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Oval office speech: Did Obama turn a corner?

President Obama tried to do two things in his Oval Office speech tonight. He wanted to show he was in charge by describing all he and his administration is doing to stop the Gulf oil spill while repairing the damage it has caused. But he also tried to turn the crisis into an opportunity to make the case for a new energy policy and for government’s role in regulating the economy.

My hunch is that on the first, opinion will be divided much as it was going in. Obama’s supporters will like the feel of the speech, its nice ending recalling his old emphasis on hope, and its moving invocation of the blessing of the fleet. Obama may not have much support from the religious right, but he is very effective at using religious language and has a rather sure liturgical sense.

His critics will say that despite his use of tough war words (“battle plan,” “siege”) he wasn’t martial enough and he should have stuck with a consistent war metaphor rather than mixing it in with the epidemic idea. I bet there will be “great talk, no action” press releases pouring out from Republican Congressional offices.

There is one line I wish he hadn’t used. After a perfectly noble declaration that “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,” Obama added: “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.” I don’t think it was a moment to say that we don’t know “exactly what that looks like” when it comes to the future. Most people want the president to give the future a bit more definition.

The two philosophical points he made will, I suspect, be heard again and again this campaign year. When he criticized the mess at the Minerals Management Service, he said this: “Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility -- a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves. At this agency, industry insiders were put in charge of industry oversight. Oil companies showered regulators with gifts and favors, and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write their own regulations.”

This is an argument that needs to be pressed with some consistency. Democratic capitalism works because of the “democratic” part -- the use of government to achieve things capitalism can’t achieve on its own. There are some values the market doesn’t take into account and some valuable goods -- the environment in the gulf, for example -- that the market doesn’t price correctly, if at all.

His plea for a new energy policy made sense. We do need to reduce our dependency on oil. I’m glad he pointed out that “[c]ountries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be here in America.” The problem is that it’s hard to see where he’ll find the votes for an energy bill in the Senate. By not mentioning cap-and-trade directly, he seemed to be saying that he’ll take any forward movement on energy policy he can get out of this Congress.

The most intriguing aspect of the speech was his invocation not of any recent war, but of World War II. That was FDR’s war, the war that produced both exceptional national unity and a great deal of progressive change. Obama seems to want to harness the ideas and technology of the 21st Century to the spirit and temperament of the 1940s. It’s not a bad idea. But to get the argument to this level, he needs some visible successes on the gulf coast that in turn produce a new story line in the media. That, of course, requires more than a speech.

By E.J. Dionne  | June 15, 2010; 9:47 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Next: A glimmer of leadership in Obama's Oval Office speech

Comments

Somehow Mr. Obama managed to look both desperate for political cover and detached simultaneously. That's a slick trick and one that Mr. Dionne and other die hard supporters will not be able to obscure. Mr. Obama is becoming an international focus of derision - well earned -but dangerous for the country.

Posted by: masonjahr | June 15, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama sounds like a war president when it comes to fighting "tar balls."

Posted by: millerroberta | June 15, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

"Most people want the president to give the future a bit more definition."

Excellent point.

Posted by: daisy901 | June 15, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama's bizarre reliance on PRAYER makes him look ineffective, weak, and completely helpless - not to mention cynically pandering to the simple minded.

Posted by: solsticebelle | June 15, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

The community organizer in chief has no executive skills. All he does is grand stand, point his finger and takes no leadership role. He reminds me of Amarosa from the celebrity apprentice, he should be called Obamarosa.

Posted by: currand6 | June 15, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Most Obama apologists will praise any speech he gives and most right wingers will rant silly about socialism, communism, etc.

Obama, if he really wanted to show he was in command of this crisis, should have given a speech to the nation fifty some days ago. Waiting so long conveys he gave the speech primarily because a majority of the public disapprove of his handling of the oil spill.

The comparisons to World War II are misguided and inaccurate. The House passed cap and trade bill is not the best energy policy. Mr. Dionne needs to review his history of the FDR presidency. There were very few, if any progressive changes, by his administration after 1938. Roosevelt abandoned progressive changes to concentrate on the war and had to deal with a bipartisan conservative opposition to further reforms.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | June 15, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse


Jimmy Carter II


Posted by: AG11 | June 15, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

And the critics come out pouncing, with much the same ineffectiveness they attribute to Obama.

Let's not overlook the fact that the Republican Party has plenty of people who have complained that the President is too tough on BP, that he shouldn't be seeking to punish poor little old BP, that the spill is a "natural phenomenon," even that trying to hold BP accountable is "anti-American," etc.

And at the same time, we have Republicans claiming that the President isn't tough enough on BP, that they should be held accountable, make reparations, etc.

The schizophrenia of the Republican Party is that they want it both ways. They want a government that does nothing and that does everything... but doesn't cost anything. They want a police state to keep the Mexicans out and the fundamentalist Islamoterrorists under control, but not at the cost of their "freedom" (the freedom of other people is fair game).

The President and the government simply don't have the tools, the machinery or the people to stop the spill. The government, after all, does not drill for oil. It is a problem created by the private sector and has to be solved by the private sector- specifically BP. And they should pay every dime of the costs of repair, cleanup and reparation to the damaged economies of the gulf coast. Their profits should be put in escrow until that is completed.

When President Obama actually tries tough measures like this, the Republicans kvetch. When he doesn't do them, they kvetch about that, too. And, as has been the case for the past 30 years, they add noting useful to the public discourse.

Posted by: Ilikemyprivacy | June 15, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama's bizarre reliance on PRAYER makes him look ineffective, weak, and completely helpless - not to mention cynically pandering to the simple minded.

Posted by: solsticebelle |

~~~

Well... what did you expect. Republicans all alone have been saying the spill was caused by an "act of God", maybe its going to take an "act of God" to stop it.

Let's pray.

God have mercy on our pathetic souls, and our pathetic country, and our pathetic Gov't agencies who have been in bed with pathetic Oil Companies for possibly 8 years or longer, thus allowing these Oil Companies to build Oil platforms in your beautifully created Ocean water's, deep along the ocean floor bed, Dear Lord almighty, with no emergency backup plans in case of an Oil spillage into your waters that has spread hundreds of miles along the shorelines and the ocean waters, which are now destroying all wild life, and ocean life, your other beautiful creations, Dear Lord, and also the destruction of innocent people's way of living.

I ask that you also forgive the ignorant Right-Wing Republicans Dear Lord. For give them and please have Mercy on their "human" souls, if they have a soul, Dear Lord. Forgive them and and anyone else who is complicit in the destruction of your planet and your creation Dear Lord, because they know NOT what they do.

Amen and God Bless America and the folks living alone the Gulf Coast.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | June 15, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I guess I just have to ask why it is that the only time the President sounds resolute is when he is fighting against business interests.


Posted by: millerroberta | June 15, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

How interesting. Dionne evaluates the speech, mentions parts he likes and parts he dislikes, and a group of people come on here attacking the president--I should add, during wartime, the crutch they used to use when some Democrats (not all, and not enough) used to criticize Obama's illustrious predecessor, the illiterate war criminal. Now that I've raised hackles .... No speech in this situation is going to satisfy everyone. The left wouldn't be satisfied unless Obama announced plans to drop a nuclear bomb on BP headquarters. The right wouldn't be satisfied unless he came out and said he was a Muslim socialist from Kenya. As for what those in the middle think ... they are probably sitting there and thinking about it, which is precisely what a logical person would do.

Posted by: greenm1 | June 15, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama is pathetic. The president of BP has already stated that they will honour every valid claim presented to them. Now we have the President of the United States saying he is going to make them pay. He has nothing to offer in this crisis. He has no solutions and all he can do is go on television and sound like a know- nothing blowhard.

Posted by: pmtor | June 15, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I guess Obama feels safe knowing he is talking tough to a company owned by our closest ally.

I wonder if he would be so bold if the company responsible for the oil spill was owned by Venezuela.

Posted by: millerroberta | June 15, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I thought of this speech as an FDR moment, and wondered how anyone, under the current circumstances, could rise to the occasion. We are fighting different wars with different weapons and the alliances are shifting, changing.

ON the gulf: BP does not have either all the available knowledge or the available hands. This was brought home to me today when I read an article about a sand-cleaner it was just informed of. It doesn't have the personnel to stock up on the gear federal law requires for workers in the present conditions.

That said, the reasons why help is not being accepted from this and other governments remain obscure. The wetlands are being destroyed. Obama should be having a Harry Truman moment as in the buck stops here. If liability is the issue, the people have the right to know.

The MIddle East; Setting aside Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan for the moment, let us recall that Iran has forged alliances with China, Russia, Turkey, Brazil. Germany is heavily invested in IRan. Iran has formed a free trade zone with Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and Greater Syria (formerly Lebanon). As has been reported, it has greatly increased its uranium supply.

The Cypriots are restless, wishing to end the thirty-six year occupation of half of Cyprus by Turkey and have looked to Israel for friendship and gotten it. The US, always behind Turkey, has a new problem with the Iran/Turkish alliance, and the Islamic party in power. The Pope called yesterday for unity among Christians in the region.

Meanwhile, the UAE, with British (BP) agitation is demanding that IRan return three islands, the UAE claims it is occupying. I don't believe this is true, and do believe the IRanians when they say that BP is not helping things in the region. Remember, too, that the UAE citizenry are huge stockholders in BP.

So, you have an interesting lineup, thus far. And the wetlands are disappearing.

We have more to fear than fear itself. Obama cannot envision the future. I thought it was wise of him to admit it. I'm not an American adult. Give me the truth. For that, I would be grateful.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | June 15, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Addendum: I forgot to mention the economy. Also correction: I AM an American adult.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | June 15, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Please, Dionne. The only turn Obama is making is from the 9th hole to number 10 on the golf course. I expect, any day, for Obama to head for Hawaii to inspect the sand traps on his favorite golf courses for tar balls.

Please. This guy is the emptiest suit since Jimmy Carter. How on earth did we wind up here? This guy is a moron and we're doomed to suffer the consequences of a childish and foolish decision to put these people in power. It's Amateur Hour in the White House and the Hill in general. In 2010, we'll replace the Dimmokrat-socialist coalition with responsible Republican leadership and start to reverse and de-fund the Dimmocratz damage inflicted on us last year.

In 2012, we'll have solid majorities on the Hill AND responsible Republican leadership in the White House. The dimmokrat-socialist experiment is a simpering, whining, surrendering and stupendous failure on every level. Insulting spelling of the democrat brand intended. You people are reprehensible.

Posted by: JamesChristian | June 15, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I guess Obama feels safe knowing he is talking tough to a company owned by our closest ally.

I wonder if he would be so bold if the company responsible for the oil spill was owned by Venezuela.

Posted by: millerroberta |

~~~

I guess we will never know... will we, since it wasn't a company owned by Venezuela who is destroying our waters.

