In defense of Obama


Filed Under Obama News on Jun 3 

Discussion with a friend a few days ago:

HIM: “Can you believe Obama and this oil spill?”

ME: “Yeah, it’s a mess.”

HIM: “I can’t believe he doesn’t just go down there and get the job done.”

ME: “Huh?”

HIM: “Plug the hole, you know.”

ME: “Himself?”

HIM: “Yeah… Whatever… Want to get a soda?”

Look, I’m no fan of this president. I didn’t vote for him in 2008 and I won’t in 2012. Frankly, there’s no candidate alive I couldn’t support vs. Obama. Put it this way: If Carter were the only other choice on the ballot, I’d not only vote for him, I’d hand make poster board signs and go door-to-door handing out foam peanut key chains with Carter 2012 printed on them in red, white and blue.

I’ve disagreed with nearly aspect of Obama’s agenda and I’d be lying if I said his poll plummet hasn’t brought me a small measure of twisted joy. America hasn’t seen this kind of buyer’s remorse since the XFL.

But here’s where I disagree with my friend and every other commentator/conservative/republican/pundit who’s aiming the gusher at Obama’s head. I only expect him to solve problems he has control over.

My dislike and distrust for Obama has nothing to do with oil spills. It has to do with budgets, bailouts, and health care takeovers. What good would it do for Obama to appear more passionate about the spill or to spend more time in the gulf? Could he inspire BP to fix it faster? Of course not. They don’t need more motivation than they already have. They’re losing billions of dollars and suffering a far more devastating PR hit than Exxon ever did after Valdez. There is no speech Obama could give that will inspire them more than they already are.

So what do we expect of Obama? Does my friend–or do you–think he should don scuba gear and swim 5,000 feet down to cap it himself? Or drive a robot? Or run the operation from the deck? No? So what are we criticizing him for, not feeling enough of our pain?

I defended Bush when democrats and the media piled on him over Katrina. Could he have handled it better from a PR standpoint? Sure, but did he kick the levees over with his boot? Did you want him to drive the relief trucks faster?

And now I feel compelled to defend Obama as republicans and the media pile on him over the gulf spill. Could he handle it better from a PR standpoint? Sure. But did he cause the explosion? Did he create the ice crystals that clogged the box? Did he not blend enough golf balls into the “top kill” mud? Did he jam the saw?

Let’s hold our leaders accountable when they deserve to be. But let’s be fair. This mess belongs to BP, not BO.