Not a Crisis President: Would You Want No-Drama Obama during an Alien Attack?

3 Nov

The President got on the TV last night and declared a third gulf war, and this time it’s actually about oil. It was a speech in the finest tradition of pre-game locker room speeches, about “courage” and, “even if we don’t yet know precisely how to get there,” said the President, “we know we’ll get there.” Now let’s go get that oil!

But it didn’t really bring home the inspirational bacon. It was full of even handed Presidential verbiage that is common in the political lexicon of the 24 hour media cycle, that doesn’t really do justice to the enormity of the crisis of the moment. We’re talking about millions of gallons of oil gushing out into the gulf, destroying the ecosystem, ruining the coastal economies – it’s a big F’ing deal. And what we got last night was, “The one approach I will not accept is inaction.”

I don’t know about you, but it didn’t exactly make a shiver of passion run down my spine. I didn’t really want to throw the blog aside like so many bottles of suntan lotion, move to Louisiana and buy my own oil dredging boat. It wasn’t exactly, “win one for the gipper” or that kid giving the speech from Miracle.  Just look at this kid. He means business.  The President, on the other hand, came off more like the disciplinarian at a hippie kindergarten. It was no-drama Obama puts on his stern face and calls the nation to environmental arms. But it just didn’t have that force of conviction that has made him such an effective communicator. He didn’t bring the classic Obama inspirational hope-y/change-y coal that fueled his campaign engine right to the Oval office.

To make it worse the President is about a month and a half late to the party. There is no such thing as fashionably late to a crisis. All I want is the genuine, impassioned leadership that makes moderate Republicans, like myself, kinda like the President. Not agree with him necessarily, but appreciate his capacity to bring people together and perhaps improve the international communities perception of the US. But now we’re not talking about perception, we’re talking about action.

This isn’t the time for a measured response, or qualified language; this is end of Deep Impact, not the beginning of a Ken Burns documentary. I want the President to channel a fictional predecessor, President Thomas J. Whitmore.  Now that man knew how to handle a crisis. When space ships rumbled past the moon and settled over every major city on the planet what did he do? He got his ass in a F-16, and took the fight to them. “I’m a combat pilot, Will. I belong in the air.”  That’s what a President has to do, he’s got to saddle up and go on the offensive. But before he does that, he’s got to rally the troops and once again Tom Whitmore brings the inspiration.

Now that is what I’m talking about. That’s how you rally a nation to a cause and look good doing it. And it’s not like you can’t be calm, the man says, “good morning” at the beginning of the speech. But he ends with a declaration of force that makes you want to go kick some alien behind. All I’m saying is that, “The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is somehow to big and too difficult to meet.” (President Obama) Just doesn’t get you going like, “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

Now let me ask you this question, who would you rather have at the helm of an alien invasion/oil spill/impending asteroid on a collision course with Earth? It’s definitely not the calm measured guy. I want the President in a wet suit going down there and getting it done. This isn’t about drilling relief wells, sinking giant cement houses over the hole or landing a nuke on an asteroid. This is about actually going out there and fixing it.

What is that you say, we need Kevin Costner? This is Independence Day not Waterworld!

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2 Responses to “Not a Crisis President: Would You Want No-Drama Obama during an Alien Attack?”

  1. Chris June 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    That was 16 minutes of nothing. He blames oil companies (who have not refuted their fault once), he made up stories about off shore drilling occurring in deep waters because of lack of oil when it is actually due to envirnmental regulations prohibiting onshore/shallow drilling, he used this as an opportunity to plug alternative resources, he touted Cabinet members who have won Nobel prizes, he threw oil lobbyists under the bus at one point (the same ones who have cut Obama checks during his Presidential run), he vilified those overseeing oil companies citing gifts and corruption, and then finished up with a call for more regulations (because the 1,000 of ones in place seemed to do a good job preventing a spill, 1001 should do it). The only thing he never said in his speech was how they were going to solve the problem. The President needs to realize they are not campaigning here, they are in office and need to act.

    He also liberally used the term “tragedy.” This is a costly and environmentally devastating accident and the word tragedy is way too strong. 911 was a tragedy, this is an incident. An incident that needs to be dealt with! How can this guy stand up to dictators in Iran and North Korea when it took him several weeks to even confront BP directly?

    Lastly I would like to ask if President Obama enjoyed his trip to the Gulf this week. I saw him enjoying a nice rum drink, some lemon-lime snow cones, dried shrimp, ribs, seafood salad. Glad he could take the time to eat while fighting back the oil blob. Could you imagine the press reaction if President Bush stopped for a po’boy and a hurricane drink when touring Katrina’s devastation?

    Hell, Louisiana residents have stated in a poll today that Obama’s work on the oil spill is worse than Bush’s reaction to Katrina!

  2. Dave June 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    The whole premise of this post is BS. President Obama is just not an emotive guy. You guys just can’t let go of the cult of Reagan and the “actor Presidency” of which Bill Clinton and George W. were also a part of.

    I agree that the speech was flat and that he could have used that moment to announce real changes to our energy policy, such as an increase in the gas tax or some sort of tax on carbon, because you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say you want cheap gas and minimized risk to the oceans, the gulf region and the regional economy that it supports. You could even start off making these taxes revenue neutral with a corresponding cut in the FICA taxes. But we need to make the old energy less attractive over time if we ever want to eat shrimp again.

    Also, critics want Obama to do less planning and start “doing something!” Well let’s see, the LAST time we DID something without adequate planning we had the Iraq War, so I’ll take the boring President who plans things before he does them, thank you.

    The Minerals Management Service needs to be shut down, seems like the last 10 years the only thing they’ve been “servicing” are Big Oil Executives.

    But make no mistake, this is NO Katrina, where the solution was deciding to pony up the money to fix the levys rather than using a robotic submersible to close a leak under an extreme pressurized environment. But again, its so much cheaper to pay for restoration of an entire city and region than it is to fix some anti-flooding equipment, that money was better spent sitting in the pockets of Louisiana taxpayers!

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