The Oil Race

President Obama and I may have one distinct thing in common. Often when folks disagree with my analysis, they label me as an angry white man. The far left loves to do that. Any passion shown by forces opposed to the “progressive” agenda is often described as irrational and vitriolic.

Now Mr. Obama finds himself in a similar place. For weeks the president was criticized for being disengaged regarding the oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf. Even fellow liberals like Spike Lee and Bill Maher implored the president to get angry—to show some visible displeasure.

Ever the cool customer, Mr. Obama did not immediately heed that advice. But this week, an ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that 69% of Americans believe the feds are doing a bad job dealing with the spill. Uh-oh. The president took notice.

So he booked himself on the Today Show and told Matt Lauer that he is fully engaged in seeking solutions to the disaster; he’s speaking with all kinds of experts. The president then said, “We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers so I know whose ass to kick.”

Oooooh! Let the kicking begin.

But the punt threat didn’t quite turn out the way the president envisioned. Instead of the media getting behind the behind kicking, they have turned this into a racial deal!

Writing in the Washington Post, far-left columnist Jonathan Capehart put forth: “Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you saw your black male colleague… show anger or rage? My hunch is never… African-American men are taught at very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool, lest we be perceived as dangerous or menacing…”

Are you kidding me? So if Mr. Obama shows displeasure, he’s “menacing?” Three minutes ago he was a wimp for not drowning the CEO of British Petroleum. Now he’s dangerous because he says he wants to kick some butt?

Even if you don’t like the president, you have to admit this: The guy can’t win.

The underlying story here is why some in the media continue to embrace this race business. Why are they bothering with this nonsense? I think the answer is that race provides cover.

To his credit, Barack Obama has largely rejected the race card. Only in that absurd Massachusetts incident where a white cop confronted a black Harvard professor could Mr. Obama be accused of entering racial waters. He ran for president as an American, not an African-American.

But every time Mr. Obama gets into trouble, devoted acolytes like Jonathan Capehart trot out skin color. I guess they think being black makes it more difficult for the president to govern. But linking race with the president’s reaction to the oil spill is really beyond the pale.

The truth is President Obama is a cool guy. But sometimes heat is needed to get things done. Skin color has nothing to do it.