It's too bad some things don't turn out the way that you would want them too.

I can just imagine you "gloating" all over the place.

One more thing, allies don't Destroy their friend's waters with Oil or peoples way of life; and then take their forever loving time fixing it.

What kind of ally is that?

Posted by: lcarter0311 | June 15, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Words don't equate to action. Words don't get things done. Words show him as weak. Talk softly and carry a big stick. Now, when BP tells him to go screw himself, the story will be about the egg on his face.

Posted by: KDSmallJr | June 15, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

This was a call to arms....against my
gas station?
I'm trying to be patriotic, but in his desperation to concoct some kind of martial
law framework, Obama just made me uncomfortable and very very anxious to
get this presidency over with.
And, dang, my transportation needs trump my
interest in making my gas station a moral issue.
He's looking more and more like how a Kate Gosselin would handle the presidency..constantly looking for opportunities to self aggrandize and definitely in need of some vocabulary lessons. Mixed metaphors painted a very mixed up message.

Posted by: realitybased1 | June 15, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

The American people need a leader, not a professor, during times like these where there is an ecological disaster, two wars, and the economy is still in a shambles. I voted for Obama but he has turned out not to be the inspirational leader so many people like me thought he would be. He gives canned speeches that are devoid of any emotion. I didn't vote for a college professor for President. I voted for someone he would lead our country thru troubled times to better times and he is not that person.

Posted by: mjkoch* | June 15, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I would imagine that Obama must also be thinking about Egypt. The eighty-two-year-old thug Mubarak has not been well for some time, showing up at Parliament only intermittently. It had been thought that he was grooming his son to replace him, but now there seems to be a power vacuum. Possible successors include constitutionalists, Islamists, the military, and other thugs.

The country could also go to the Muslim Brotherhood. This would leave Egypt with something akin to, while yet quite different from the Islamic Revolution. Egypt is a poor country, very poor, not only in capital but in natural resources, of course.

As for us, Europe, there is the Suez Canal.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | June 15, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

DJ -- this guy just does NOT have executive or managerial skills, and this deficiency shows more and more as his administration stumbles from crisis to crisis. To compound things, he failed to recruit enough subordinates with these requisite skills, or if he did, he has a bad habit of not listening to them. He's all talk; all show; all about himself. You say he needs some visible successes --- that's not going to happen except by serendipity, because this guy just does not possess the executive leadership talents to actually get things done, instead of just theorize about it all. VERY Jimmy Carter-like.

Posted by: CREEBOLD | June 15, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Now that people have had their opportunity to criticize POTUS, what is your plan to clean the Gulf and bring energy out of the 19th century and into the new era? If you do not have an answer, then refrain from useless criticism. No is the first syllable of nothing. If your platform is no, you stand on nothing.

Posted by: hakafos44 | June 15, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

lcarter0311:

Can I say Amen!

Posted by: hakafos44 | June 15, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Right-wing critics of Obama are complete hypocrites. They support the "drill, baby, drill" party and have zero credibility. This spill is the fault of all greedy nitwits who drive big vehicles and give no thought to the impact their lifestyles are having on the world. The time for change is here, and Obama clearly realizes it. Meanwhile, the GOP wants to keep drilling off our shores . . .

Posted by: simonflannery | June 15, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Now that people have had their opportunity to criticize POTUS, what is your plan to clean the Gulf and bring energy out of the 19th century and into the new era? If you do not have an answer, then refrain from useless criticism. No is the first syllable of nothing. If your platform is no, you stand on nothing.

Posted by: hakafos44
-------------------------
JUst off the top of my nonprofessional head. Discover all liability issues. Bring in more help, and it has been offered. Use more brains to discover possible damage to the floor.

Ending oil dependency: Demand transparency from the oil companies--LOL! This would involve transparency from Congress, foreign governments, banks, etc. Bear in mind that a member of the Saudi royal family was suspected of involvement in 9/11, but we signed off on investigating. Also bear in mind that Saudi Bank, which, according to the Times, channels funds to terrorists, is alive and well and operating in Manhattan.

A responsible fourth estate would help, but we don't have it.

It is up to we, the people, and we have become lethargic. We blog rather than act. We, the people, lack leaders. In other words, this isn't the 1960s. How to make it so...?

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | June 15, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I was very disappointed with this address because it failed to offer any resolution of the Gulf mess, or new ideas. Obama's insistance that BP will pay for the cleanup and impact was made moot by BP's announcement it will honor all valid claims. The energy bill isn't going anywhere, in spite of his pleas for Congress to do something. I thought he looked powerless against the forces arrayed against him and the speech had the ring of Jimmy Carter's malaise speech that blamed me for his problems.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | June 15, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama turned a corner in the oval office tonight. He lost Chris, I feel a tingle down my leg, Matthews.

He is now a lame duck!

Posted by: mike85 | June 16, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Another commode to dump our economy down. Makes you wonder who's our worst enemy Obama or Osama!

Posted by: GordonShumway | June 16, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

The New Gulf War - O'Bama has fired the first shot. It's not quite sure where it landed and there are no reports of any injuries or damage. BP execs are quoted as saying. "Are you talking to me?" Residents of the Gulf Coast are quoted as saying, "Are you talking to me?" The underwater residents of the Gulf Coast have not been heard from and are assumed to be dead.

Posted by: RonaldSpiegel | June 16, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

There are no corners to turn in an oval office. Obama was going in circles tonight.

Cap and trade is a joke. Nothing remotely like it will get through the Congress this year and it will be even harder in the next Congress.

Posted by: theduke89 | June 16, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

"I don’t think it was a moment to say that we don’t know “exactly what that looks like” when it comes to the future. Most people want the president to give the future a bit more definition."

Yeah, and look where "certaintude" got us over the last 8 years. How are you going to lay out a plan if you're not quite sure what is the best move at this point. Should he just "make it up" so we'll all feel better? Should he grab a bullhorn and say... what?

In a prelude to one of the most tragic periods in American history, a man stood in an assembly hall and told the world that he had "been to the mountain top and looked over and seen the promised land. I may not get there with you but we as a people will get to the promised land."

Too bad the "opinion-aters" weren't so circumspect in picking apart everything the president had to say from summer 2002 through March 2003.

Posted by: larrybellinger | June 16, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Seems that all of the people who have been saying that Obama is too strong and has accomplished too much are now saying that he's too weak and hasn't done anything. A month ago the health care bill was cosmic. Now it's just a minor change to the system that nobody has any reason to notice, let alone count as a significant change in the way that the US does things.

Posted by: canuck7 | June 16, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

The far right 30 percent will bray on. They chased me from the Republican party as they have many others. Nothing in their nonsense here appeals to the swing voter that these people continue to insult.

I am disappointed that capitalism has failed here. The traditional conservative argument is that the market would fix this disaster and that government is not needed. Of course, the fallacy is exposed here.

It is not that Obama has failed, the far right has failed with its legacy of unregulated capitalism.

The only hard choice Obama has left is to declare a national emergency and take over the assets of BP. The oil spill is nothing but a continuing criminal act, and BP is nothing but a criminal organization. The mob has not polluted New Jersey the way BP has polluted the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted by: colonelpanic | June 16, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

The speech was ineffective. More importantly, his leadership has been completely ineffective on this crisis. While he can and should hold BP to account for this mess, he must right the ship of his administration to actually try to gain some control over at least the cleanup efforts. All indications are that things are out of control -- far worse than following Katrina. 60 days in, there is no command and control framework, bureaucracy rules, decisions are not made, offers of assistance are either ignored or rejected (i guess the jones act is too important for unions for this president to suspend it like Bush did after katrina). The bottom line: his inexperience and the inexperience of his administration are showing through at a terrible time. His speech should have spent at least 2 minutes (sarcasm) on the specifics of what he would be ordering to improve the cleanup efforts. He simply does not get it!

Posted by: sagedutch | June 16, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Right-wing critics of Obama are complete hypocrites. They support the "drill, baby, drill" party and have zero credibility. This spill is the fault of all greedy nitwits who drive big vehicles and give no thought to the impact their lifestyles are having on the world. The time for change is here, and Obama clearly realizes it. Meanwhile, the GOP wants to keep drilling off our shores . . .

