Obama launched Operation Blame BP from the Oval Office in an attempt to project command of the gulf leak debacle. I did not watch the speech myself. Here's the reason. Because my experience is, when you listen to a guy like a professional politician, he's gonna say all the right things to me. I'm not interested in words. I'm interested in actions.
The NY Times editors are also a bit more interested in actions:
On Tuesday, in his first address from the Oval Office, he vowed to “fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes” and declared that “we will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused.”
Mr. Obama and his team will have to follow through — with more energy and dedication than they have shown so far.
We know that the country is eager for reassurance. We’re not sure the American people got it from a speech that was short on specifics and devoid of self-criticism. Certainly, we hope that Mr. Obama was right when he predicted that in “coming weeks and days,” up to 90 percent of the oil leaking from the well will be captured and the well finally capped by this summer. But he was less than frank about his administration’s faltering efforts to manage this vast environmental and human disaster.
The speech was panned even by Obama's base at MSNBC:
Olbermann: "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days."
Hm, my presumption that Obama would say all the right things to me may not have been valid.
WOULD IT HAVE HELPED? With all the things that have gone wrong in the gulf, I was expecting Obama to ask Congress to repeal Murphy's Law.
I DON'T KNOW WHERE WE'RE GOING, BUT WE'RE MAKING GOOD TIME! Peter Wehner of Commentary highlights "one of the worst sections from an Oval Office address ever"; he includes Obama's refutation of skeptics who doubt that we landed a man on the moon, and this deathless passage:
"Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is our capacity to shape our destiny — our determination to fight for the America we want for our children. Even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don’t yet know precisely how to get there. We know we’ll get there."
Tomorrow is later, but it is scheduled for arrival any day now.
But given that the reviews are so overwhelmingly bad, it occurred to me - it's what we aren't hearing that's most significant. You can call Obama incompetent and no one is accusing you of racism, any more. Now, that's change!!
Ah hah! Just a few short days ago, I noted that Obama had lost the Rolling Stone and said this:
As a stray thought, we have spent months reading about the racist Tea Partiers, and for months it has seemed obvious that come the fall, desperate Dems would start screaming that everyone opposed to them was racist. That strategy would not be intended to change minds, but it might rally the base a bit. On the heels of the Gulf debacle (and the perceived civil liberties debacle), the race card will be a lot harder to play.