I continue to be disappointed by the response to the oil spill. While Steve Hayward's article
puts many of the issues in very clear context, commentary like this is certainly not the norm. I am surprised that Obama has still not found any footing on this. The New York Times
has joined in beating up on him. They correctly identify many of his problems, but it is the New York Times after all, so they come to all the wrong conclusions.
The thing that strikes me most about the response is just how un-American it feels. There is something helpless and blaming about it. We Americans are at our best when facing a crisis. But in this one, we are left feeling powerless and weak. Obama has shown anger, but we don't want anger. We just want some effective leadership. He has also used this as an opportunity to demonize BP. Yes, they are responsible, but on the whole, they seem to be living up to that responsibility. Frank Rich
encourages Obama to take this demonizing even further and become a modern trust-busting Teddy Roosevelt. Obama is making a mistake by turning this issue into US against BP, and he would be making a mistake to take this any further. We are not looking for blame and threats. We want action to fix the problem and appropriate responsibility in cleaning up the mess. But Obama is not giving us either of those things. He will not be remembered well for this, because, at its core, his response has been very un-American. It has been serendipitous to watch The Pacific on HBO during this crisis. That was an American response, and the contrast is striking.