Posted by: simonflannery |

-----------------------

Just like Al Gore realizes it... oh wait, he like all the others are really just the "do as i say not do crowd". Al has/had (depending on the divorce proceedings) his mansions, suvs, private jet, ... He can use them, but the rest of us should somehow stop using energy? Obama lectured during the campaign and will start anew in the next days. Yet he too has been known to use energy quite frivolously. Not as egregious as Al, but 78 degrees in the oval office in Winter!?!? An evening jaunt to NYC on a jet for dinner and a play? These people need to stop lecturing! It is almost comical - the hypocrisy is clearly on the left on this issue.

Posted by: sagedutch | June 16, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Now that people have had their opportunity to criticize POTUS, what is your plan to clean the Gulf and bring energy out of the 19th century and into the new era? If you do not have an answer, then refrain from useless criticism. No is the first syllable of nothing. If your platform is no, you stand on nothing.

Posted by: hakafos44 | June 15, 2010 11:32 PM |

---------------------------------------

I have asked the same questions day after day on other threads. Guess what?

Not a single answer.....like the OH SO GREAT GOPers. Nothing but silence.

Despicable MORONS

Posted by: mackiejw | June 16, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Now that people have had their opportunity to criticize POTUS, what is your plan to clean the Gulf and bring energy out of the 19th century and into the new era? If you do not have an answer, then refrain from useless criticism. No is the first syllable of nothing. If your platform is no, you stand on nothing.

Posted by: hakafos44

-------

Not a clue in the world how to clean it up. But, that is a senseless argument you are making. It is Obama's job to bring together the best a brightest to figure this out. It is his job to ensure bureaucracy does not get in the way. It is his job to eliminate obstacles (like the Jones act or the unions). It is HIS job to establish the environment to get positive progress. Not mine and not others who are being critical because he does not seem to have a handle on HIS JOB. Find a way to get the boons from Maine to gulf. Get the skimmer ships offered up (without spending time retrofitting the equipment to uS flagged ships). Let LA build the 20+ sands bars to try to prevent the oil from further penetrating the marsh lands. Issue a call to action for volunteer groups to go to the gulf to support cleanup. CAll up 10000 guradsman. Get FEMA active (amazing how the lack of a FEMA presence in this crisis has been overlooked by the media). Stop just talking about not being super man (you must admit that is ridiculous) or how he does not do things for theater or to support the cable news shows (BS!) and lead. No, he is not super man, but surely he can get the best minds to the gulf to work on stopping the leak or demand a reliable command and control operation be established within 5 days from today (only 50 days overdue)? In your mind, these are apparently too much to ask because those of us who rightfully are critical of the handling thus far do not have THE answer to solve the crisis.

As someone else put it, MORONS!

Posted by: sagedutch | June 16, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I see the conservatives have been busy here tonight, criticizing that which they don't understand, but pretend to; dissecting the speech, comparing it to things THEY would have said if only THEY were President of the United States; and inexplicably blithering on about how inexperienced and ineffective the President is because he hasn't dived deep into the sea personally and plugged the leak with his bare hands, and then emerged to suck up the oil slick and blow it to the heavens beyond...

Grow up, children. President Obama is not Clark Kent, and he doesn't wear a costume beneath his suit. He's doing all he can possibly do. Unless you work in the petroleum industry, you probably have no idea what you're talking about. This is uncharted territory, a spill beyond anything we've ever experienced, coming from a damaged well at a depth beneath anything we've ever had to work with - it's extremely dangerous and tenuous work. The oil will flow with the current and yes, it will be devastating to some, annoying to others. And BP will pay. I know it's hard, but we have to be patient.

Posted by: borntorun45 | June 16, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

If the MMS is too cozy with the industry, that is 100% the fault of the MMS, not the industry. Obama has been in office for a year and half. He has not fixed any problems, preferring instead to hammer his own wealth transfer agenda down our throats. I think a large majority of Americans have had it with his continual blaming of Bush and American industry for what clearly are government problems.

Posted by: doug7772 | June 16, 2010 1:56 AM | Report abuse

What we're seeing is the manifest failure of government as an organizing principle in society, that's what's so frustrating to Obama and the left. Government regulation failed in preventing this leak and Obama is impotent when it comes to fixing the problem. Government is impotent when it comes to finding any practical alternative to oil in our economy and society. Putting faith in government to solve fundamental problems in technology is foolish.

Posted by: sceptic5 | June 16, 2010 2:19 AM | Report abuse

E.J. Dionne is so clueless that he supported Obama for President.

Posted by: ThisIsReality | June 16, 2010 3:11 AM | Report abuse

E.J.Dionne has been the most blatant, weepy Obama apologist (of a large field) since this administration got rolling. I believe in giving Presidents credit where credit is due regardless of party. But Dionne has so consistently been an Obama shill, when I read the title of this column, "Oval office speech: Did Obama turn a corner?" I immediately had an image of the author asking this question with fingers crossed, whispering, "please, please let it be true!"

Posted by: dogwolf | June 16, 2010 3:40 AM | Report abuse

Obama's contrived appearance came out as nothing more than a CYA and a thinly veiled attempt to push another part of his socialist agenda - the cap and tax! The man has no shame.

Posted by: Realist201 | June 16, 2010 5:47 AM | Report abuse

U-turn, more like it.

Posted by: sam51 | June 16, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

U-turn more like it.

Posted by: sam51 | June 16, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Did Obama turn a corner?

Yes, toward the exit.

Posted by: thebump | June 16, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

THE PRESIDENT MISSED, REPEAT MISSED A GREAT OPPORTUNITY WHEN SPEAKING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FROM THE OVAL OFFICE!

He FAILED to address the following to the folks in the Gulf, and the rest of the Nation:

*What action is being take to 'FILL THE HOLE", and what is a time line for that to happen?

*What 'fast track' system has Team Obama established for the governors of the four states to get their 'spill requirements' through the federal bureaucracy?

*When he would announce a waiver of an old law (Jones Law) precluding foreign vessels to operate in US waters, to enable a vast increase of skimmers in the Gulf? Why did he turn down offers of assistance -- EARLY ON -- by European countries??

Why did he not develop and implement a fast track system to inspect off shore drill rigs, to have inspections completed by end July, where thousands of oil field and allied workers can GET BACK TO WORK? His failure to act immediately may result in the rigs (and jobs) falling into the arms of China, Africa, South America, and Europe. Is this what he really wants?

*Why he has failed to include FEMA as part of the greater effort?

* And, if he were seriously upset with the spill, WHY DID HE NOT ANNOUNCE THE RETURN OF OVER $900,000 CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION HE RECEIVED FROM BP??

President Obama brought a new meaning to "A DAY LATE, AND A DOLLAR SHORT" on June 15.

Instead of using this opportunity to outline concrete actions to help the people of the Gulf, and the rest of the Nation, he elected to pursue his own agenda, and 'NOT LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE!"

Posted by: wheeljc | June 16, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

Dionne: "Obama seems to want to harness the ideas and technology of the 21st Century to the spirit and temperament of the 1940s."

Not quite. He wants to harness the fashions of the 21st Century to the hopelessly outdated and discredited ideology of the 1930s. Dumb idea.

Dionne: "Most people want the president to give the future a bit more definition."

No, most people want him to know what the devil he's talking about. That quote that we don't know where we're going but we'll know when we get there, was classic Oboobma. (We don't know who we have been waiting for, and — whoa! — it turns out that we are the ones. Heavy, man, heavy.)

Posted by: thebump | June 16, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree with Ilikemyprivacy. The Republicans kvetch no matter what Obama does. He's either doing too much trying to take over the private sector or not doing enough to take over the private sector. Which is it? As for this horrible oil crisis, it is another corporate made disaster, which requires high tech solutions, solutions the government does NOT have. The oil industry is the only one who is capable of capping that well, and clearly they haven't spent the last 30 years worrying about what to do with a runaway well a mile below the ocean's surface. What I've recently learned, which surprised me, is that there have actually been quite a few spills since the Valdez. None of them this bad, but none the less, they can't be good for the environment. Shame on the oil industry for not investing in containment and cleanup research and production. Shame on government for not requiring them to invest in solutions that would protect us and the environment from their inevitable messes, but of course that would be too much govt interference for the right wingers. Shame on people living in the Gulf states, particularly their leaders, for trusting these oil companies without questioning whether they were compliant with existing regulations or whether they needed more. And shame on the American people for not demanding that we work towards decreasing our dependence on oil.

Posted by: ggwalt | June 16, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

doug7772 said

"If the MMS is too cozy with the industry, that is 100% the fault of the MMS, not the industry. Obama has been in office for a year and half. He has not fixed any problems, preferring instead to hammer his own wealth transfer agenda down our throats. I think a large majority of Americans have had it with his continual blaming of Bush and American industry for what clearly are government problems."

---------

1.5 years in office is nothing in terms of time to undo all the damage caused by the previous administration, especially considering all the other crises demanding attention. Seems the right wingers have a real conundrum on their hands. The constantly berate government, insisting government can do nothing right, insisting government get out of the way and leave it all up to the free market. But now, with another corporate caused major crisis, they demand government fix a problem it clearly doesn't have the expertise to fix. The number of oil rigs in the Gulf increased ten fold, while regulations for drilling in deep water and inspectors for those rigs did not keep pace. That all went on before Obama ever set foot in the oval office.

Posted by: ggwalt | June 16, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

"That, of course, requires more than a speech." Something Obama is not capable of. His sluggish reaction to this disaster shows his complete lack of experience in leadership. Being a community organizer required no ability to get anything done. Can you imagine how he would handle a military crisis? Talk is cheap.

