heckuva a job there Sparky!


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