There’s been a spate of articles from liberal and progressive blogs lately saying what Obama should do on the spill. The tone is wistful, like they’re finally realizing that no, he isn’t going to do the right thing, that’s he’s not liberal but rather a corporatist, and a rather timid one at that.
Obama has appeared almost scarily unengaged from what the public increasingly recognizes is a genuine national emergency. When he goes before the press corps and the nation this afternoon, he faces a fateful choice: Will he respond with another of his now-familiar outbursts of anger with no follow-through? Or will he take charge of the national response and announce a clear plan of action?
Obama can use the bully pulpit and executive authority to at least give the appearance that he is in command. Instead, he’s doing what he did during the health care and finreg debates in the Senate: shifting the burden to others, standing aloof and looking generally ineffective.
But Obama never uses the bully pulpit against corporate interests.
So why do would anyone think he’ll use it now? This is just liberal / progressive wishful thinking that Obama will somehow start doing the right thing.
Remember the bankster summit at the White House when three of them said they couldn’t make it because it was too foggy for their jets to take off? They phoned in and Obama meekly thanked them for doing so.
LBJ would have had them screaming for mercy for spitting in his face like that.
The BP CEO openly defies the US government, marches on the beach yelling for police to get rid of reporters. The response from the White House is crickets.
This isn’t because Obama is misguided or getting bad info. This is his deliberate policy.
And lets clear up a major misconception, that the poor little federal government can’t do anything here, that it must leave the operations to BP.
Matt Simmons, who founded a major investment bank to the energy industry in Houston, says there’s plenty the government could do if it chose to, like send in supertankers to start pumping, turn it into a military operation, check for other major leaks he is certain are down there, and maybe even do what Red Adair did to seal major blowouts – drop a bomb down the hole.
Finally, contrast Obama’s response to the banksters and BP with that of FDR during the depression. FDR was born upper class and wealthy. He instituted major taxes against his own class and gleefully replied to their fury by saying, “I welcome their hatred.” Obama never challenges such interests. Never. Perhaps he is intimidated, or in thrall to them, or is simply co-opted – obedient and paid for. But the only time he shows passion is during speeches or bursts of faux anger, which as we all know by now, is never followed up with action.
Liberal need to realize Obama is not a friend or even an ally.