Posted by: delusional1 | June 16, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Gee, it sounded like the Moral Equivalent Of War to me. Wear the sweater next time BO.

Posted by: RFN8143 | June 16, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

President Obama knows he can't budge the party of NO. So, he spoke from his heart and basically tried to assure all Americans.
He's not superman, he doesn't have all the answers.. and frankly even if he did, the NO Party would just.. well, say NO.
I support President Obama and will .. until he launches a war against a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 (i.e. Iraq). Where were the voices of outrage when Bush continued to let young soldiers die in a nonsensical war? Where were the voices of outrage when Bush didn't bother to PAY for his wars and tax cuts?

Posted by: bozhogg | June 16, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Wow, the Repukes are up early this morning on this thing. I wonder if we all heard the same speech. What some of these clowns want the President to be is them...angry...no clues....etc.and hysterically crying like a sissy!

Posted by: ruthella10 | June 16, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Moonbat: "He's either doing too much trying to take over the private sector or not doing enough to take over the private sector. Which is it?"

This canard is getting awfully tedious, but must be swatted down.

This accident happened in federal waters, exclusively within the president's jurisdiction. The activity was sanctioned and supposedly regulated by the executive branch of the federal government, whose chief executive so far as we know is one Barack H. Obama.

There is a grave threat to interstate commerce (to say nothing of international) and to the livelihoods of tens of thousands of residents across at least four states. Significant federal taxpayer resources have been expended to date, to little effect.

The fact is that Obama sought and won the most powerful office in the universe. The buck stops with him. He is responsible for providing some degree of leadership in a crisis of this magnitude. In that he has failed miserably.

And no, it does NOT follow that we therefore should have socialized medicine.

Posted by: thebump | June 16, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

What a joke. It is soooooo impersonal to be read to ALL the time. He must think we are all idiots and never watch or read about what is REALLY happening!! The "Speech Giver" is nothing more than a used car sales man.

The "Government Stupid" and the enviromentilist Lobbiest are as much to blame for this happening as BP.

Oh and BP is a big supporter of Cap and Tax!!! They have a huge natural gas business that will make billions converting coal plants to natural gas.

Kind of odd that we have a coal mine explosion and a Blowout almost back to back!! Evil is Evil and agenda's are more important than lives or the enviroment!!

Just wondering why the "Speech Giver" did not announce HIS SURGE from the Oval office. That is right the WAR against radical ISLAM is not high on the list on his AGENDA!!

The corner the "Speech Giver" has turned,the Honeymoon is over!! he is getting it from the FAR-LEFT,RIGHT and now the world is seeing through his lack of experiance,Arrogance and HIDDEN AGENDA'S!!!

Counting the days till 2012!!! What a disgrace to this country!!

God help America.

TERM LIMITS NOW !!

FAIR TAX NOW !!

DEATH TO JIHADISTS!!

SECURE THE BORDERS NOW !!

Posted by: 79USMC83 | June 16, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

The President did a good job with his speech. He showed he was doing all the reasonable things that he should be doing without pretending that he has some magic to just make the problem go away. He quite reasonably pushed for more attention to the long term problems that this disaster has underlined. But he did it without a divisive attempt to explicitly politicize a tragedy. Did he turn a corner? Not likely because there are no corners to turn. This event will surely lead to much more care in future deep sea drilling. The reaction to it might focus a little more attention on our efforts to deal with our energy problems. But those problems are no surprise. The process of dealing with them is more of a long term continuum with little prospect for any kind of short term discontinuity.

Posted by: dnjake | June 16, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

No matter what the President says or does from this point forward, his lethargic, lackadaisical, and late response to this oil leak will ensure, rightly or wrongly, that this tragedy will be remembered forevermore as “Obama’s Goof in the Gulf.”

Posted by: VirginianforFreedom | June 16, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Well, EJ, you put your foot in it. The only people affected by the oil spill in the upper 46 are the environmentalists who only have so many ways to say 'gawd alful' and those cancelling vacations to Florida.

The speech President Obama made last night was to the people of the Gulf Coast... they heard every word, and understood it. You, Keith Olberman, Chris Mathews and half a dozen others are sitting in the upper 46 without a clue didn't get it, and you shudda butter stood in bed than complain.

Presidents don't walk on water. We don't expect him to. You shouldn't either.

Posted by: dutchess2 | June 16, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

E.J. Dionne is about a "majority of one" that sees much in obama's lecture.

E.J., you are welcome to obama - take him.

The rest of America is going to have to work overtime to repair the damage this colossal screw-up has done. Are there not any democrats that can express shame or remorse in this guy?

Posted by: wilsan | June 16, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

VirginianforFreedom

Too funny.

One of the greatest entertainments in the whole mess is to watch those who rant and rave and threaten claiming this POTUS is socialist, about big government, turning on a dime to rant and rave and threaten because this President and big government cannot reach down 5000 feet and stick their finger in the hole.

How bad does it have to get before you become an American, affected by a national disaster of unequaled proportions, pulling with all other Americans to recover?

Posted by: dutchess2 | June 16, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

The only corner Obama or Sotero or whatever his name is, can turn, is the one that leads to the exit door of the White House.

Posted by: jemvbcnyc | June 16, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

To answer your question EJ: No.

Posted by: alambert2 | June 16, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Obama reminds me of the kid that gets pushed around and says" If you do that again, your are going to get it"! without anything to back it up!

Obama Empty Suit=Empty threats

Trillions in debt and this Joker wants to spend BILLIONS money on UNPROVEN GREEN energy(probably mo money to Gore) which will never have the capacity to supplant fossil fules. Where is the nuclear option, Obozo??

Posted by: morphy | June 16, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Aprogressiveindependent says "Obama, if he really wanted to show he was in command of this crisis, should have given a speech to the nation fifty some days ago."

And you KNEW 6 days after the oil rug explosion that the spill was going to be still going 50 days from then?

BP constantly low balled the amount of oil spilled. BP also continually claimed they could cap the oil spill.

I doubt the average American didn't wake up to the fact that the spill was a big problem until the spill continued on for 20 days.

Yet 6 days after the oil spill, Obama was supposed to know how big the disaster would be. Had Obama spoken then as he did now he'd be accused of fear mongering.

Stop blaming the President for a catastrophe created by BP's negligence.

Posted by: HylasBrook | June 16, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

People of wisdom, smartness, cleverness are seen at the time of problem when they show their solutions to get rid of it. After the problem is over, then it comes the blame and how to go about it that the problem will not repeat itself again. Doing opposite of this, everyone looks hopeless!

Posted by: fridamulindayahoocouk | June 16, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

YES, he turned a corner, and is headin' for the exit!

Posted by: snowbucks | June 16, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse


The fault of the oil spill can be laid at the feet of everyone who fills their gas tank and that includes most. Furthermore all the wind machines and solar cells in the world will not put much of a dent in the demand for petroleum, which is primarily a transportation fuel.

Finally, it is engineers who are in charge of controlling the oil well blowout and there is nothing the President can do to change that fact.

Posted by: edbyronadams | June 16, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama's lack of leadership is showing itself to be a much greater problem for the nation, than the BP spill.

He is an actor pretending to be an executive as he has no experience to fall back on. He is learning on the job.

A nice guy, but clearly not presidential, and what we need is an executive in the oval office.

Posted by: dnfrank | June 16, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

EJD reminds me of a lib caller to Medved's show who explained his position by saying,"But I feel good about the way I feel about the world".When Keith, Chris and Dowd start to feel badly about this hapless and strange presidential blabbermouth, yes, it could be said that he has turned a corner.

Posted by: porcorosso | June 16, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I guess we all should have been praying for devine intervention from "Day one"?

Posted by: DenisH | June 16, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Well... what did you expect. Republicans all alone have been saying the spill was caused by an "act of God", maybe its going to take an "act of God" to stop it.

Let's pray.

God have mercy on our pathetic souls, and our pathetic country, and our pathetic Gov't agencies who have been in bed with pathetic Oil Companies for possibly 8 years or longer, thus allowing these Oil Companies to build Oil platforms in your beautifully created Ocean water's, deep along the ocean floor bed, Dear Lord almighty, with no emergency backup plans in case of an Oil spillage into your waters that has spread hundreds of miles along the shorelines and the ocean waters, which are now destroying all wild life, and ocean life, your other beautiful creations, Dear Lord, and also the destruction of innocent people's way of living.

I ask that you also forgive the ignorant Right-Wing Republicans Dear Lord. For give them and please have Mercy on their "human" souls, if they have a soul, Dear Lord. Forgive them and and anyone else who is complicit in the destruction of your planet and your creation Dear Lord, because they know NOT what they do.

Amen and God Bless America and the folks living alone the Gulf Coast.

Posted by: lcarter0311
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
A Carter like response.
The answer to your prayer is "the tree huggers forced the oil companies to locate in deep water, therefore improving the chances of a disaster at one mile under the ocean. If we had been in 500 feet of water, this would have been over.

Posted by: dy19spider57 | June 16, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I guess we all should have been praying for devine intervention from "Day one"?

Posted by: DenisH | June 16, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton has been called "The first black president". Guess by the same logic then Barack Hussein Obama is "The first black Jimmy Carter".

Posted by: barrysal | June 16, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Its about priorities! $400,000,000 to Hamas but can't find the spare change to secure our border. And you idiot progressives can't figure out why the American public is ticked off.

