June 12, 2010

COMMENTARY: Crisis Control

The BP mess in the Gulf is sickening on so many levels: the damage to the ecosystem (the toll on the ocean, the toll on underwater sea-life, the toll on above-water wildlife); the battering, yet again, of the Gulf shore economy; and the diminishing of the Obama Presidency. Even while placing the onus squarely on BP, it’s impossible not to say that Mr. Obama has thoroughly bungled this crisis – a complete blunder now made worse with hypocritically transparent theatrics that do nothing but reinforce how thoroughly the United States of America bows to Big Oil. Having adeptly if not always elegantly met the challenge of so many major crises (e.g., financial market collapse, global recession, health insurance reform) it’s puzzling to witness the White House’s total ineptness here. “Day 54.” The TV and cable news shows are counting this crisis like the Iranian hostage crisis 30 years ago under Jimmy Carter. Tick-tock. The Carter-ization of Obama is tragically underway and the malaise weighing down the White House on this crisis is astounding no matter what trumped-up outrage Barack performs on the morning chat shows. Tick-tock. Instead of seeing blindfolded Americans trotted out day after day for Iranian photo ops, the world now gets to watch the endless plume of oil spewing from a broken underwater pipe. Tick-tock. The BP mess is not Obama’s Katrina. This is Obama’s hostage crisis, with the U.S. President himself being held hostage.


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