President Obama is angry. His brisk demeanor while giving a speech at Carnegie-Mellon University a few days ago signaled that loud and clear. No cute remarks, no comic relief—just straight-ahead knives directed at the oil companies and the Republican party.
Somehow it is all going wrong for the president these days. The Rasmussen daily tracking poll among likely voters has the president’s job approval rating hovering around 45%, and even stalwart Democrat James Carville yelled at him the other day.
Mr. Obama has big problems on the following fronts: Illegal immigration, terrorist trials, Israel’s aggressive posture, and, most importantly, the economy. But it is the oil spill that, I believe, galls him the most. There is simply nothing the president can do. No one on this earth has come up with a way to cap that oil gusher a mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico. I mean, they are even consulting with Avatar director James Cameron, who once shot an underwater flick. What is he going to do, send Leo diCaprio down to plug the hole?
And some folks like Carville are actually blaming the president for disaster-related stuff. James is demanding the Prez “come down heaah.” And then what? Mr. Obama has already made an appearance on the Louisiana shoreline wearing pants better suited for lunch at the Capitol Grill. The president looked forlorn. But not as forlorn as the oil covered pelicans.
Fed up with being a piñata, Mr. Obama has now ordered his attorney general, the fearsome Eric Holder, to launch a criminal investigation into the British Petroleum Corporation. I just hope Holder doesn’t demand the trial be held in New York City. Also, the president is promising to “roll back billions of dollars in tax breaks to oil companies so we can prioritize investments in clean energy and development.”
That means big oil will most likely sell more product to China and India, even as the Obama administration spends more money on energy that might work someday. I’m kinda thinking Jimmy Carter and long gas lines at the pumps. Remember that horror in 1979?
Intellectually honest people understand that President Obama had nothing to do with the spill, and even with all the power the United States has, the country has no gizmo to fix the problem. For anti-Obama people, the fact that the president is getting slimed by the slick is karma. For pro-Obama folks, it’s very bad luck.
There comes a time when fate can determine success or failure. President Obama is a man who is used to controlling his environment. But this environmental disaster in the Gulf is out of everybody’s control. And Obama knows it.