Posted by: elcigaro1 | June 16, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

"Oval office speech: Did Obama turn a corner?" - the flaming liberal/progressive pro-Obama Dionne

Answer, according to the American people:


"RASMUSSEN Reports at 9:30AM ET:

Obama Approval Falls to New Low: 42%
Obama Approval Index: -20
Strongly Approve 24%
Strongly Disapprove 44%
Total Approval 42%

Developing... "

Nope......... of course the POST has our Great Divider-in-Chief at 52% in their COOKED poll..............lol

Posted by: allenridge | June 16, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Do us all a favor, E.J. Stopping sucking on the helium.

Example: "moving invocation of the blessing of the fleet...he is very effective at using religious language and has a rather sure liturgical sense."

Strain as I did last night, I couldn't hear the celestial chorus accompanied by harps. Upon which cloud were you seated?

Posted by: elgropo1 | June 16, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

No stop us now!

Posted by: elgropo1 | June 16, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

So Obama wants us to deal with the Aftermath of the oil spill in the same way we met the challenges of WWII. Okay, so that means a ban on plastic bags, higher prices on gas and higher tarriffs on imported products, I assume? During the last world war, Americans were not only expected to make sacrifices, but were forced to under the rationing system.

Posted by: ofhistory61 | June 16, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Dionne he sure did turn a corner. It's the corner that leads to the hallway that ends at the back door to the White House. That's the door that Obama will use to exit the building, and when he does it will herald the beginning of working Americans taking our country back.

The socialism experiment has failed and failed miserably.

Posted by: SayWhat5 | June 16, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

No he didn't. At least for people that actually work for a living. Did you notice his approval rating is right at the level of the people that sponge off the rest of us. Approval 46%. People who pay no taxes 47%. That is why the Demorats want to get the people who pay no taxes over 50%. Permanent welfare class majority of voters.

Posted by: harley2002 | June 16, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

"Democratic Capitalism"...are corporations equal to citizens? has government found the balance between competing agendas? what happened to government of the people, by the people, for the people?

Posted by: lescaine | June 16, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Obama persists with his dog-ate-my-homework approach to all problems despite his saying occasionally he takes responsibilty for certain things.

Posted by: vismorge | June 16, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

RE:Obama's bizarre reliance on PRAYER makes him look ineffective, weak, and completely helpless - not to mention cynically pandering to the simple minded.

You're kidding, right? Pandering to the simple minded accounts for 60% of the electorate.

Posted by: bproulx45 | June 16, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

"His plea for a new energy policy made sense. We do need to reduce our dependency on oil"

Dionne is just as delusional as Obama. OK, so we need to reduce our dependency on oil so Obama halts domestic exploration and drilling and we have no other alternative to oil except what Obama has in his delusional mind. We're never going to power a car, ship or airplane with wind turbines.

Obama's plea wasn't for a new energy policy...it was for a new government controlled energy tax. Cap and Tax will do nothing to change our energy policy. It will only be the next phase of the systematic dismantling of America.

Posted by: lagrangeee | June 16, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

A lawyerized society is a futile society, and that's the way America is going. Its all about blame and claims.


The priority from Day One has been to stop the leak; to muster whatever resource in solving this highly complex and challenging engineering problem. If the lawyers who populate WH and Congress, who can spout words if they cannot spout oil, think deep sea drilling is so easy, let them go do it.


No, instead from Day One we have had bash BP, and go on bashing BP, day after day. And those are the people on the site who are actually trying to do something. That is the job on hand: retribution comes later.


Two months and WH is still talking claims and crimes. "Who's to blame? ". Where are the scapegoats. How do we defend our backside - not our shores, not our coastline, not the jobs in the Gulf drilling industry, but our poll numbers.


Really, really pathetic.

Posted by: Adrem | June 16, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

A lawyerized society is a futile society, and that's the way America is going. Its all about blame and claims.


The priority from Day One has been to stop the leak; to muster whatever resource in solving this highly complex and challenging engineering problem. If the lawyers who populate WH and Congress, who can spout words if they cannot spout oil, think deep sea drilling is so easy, let them go do it.


No, instead from Day One we have had bash BP, and go on bashing BP, day after day. And those are the people on the site who are actually trying to do something. That is the job on hand: retribution comes later.


Two months and WH is still talking claims and crimes. "Who's to blame? ". Where are the scapegoats. How do we defend our backside - not our shores, not our coastline, not the jobs in the Gulf drilling industry, but our poll numbers.


Really, really pathetic.

Posted by: Adrem | June 16, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

More instant analysis by a pundit who is a bit out of touch with anyone outside the Beltway.

There is an old cajun expression which is very apt for this current crisis: "it is difficult to drain the swamp, when you are up to your waist in alligators."

Barack Obama, last night, once again told us we need to drain the swamp, but he said absoulutely nothing specific about how he was going to take on the alligators which are living there in current time or what he would be doing to make sure everyone on the team (i.e. Congress, the public, energy companies, etc.) would be asked to do to make sure we could, in fact, drain the swamp once we got rid of the alligators.

Our President keeps calling this situation a "crisis" or a "disaster of unimaginable proportions;" but last night we got a predictable speech about commissions, vision and that old standy THE AMERICAN SPIRIT! Nothing about demanding the deployment of 16,000 National Guard he has authorized but which still sit home because the governors of the Gulf State have not called them into action; nothing about accelerating the import of foreign owned skimmers and their rapid deployment, nothing about giving Federal agencies emergency powers to waive existing Federal laws and regualtions which are impeding rapid deployment of equipment and services, etc.

Some would say such details are not the President's job. Maybe not, he is after all the CIC. But unless the public feels our President is, at least, knowledgable about such detail and is riding herd on the bureacrats who are responsible for them, there can be little credibility to what he says vs. what we say daily on cable news and the internet.

Bottom line: there is a disconnect between perception and reality. Nothing our President said last night did anything to change that reality.

Posted by: bobfbell | June 16, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Trying to FDR with the fireside talks combined with JFK's "Man on the Moon" challenge to the American people, just didn't cut it. Sorry, Obama, but your just not a leader. I understand that Acorn has an opening, if you apply right now ......

Posted by: richard36 | June 16, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Your closing words, good sir: "...more than a speech" are precisely the operative words here. We need even more than a "butt-kicking."

We await PresO's promise of prudent action.

We all audaciously hope those actions will speak louder than hollow, repeated oratory.

Posted by: dtking | June 16, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

We need to focus on getting this fixed and not bickering about it.

That said, trying to prod somebody with authority to finally take ownership is at least a somewhat constructive activity.

By contrast, endlessly denying or excusing Oboobma's manifest failures accomplishes nothing.

Posted by: thebump | June 16, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

All the references to Jimmy Carter and lack of executive experience, etc., smack of astroturf efforts by the slick GOP messaging machine. How do I know? Because anyone with any actual knowledge of the Carter administration knows that it wasn't that bad. It was only bad in the political sense that his presidency is now viewed as a "failed" one. But much of the goodwill that Reagan reaped was sowed during the Carter administration.

Obama is a weak executive? Where's the support for that claim? If you talk to anyone in government, you'll hear that this is one of the most professional, well-run administrations in a long time.

Obama's problem is not his executive ability. It is his political ability. It is not clear whether his "cool" style is fit for the times. But if in two years you see our economy turn the corner and slow steady resolutions to the challenges we face, then Obama will be hailed as a revolutionary figure, who was able to bring the country around to his way of thinking: deliberate, strategic, long term.

The astroturfers can be frustrating with their ad hominem attacks, but at least we know that when the sky doesn't in fact fall, all the Chicken Little squawking will be reduced to the turd that it is. I just hope that along the way, we as a society learn to not panic every time someone says the sky is falling.

Posted by: apartinalex | June 16, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Well, it IS the OVAL office, so he's walking around in circles (ok ovals) - no corners turned. Same old, same old - merely words.

Posted by: notamullethead | June 16, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Obama is right: past time to move the nation forward in terms of clean energy.

Meanwhile, the GOP remains in the Stone Age. "Drill, baby, drill . . ."

The only thing as toxic as BP's spill is right-wing BS.

Posted by: simonflannery | June 16, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

masonjahr:

The US is being derided, not Obama, and it is because of nincompoops like you.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | June 16, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

President Obama is in a "no-win" situation. The hypocrites on the right, who scream about government staying out of their business (and business in general) are now asking why Obama doesn't put on his Superman costume and solve this problem. They say he's weak and ineffective even though they know this is a problem that can't be solved easily. Obama gave BP a lot of time to fix this before he started criticizing them too much. The lefties are going to call for Obama to take over the BP facility and then the righties will scream foul.

For everyone criticizing Obama on his performance, I challenge you to the job of ending 2 wars effectively, getting an economy back on track, fixing health care, creating new energy solutions, and on and on. Then when you are a complete failure I can rant and rave about how pathetic you are.

Posted by: grinnellstephen | June 16, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

A moonbat comes up with this howler: "anyone with any actual knowledge of the Carter administration knows that it wasn't that bad. It was only bad in the political sense..."

Uh, right. In the "political sense" that he was challenged in his own party and then voters kicked him out by a landslide — voters who had "actual knowledge" of the nightmare he put them through.

Moonbat: "Obama is a weak executive? Where's
the support for that claim?"

Open your eyes, pal.

Moonbat: "If you talk to anyone in government, you'll hear that this is one of the most professional, well-run administrations in a long time."

Do tell. Bureaucrats in love with a big government ideologue who is hellbent on vastly expanding the bureaucracy, its reach and its power? Golly.

