Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chapter 24. ...Same As The Old Boss.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton, a self-described loather of the military, did his presidential duty by giving a D-day speech to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Allied landing at Normandy, France.  The irony of a draft dodger who studied Russian while American boys were fighting the communists in Vietnam, was naturally lost on the press.  After the speech, Clinton strode Omaha Beach and suddenly stopped to "discover" several stones lying in the sand.  He then knelt and arranged them in a cross.  According to Maureen Dowd, Clinton's aides had preplanned the photo-op.

Fast forward 16 years.  A few days ago President Obama made his second foray down to the Gulf to help solve the crisis (his presidency, not the oil leak).  As usual he promised a lot without really promising anything:
"There are not going to be silver bullets or a lot of perfect answers for some of the challenges that we face, but we're going to keep at this every day... I'm here to tell you that you are not alone, you will not be abandoned, you will not be left behind.  The media may get tired of the story, but we will not. We will be on your side and we will see this through."
Uh, we??  Who exactly is the President talking about?  Well, as he left he did indicate that, "we've got the best minds working on it, and we're going to keep on at it."  But not before he took his own stroll along the beach, knelt down and picked at oily balls that had apparently washed onto the shore.

Like Clinton, President Obama is out of his element.  Clinton avoided the military and exploited D-day; Obama has managed to avoid working a day in his life at a job that requires profitable results, and now sanctimoniously chides the only knowledgeable corporate entity on the planet that has a direct vested interest in fixing this problem:  BP.

Louisiana shrimpers and fishermen need experienced engineers and drilling experts to keep trying potential solutions.  What they don't need are photo-ops and presidential visits or the soft, unspoiled hands of his Brain Trust whose orders amount to inspiring sage rejoinders like "just plug the damn hole."

Quotient out.

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