Moonbat: "Obama will be hailed as a revolutionary figure, who was able to bring the country around to his way of thinking: deliberate, strategic, long term."

To that I can add nothing. You just can't make up crap like that, or embellish it.

Posted by: thebump | June 16, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"...an international focus of derision" masonjahr? Isn't that a bit over the top? Indeed, even here in America with all of its snarky media and paper bag huffing critics of Obama, he still maintains a respectable job approval of 50% and a health personal approval of 57%.

Look. This isn't something that conservatives can evade accountability for. Even republicans are now calling for regulatory reform and despite all of the recent "government is the problem" nagging, are now asking: "Where was the Government?" Now isn't that rich?

If there is one thing people can take to the bank as truth in this day and age it is this: The level of hypocrisy on the right is equal to the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf!

Posted by: jaxas70 | June 16, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Word up to EJ, whose hero must be the Pravda Editor in Chief. Effective don't need "...to show (who is) in charge". At least not 18 months into their presidency.

Then, as EJ describes it, "...he also tried to turn the crisis into an opportunity to make the case for a new energy policy and for government’s role in regulating the economy." Allow me to translate that statement into the real message. Having baited the trap with an oil spill that he has allowed to spin out of control -- in part by declining the help of our allies -- he intends to spring the trap with his economy stifling Cap and Trade.

"Obama may not have much support from the religious right, but he is very effective at using religious language and has a rather sure liturgical sense." Well, that "support" would be ZERO because Obama's "...rather sure liturgical sense" comes from where, the Reverend Wright?

So, Obama's speech had a "...nice ending recalling his old emphasis on hope"? Well, I'm for "hope" and "CHANGE". I hope Obama fails at every misguided intiative he has in store for us until we can change his status to that of an ex-president.

Posted by: buggerianpaisley1 | June 16, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"By contrast, endlessly denying or excusing Oboobma's manifest failures accomplishes nothing."

And yet the "Bump's" 9:37 post does just that. More of the same never-ending hypocrisy.

Posted by: grinnellstephen | June 16, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Dionne, for a reasonable response to Obama's remarks. It sounds like many are happy to find something they can pounce on Obama for - nevermind that virtually all of this is, once again, a mess not of his making. (Including getting agencies to coordinate a more rapid response.)

Grow up Americans - Obama is not Superman. He deserves our gratitude and support as he takes on mess after mess resulting from decades of neglect that's allowed greed and self-interest to run free.

(As for "losing Chris," I am a long-time Hardball & Countdown fan, but last night Chris and Keith both lost me. (Poor Howard had no choice but to chime in - knowing who chooses the guests...) I was shocked and disgusted by their emotional responses and switched to CNN, where one could hear a more reasonable discussion of both sides....)

Posted by: janetsf | June 16, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Bugger - Can you show me proof that Obama is the one declining aid from our allies? I'd like to see it.

I see you are another "failure hoping" righty. You were probably one of the guys claiming that liberals "wanted us to fail in Iraq" so Bush would look bad. Now it's okay for the right to hope Obama fails with "everything". More hypocrisy from the right.........

Posted by: grinnellstephen | June 16, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

By now everyone in the media ought to be used to the promises and guarantees Obama loves to make. For instance: so this will never happen again. Obama can't make guarantees that oil spills will never happen again no more then the airlines can guarantee we won't have have any more planes crashes. Accidents happen. Yet we still move on. What did the left want. Obama still wasted no time in pushing his clean energy, ignoring the cost it will bring and the loss of jobs. Never let a crisis go to waste. Isn't that the rallying cry of this administration. No matter what happens use it as an excuse to push social justice and raise taxes. How are the Republicans in a delicate position? We need oil. There's no market for what Obama wants in this country or around the world. Obama used Spain as an example in the past and look what happened to Spain. Now he's using China. Wait until China sees there's no market for as Obama puts it being first in the technology. The left in this country as well as around the world wants to force change on the world using clean energy regardless if there's a market for it or not. The oil spill was just an accident, not an excuse to take the profits of BP or force clean energy down our throats.

Posted by: houstonian | June 16, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Obama made a great speech. All the critics I have read thus far have been largely nonsensical, especially those on the left calling for greater detail regarding the new energy bill and how he specifically will clean up the gulf.

I think it's pretty clear that everybody is doing their best regarding this mess, and it's impossible to understand how anybody could think otherwise.

Posted by: adelisi | June 16, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

It is far too late to invoke any WW II-like unity of vision or purpose in the United States. The triumph of multiculturalism and "strength in diversity," which replaced economic equality as the organizing principle of the Democratic Party in the 80s-90s, has begot, at least in part, a nation with decreasing national identity and little hope for consensus save in a true existential crisis. There is an ever-diluted text of "Americana" that unites us, and we have fully entered the age of the hyphenated-American; an age where what stands on the hyphen's left is more important many times than what follows.

So the great experiment slowly fades...

Posted by: gadstian | June 16, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The Obidiot again demonstrates that he could not run a 7-11! No plan, no vision, no future. Socialize energy, nationalize private companies, and shake your fist at the hole he never plugged. The Marxist in Chief has 20 minutes for the CEO of BP? Really? All he cares about is making political hay so he and his buddy Hugo Chavez can compare notes on taking over the economy, as he drives it off the cliff

Posted by: nickleader | June 16, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Obama's first priority should be to address the problems in the gulf.

Instead, he uses the crisis as an opportunity to advance his liberal agenda.

Predictable, but disappointing all the same.

And he looked like Erkel behind that desk.

Posted by: thinker16 | June 16, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Moonbat: "last night Chris and Keith both lost me...I was shocked and disgusted by their emotional responses..."

Poor dear.

Get used to it. Your numbers are dwindling fast.

Posted by: thebump | June 16, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Sad, desperate speech to salvage as much political gain as possible in face of disaster. Watching the gulf fill with oil, killing the sea animals, causing great suffering for those whose livilhoods are being destroyed must be hard for a man whose ego made him say that his inauguration would change the tides. The tides are still the same, and bringing in slimey oil as they come. B/P is angry at Obama's obsession with them, considering Haliburton and Transoceanic ran the rig. I thought that Obama was going to improve international relationships. Right now he couldn't be elected dogcatcher in England.

Posted by: drzimmern1 | June 16, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Obama may have turned a corner alright but he went left when he should have turned right. Zigged when he should have zagged.

Only a truly mesmerized Obamatron could support this truly dangerous shamwow salesman.

Posted by: Straightline | June 16, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The Presidents admission that he has no idea how to get to this "new economy based on green energy" was the only point of true honesty in his speech...and it is the most frightening.

He's going to cause "electricity bills to necessarily skyrocket" with no clear vision of what that will actually accomplish. We've spent billions on wind, solar, and ethanol research and are nowhere near using any of them to truly decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Anyone with any degree of sense understands that the economic crash of 2008 began with gas prices that soared over $4.00 and first hit the restaurant business and then causes an already near to bursting housing bubble (caused by the Federal Government and an unsuspecting public) to burst.

He put a moratorium on drilling in the gulf while he sets up yet another committee - meanwhile, the residents of the gulf, already suffering economically from the recession, now suffering from lost tourism and the lost fishing industry causing the loss of 20,000 additional jobs. This moratorium will lead to higher gas prices, higher electric bills before he even get a "Cap and Tax" bill signed into law and into effect.

This only Leadership from this President is down a path to the total destruction of the middle class while the Al Gore's of this world will get rich off this "Even if we don't yet know precisely how to get there."....plan of his.

Posted by: LMW6 | June 16, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Oh wow all these illiterate "speech critics" from the party that gave us a failed OILMAN named GEORGE W. BUSH . . .

Posted by: simonflannery | June 16, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. President;

Days have turned to weeks since the Gulf oil spill began. Now those weeks have become months of unchecked destruction, and we are still waiting for you to act - and I'm not talking about a walk on the beach here. You are our President. At times like this we look to you for decisive, effective and conclusive action.

We have a Navy, don't we, Mr. President? Submarines? Think tanks? Scientific societies? Governmental departments, emergency response agencies and disaster relief plans? Isn't there anyone anywhere in our vast, phenomenally frustrating and profoundly ineffective government possessing even a small measure of capability?

With all due respect, Mr. President - it was another nice speech you gave last night, I generally enjoy them all, but shut up and do something already.

Posted by: seabelly1 | June 16, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but when Obama was running for President, did he do so on the basis of being an expert petroleum engineer?
The media is OUT OF CONTROL. I was just in Greece. I asked the locals about the nation-wide riots. Most of them looked at me like I was nuts. A couple said, "Oh, there were a couple of bands of unruly people- but nothing more than that."
People the media should not be allowed to tell us how to think by selectively choosing not so much what they report- but how. The inflections, the innuendos. Obama has been to the Gulf more than Bush want after Katrina and he has certainly sent more cabinet and high ranking members of the administration there. He has consulted with NASA engineers, with the other petroleum companies. He ran on the platform that we should be working our way out of fossil fuels, but not to the detriment of the fishing/tourist livelihood on the Gulf coast.
Straightline: I don't see you proffering any viable plans for the redemption of the Gulf-how would you fix it? I know I won't get an answer that isn't full of blather and short on real working ideas. You use the word Obamatron-so you must be the opposite of that? The Palin "Drill Baby Drill" boy? The Rand Paul-' Obama should take his foot of BP's throat'er? The John McCain- 'I'm a Maverick- no I've never been a Maverick'-ite?
Can anyone in this country have discussions without hoping a photo op will follow? People outside of this country pretty much think we are a)mean and 2)nuts.

Posted by: poppysue85 | June 16, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I find it intriguing that someone who has made it to the ranks of President of the U.S. is still trying to use the leadership styles of others (many of whom are dead)to define his own. It is also telling that Americans can't look at Obama's own past for descriptors of his leadership style. So he is left to mimic the leadership styles of others when one would have hoped that his past leadership style would have somehow served as a prerequisite for his having obtained the highest office in the land.

Posted by: godiva1 | June 16, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The speech was a joke.. Yeah Obama is great at blaming others, but how does he explain the government inspectors not picking up on all that was going wrong on that rig? Or how for weeks Obama goal was to just stay out of it and put it all on BP? Look BP is at fault and it's their job to plug the leak and pay for damages.. both of which they have agreed to do.. but cleaning up the mess needs more than just BP working on it. Were are all the skimmers? How come Obama tuned down help from Norway and the Netherlands? No one can say Obama did all he could to clean up this mess.. Lastly BP is at fault but we need a strong BP to fix the leak and pay for the damages.. why is Obama attacking the one company we need to do that. Driving BP into bankrupcy is the worst thing we can do and that's what Obama and the Dems seem to do best. What would Bush say about Obama? "Heck of a job Brownie"

Posted by: sovine08 | June 16, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Realitybased1 stated:

And, dang, my transportation needs trump my
interest in making my gas station a moral issue.
_______________
This is exactly the attitude that leads to these oil spills. Your transportation needs are the reason that BP and all oil companies are drilling in deep waters...
Feel better noW?

Posted by: phorse | June 16, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Seabelly - What would you like the president to do? Just curious. What do you think Obama should do about this mess? You seem like a rational person so I am hoping for a rational answer.

Posted by: grinnellstephen | June 16, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

And to all the traitorous Republican pond scum I say "Up with America, UP YOURS REPUBLICANS." All they want to do is sit around with their thumbs up their butts while trying to pawn off shameless obstructionism as a way out of the nightmare they've turned this country into. I suggest they all contact their family proctologist's about a brain scan.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | June 16, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Here we are again using a crisis to further his own political agenda of cap and trade. Spain went green and it was a financial disaster. They have had to close many of their ventures because they were too expensive. We are many years away from any alternative to oil that the nation can afford. Wind and solar will never run the nation. Shutting down any drilling will make matters worse. This whole thing with the irresponsible delay and refusal of help from other nations who had the tankers to suck up the oil three days after the spill makes one wonder if this is all deliberate inaction to drive the green agenda which should be put off until the nation recovers and the technology becomes affordable.

Posted by: katie6 | June 16, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

godiva - Is Obama using other people's leadership styles or is the media attributing Obama's styles to that of others? I think your argument is childish. People are always being compared to previous examples even if they don't seek those comparisons.

Posted by: grinnellstephen | June 16, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse


Yes, he has turned the corner.

But that (corner) led to the isle that leads to the Exit.

Posted by: swavde | June 16, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"...the green agenda which should be put off until the nation recovers and the technology becomes affordable."

Good idea Katie. Let's sit on our hands while other countries develop the technology and make it affordable. That way we can end up, as usual, being the consumer of someone else's technology rather than the provider who reaps the financial and security benefits. Your plan for inaction is a great one....

Posted by: grinnellstephen | June 16, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

LMW6 wrote:
The Presidents admission that he has no idea how to get to this "new economy based on green energy" was the only point of true honesty in his speech...and it is the most frightening.

He's going to cause "electricity bills to necessarily skyrocket" with no clear vision of what that will actually accomplish. We've spent billions on wind, solar, and ethanol research and are nowhere near using any of them to truly decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Anyone with any degree of sense understands that the economic crash of 2008 began with gas prices that soared over $4.00 and first hit the restaurant business and then causes an already near to bursting housing bubble (caused by the Federal Government and an unsuspecting public) to burst.

He put a moratorium on drilling in the gulf while he sets up yet another committee - meanwhile, the residents of the gulf, already suffering economically from the recession, now suffering from lost tourism and the lost fishing industry causing the loss of 20,000 additional jobs. This moratorium will lead to higher gas prices, higher electric bills before he even get a "Cap and Tax" bill signed into law and into effect.
__________________

Way to get your facts from Faux news. I would like to see your sources for the supposed 'billions' that we have spent on alternative energy because that is bollucks.
By the way, you may want to look at all other western countries that have been paying $5-6/ gallon for gas for years that are NOT in a recession (Australia, for instance). Do you want to know why? Because their banks were regulated and were not allowed to gamble on peoples' mortgages. You could also look at Europe where they have invested in green energy and have, as a result, created new industry.
Might do you some good to come out of your cave every once in a while a get a different perspective. The outdoors might encourage you to preserve it rather than continuing with your 'dril, baby, drill' chant all the way to the gas station.

Posted by: phorse | June 16, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Another vapid, shallow speech written by a group of speech writers recuited from the student union. BTW, I dont ever remember anyone questioning whether the US could build the tanks and planes to win WW2. Arsenal of democracy anyone? What a clown. EJ you are like a high school girl drooling over his speeches like the latest issue of tiger beat. No more "soaring" speeches. Do something obama.

Posted by: j751 | June 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The President needs to live in the here and now. The American people thought that they would hear what would be done to clean up the Gulf and get the Gulf coast back on its feet. Instead, we heard blame and what we need to do in the future. One thing at a time. Much easier to plan than to do.

Posted by: sdl63 | June 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

colonelpanic

Thank you for you're comments amidst a sea of hatred of our President.

Posted by: missgirl | June 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It's obvious the Republican Party of No is going to continue opposition to anything and everything President Obama asks for.

It is beyond belief that they are taking the side of big oil in the middle of this environmental disaster that was CAUSED BY A HUGE FOREIGN OIL COMPANY'S CARELESSNESS IN THE NAME OF GREED.

As usual, conservatives whine about big government and regulations until the sh*t hits the fan. Then they whine about the government not doing enough.

President Obama is right. The time is now to put our best and brightest scientists to work on alternative clean renewable energy sources. We've already wasted too much time with our selfish greedy habits. We've lost too many lives in oil wars. We've destroyed too much of our precious environment.

Posted by: joy2 | June 16, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

swavde...
learn to spell

Posted by: joy2 | June 16, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

EJ - The corner he has turned is a UTurn. Our pathetically overmatched prez and his staff are paralyzed in the face of this and every other crisis. They have NO executive or management experience and it really shows now. They smuggly rejected European offers to send resources our way out of hand. They haven't issued an order setting aside the Jones law (I bet they didn't know it's even on the books). Telling us he'll make BP pay after they've said many times publically that they will pay is rather like repeating someone else's point and trying to take credit for it. And, if I hear one more time about that Phd Nobel Prize winning genuis he sent down there to take us all the heaven, I'll hurl! We all know the relevance of Nobel prize winners. Just look at our pathetic prez.

Posted by: rogerherd | June 16, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Dionne asks: "Did the President turn a corner ? "

Yup and walked into a wall.

I guess Dionne missed the negative coverage by MSNBC and the New York Times.

All of it questioning and some of it hostile.

Even the Left is abandoning Hope.

Posted by: Petras123 | June 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

E.J. states that "His plea for a new energy policy made sense. We do need to reduce our dependency on oil."

Sure do. We also need to cure cancer, end heart disease, and eliminate drunk driving. Hey America, who has the plan to end dependence on oil? Seriously?

Posted by: slatt321 | June 16, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Dionne says:

"Democratic capitalism works because of the “democratic” part -- the use of government to achieve things capitalism can’t achieve on its own."

Then why doesn't state capitalism work?

I wonder if EJ has ever had a real job? Journalism is kind of like working for the government, though admittedly not as secure.

Posted by: Roytex | June 16, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I missed the big one but I have lived through the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, and now the War on BP, the Spill, Oil, or Tar balls. Sent lawyers, guns, and money....nah just money we've got lawyers and big guns, while we talk and study the issue. Hopefully there will be a new war before you all catch on.

Posted by: flyover22 | June 16, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I missed the big one but I have lived through the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, and now the War on BP, the Spill, Oil, or Tar balls. Sent lawyers, guns, and money....nah just money we've got lawyers and big guns, while we talk and study the issue. Hopefully there will be a new war before you all catch on.

Posted by: flyover22 | June 16, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

dionne, you feckless sycophant. did he "turn a corner?" hahaha . . . splutter. read the latest from Rasmussen. his #s will continue southward

Posted by: texasmamma777 | June 16, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Turn a corner from Liberal Slip n fall lawyer with little ideas to a ultra-liberal slip n fall ivy league lawyer with ZERO credibility. Dead fish Rahm and Axe have really lost it.

Posted by: espnfan | June 16, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

What happened to not criticizing a president during wartime? Guess it only applies to rethugs. Why do you people hate America?

Posted by: missgirl | June 16, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

When President Obama actually tries tough measures like this, the Republicans kvetch. When he doesn't do them, they kvetch about that, too. And, as has been the case for the past 30 years, they add noting useful to the public discourse.

Posted by: Ilikemyprivacy | June 15, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse
================================

Sorry "Ilikemyprivacy"...you have the same on the Dem side - so please. Did you not hear Mathews, Olberman, Fineman last night ??? Not exactly pro-Obama comments.

Posted by: short1 | June 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

This is the Secretary of Commerce's Battle of the Bulge moment.

With tens of thousands of (temp) Census Enumerators hired and in the "field", including the Gulf Coast States, any damage can be documented in detail with a bare minimum impact on logistics. This sort of leverage is exactly what Patton brought to the Battle of the Bulge.

Arguably Patton needed the Battle of the Bulge as much as it needed him. No one cares except Political Wonks. The only important thing was that Patton knew he did not have a month to think about it.

Ike played a background role, as does The President now. It is foolish and counter-productive to bicker that Ike or The President 'does not want to win'.

Posted by: gannon_dick | June 16, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Now that people have had their opportunity to criticize POTUS, what is your plan to clean the Gulf and bring energy out of the 19th century and into the new era? If you do not have an answer, then refrain from useless criticism. No is the first syllable of nothing. If your platform is no, you stand on nothing.

Posted by: hakafos44 | June 15, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

================================
Get every skimmer ship available out in the gulf...and I mean everyone in thw world...there are many more then want are there. Enact the Jones law..so that union special interests do not take control and or slow down the clean-up. Drill-baby-drill - hows Anwar sound. Land is a bit more safe than 1-2 miles down and alot more controllable. Allow for Nuclear plants to be built - its been over 30 years...France gets 70% of its energy from them. In the meantime set-aside 20-30 billion a year for clean-efficient energy ..and I mean efficient....because until we get there - we must continue to drill - we should have Nuclear plants - that will minimize the impact until that 'efficient' energy is here......a Cap n Trade tax is nothing more than a switch and bait game of tax and tax.

Now - what say you???
No - to drilling, no - nuclear plants - no to coal - yes to tax. Hmm...yea - sounds like a great plan - NOT. And you all call the GOP the party of NO?

Posted by: short1 | June 16, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

This is the Secretary of Commerce's Battle of the Bulge moment.

With tens of thousands of (temp) Census Enumerators hired and in the "field", including the Gulf Coast States, any damage can be documented in detail with a bare minimum impact on logistics. This sort of leverage is exactly what Patton brought to the Battle of the Bulge.

Arguably Patton needed the Battle of the Bulge as much as it needed him. No one cares except Political Wonks. The only important thing was that Patton knew he did not have a month to think about it.

Ike played a background role, as does The President now. It is foolish and counter-productive to bicker that Ike or The President 'does not want to win'.

Posted by: gannon_dick | June 16, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Repeat after me: "Obama can do no wrong. Obama can do no wrong." Even when Dionne tries to be "objective" he falls all over in love with Obama again. Is there anyone on the planet that truly believes they'd want Obama in a trench with them when the enemy was massing for attack? Dionne, like all other do-gooders, say what they want you to hear but when asked, "Do you want to be the one?" he too will say, "Not in my back yard." Go down to New Orleans Dionne and start picking up all the mess your savior is now in charge of.

Posted by: tomb5 | June 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Pres. Obama gave a smart, thoughtful and engaging speech and followed with the smooth execution of a rare defining moment when a large corporation is actually being made to pay for damages and some people still complain? I find the administration's handling of this crisis to be an excellent example of what I have been looking for from our leadership. It has been both hands-on (administration leadership, Coast Guard, National Guard) and strategic (energy policy and long-term goals and implications). If there is any quibble, it's that columnists and others are forcing our attention away from other critical issues that need more (see two wars in Middle East).

Posted by: NeoMOL | June 16, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The schizophrenia of the Republican Party - what a GREAT phrase, and explains so much with so few words.

Posted by: julieforBarack | June 16, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

A moonbat avers: "Pres. Obama gave a smart, thoughtful and engaging speech"

Well why in the devil wasn't it televised instead of the other one?

Another moonbat apologist whines: "when Obama was running for President, did he do so on the basis of being an expert petroleum engineer?"

No, he did so on the basis of being a messiah who was going to walk upon the waters and then part them. Accordingly, we have been waiting for him to stroll out to the middle of the gulf, command the waters to roll back, and then plug the damn hole with his divine pinky.

Posted by: thebump | June 16, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh IT’S POLITICAL, IT’S POLITICAL, IT’S POLITICAL

Well duhhh, it’s political because the Republicans are against it.

Against what? . . . . . Against clean sustainable energy.

Let’s see: . . First, President Jimmy Carter put us on the road for fuel efficiency and clean sustainable energy. Then Republican hero, Ronald Reagan, guts Carter’s programs. From then on, all we’ve heard from Republicans is, “The Free-Market is our god. Our god will take care of us.”

And what has the Republican god given us? . . The most terrible environmental crisis in American history.

I heard a Republican on CNN. She kept saying Republicans are for all that. . . ? . . Well gee, if Republicans are for all that, why is it a political issue? . . Easy, because Republicans are against it.

No wonder they don’t want to talk about it – don’t pay attention to that man behind the curtain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Heck, just point to a bill or resolution that the Republicans have put forth or supported that would bring us clean sustainable energy? . . There are none.

Obama didn’t say anything that a reasonable, logical, sensible man wouldn’t say about dealing with these circumstances.

Posted by: Here2day | June 16, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Contrary to an above comment, you can't blame Republicans for the fact that we do not have clean sustainable energy. Blame the anti-nuke kooks who held up nuclear development for decades.

Shame on those fools for that, and shame on the rest of us for letting them.

Posted by: thebump | June 16, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Dionne: "Democratic capitalism works because of the 'democratic' part -- the use of government to achieve things capitalism can’t achieve on its own."

Translation: Capitalism works too well, because it gives people what they want, not what the political elite decides is good for them. Therefore, the political elite takes away what you earn and gives you what it thinks you ought to have.

Posted by: thebump | June 16, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

It has become obvious to Americans that these are not "his" speeches. He reads speeches that are written for him.
Obama is not in charge. He has been MIA, running around, running his mouth, and not gathering the information that a chief executive needs to make the informed decision that only he as President can make.
The problem facing the Gulf States is the spill that resulted from an accident. While Obama wasted time casting blame and castigating BP, he did not marshal the resources of the federal government to control the spill and mitigate its effects.
That is it in a nutshell.
He can't "turn a corner" because he has been running around in circles with no idea what to do. He failed to ask the right people for help. He delayed. He must now accept the consequences for his failure.

Posted by: parkbench | June 16, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

As a putative example of capitalism's supposed shortcomings, Dionne says there are "some valuable goods -- the environment in the gulf, for example -- that the market doesn’t price correctly..."

Tell that to BP's shareholders, who already have lost billions in retirement savings and will be paying out many billions more. Yes, markets measure costs that ultimately have a real world impact on human beings. But that is as it should be, in preference to artificial costs dictated by the values of a political elite.

Posted by: thebump | June 16, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

In regards to the reference Mr. Obama made concerning China's dedication to the creation of green jobs, I'd like to make two points; firstly, I am not clear what Mr. Obama means by 'green jobs,' which continues to be a undefined word in the political vernacular; secondly, if Mr. Obama implied that green jobs are ones involving solar, bio-mass and wind technologies than he certainly was not refering to China, which currently has negligible contributions from renewable energy sources. However, China has achieved modest success with their "large substituting small" program, which replaces noxious coal fired power plants with more efficient ones, but have failed to reduce overall emissions due to an expanding economy. Currently and for the foreseeable future, China will rely on coal as their dominate energy source, and will resist any regulations in regards to burning cleaner coal.

In regards to the comments Mr. Obama made concerning the MMS, I don't see how the failure of a federal agency to do their job is the fault of private industry. The central government failed to properly regulate off shore drilling, and they should be held accountable. If it is found that members of the MMS were corrupt, than they should be criminally prosecuted. Of course, Mr. Obama, in a classically Wilsonian way, views the failures of central planning as justification for more central planning.

Posted by: Ludovico1 | June 16, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

As always Mr Dionne is Obama's appologist. Obama is lacking in the ability to project leadership. Not really lacking so much as doesn't have any. he has no presence. He constantly looks for somebody to blame for his troubles, thereby absolving himself. Why did he say on Day 5 when the accident was now reall ..."Suspend the Corp of Engineers regs. Build temporary sandberms to keep this away from our shores and BP, how can we help you get this sealed? We'll talk fault later, right now we want to establish the grounds for success." If we're in a battle, we don't pick apart our own troops' efforts until we have everybody safe, for crying out loud. This OJT leadership training isn't working.

Posted by: TinCity1 | June 16, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Who's Commander In Chief Now!!! or who's your Daddy? Barach H. Obama!!

Hear it loud! He's proud! He's Commander in Chief!! Hear that GOP, Bachmann, Beck
etc.!!!! They will pay: all of them! Halliburton and Transocean along with who BP. Obama hammer down. Now, put Honore' on the job and finish them off with his plan President Obama-Proud of you!!

Posted by: Scar1 | June 16, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

As a British citizen i think Obama is using ths disaster for political ends, but all he is doing by blaming "British Petroleum" which is 39% USA owned is alienating the USA's biggest most dependable allies. He is trying to hide American companies role in this disaster. Read this make your own minds up. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1287226/RICHARD-PENDLEBURY-Whys-BP-taking-blame.html

Posted by: mccarthy1968 | June 16, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Was just wondering to myself how much money George BUSH Snr and Jnr make out of transocean and Haliburton

Posted by: mccarthy1968 | June 16, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I thought the EPA was created to get us off of foreign oil. Back then, we were 50 dependent on foreign oil and were suffering at the hand of the arab oil embargo. Now we are 75 percent dependent on foreign oil and nothing has been done.

Posted by: freemen | June 16, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Silly delicate flower EJ! Ypur messiah is a false profit.

Posted by: carlbatey | June 16, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

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