June 16, 2010

Beyond Petroleum

Like most of America, I had something better to do with my time last night than watch Barack Obama's flailing Oval Office address.

A few masochists tuned in to watch the President attempt to spin or explain the failure of his administration to provide anything like leadership on day 57 of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It did not go well.

Even his most sycophantic apologists—Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann—ripped the President. Olbermann said, "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days." Matthews compared Obama to the most ineffective President of the 20th century, Jimmy Carter. Even faithful toady Eugene Robinson was forced to admit it was a failure.

Though his supporters are not yet ready to admit it, Obama's utter inability to lead is symptomatic of America's greatest ever experiment with the Peter Principle.

Barack Obama wasn't completely horrible at community organizing, and so became a state senator. He wasn't completely incompetent at that (even though he was laughed at by his peers on more than one occasion), and became a candidate for U.S. senator. He won his race because his original Republican opponent, Jack Ryan, was even more incompetent, and had to withdraw from the race he would have easily won because of a sex scandal. Obama was a completely unmemorable and undistinguished U.S. senator, and won the Presidency because his Democratic primary opponents and Republican doormat of a challenger were even more incompetent than he was. Oh... and because he promised "change."

Well, we asked for change, and we got it.

Like them or loathe them, All the previous Presidents of my lifetime (with the exception of Carter) have been able to project a veneer of competence in the Oval Office. I haven't always agreed with them and was sometimes outraged by their positions, but be they Democrat or Republican, I never doubted that they were leaders.

There is no leadership available to be harvested in the character of Barack Obama. He is from time-to-time a brilliant orator. He can excite a crowd and inspire them. He has the capacity, when he has the inspiration, to be a great cheerleader for a cause. But with every photo-opportunity, tightly choreographed public appearance, and perplexing hesitancy to act, more and more Americans are awakening to the horrifying fact that the man we elected to lead our nation for four years does not have it within his character to lead anything.

Sadly, we did this to him, and to our nation.

At no point in his life had Barack Obama ever show signs of competent executive experience. The one attempt he made to lead prior to the Presidency was an experimental school program that ended in abject failure after wasting tens of millions of dollars. Was it really fair of the American people to expect for him to succeed at the most important executive position on this planet with no prior experience of note on record?

Granted, the fault does not lie entirely with us.

The same ideological cheerleaders and pundits in the media that are now tearing down Barack Obama can only do so because they built him up and sold him to the American people in the first place. They created him not because of who he was or what he could do, but because of the opportunity he represented for them to feel better about themselves. The media created the myth of Barack Obama and protected their creation fiercely. They savaged or silenced those who asked inconvenient questions about his qualifications and experience, or utterly ignored to entertain the possibility that he was anything less than their progressive messiah.

Poor Barack Obama.

His erstwhile allies built him up to impossible heights, feeding his already substantial ego, telling him he was not just the best man for the job, but perhaps the best man for the job in recent memory. How easily that construct collapses. A hole a mile below the seafloor billowing oil has corrupted both the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the carefully crafted illusion of the President's competency as a leader.

Soon the same new critics of the President will "discover" that the man they supported for so long and who has failed as a leader during this environmental disaster has failed to deliver on his other promises as well. He has pushed his allies for a radical agenda but not put his own neck on the line for them, meaning they absorb the brunt of the public's ire, threatening the Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. Obama has adopted many of the practical policies of his predecessor that the media spent eight years attempting to destroy, forcing them into uncomfortable and hypocritical silences.

The media made him by sheltering Barack Obama and creating a towering myth around him, but such appreciative mythology does not come without expectations, or a price. Out of a sense of self preservation his biggest champions are well on their way to becoming Barack Obama's greatest critics.

They have now begun pointing out the inadequacies of his Administration and his failures of leadership in dealing with the complexities of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

There will be no lower limit to his fall from grace once the media and his other Democratic allies reveal that his incompetence ranges far beyond just this one disaster.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 16, 2010 02:46 PM

He won't be able to handle the next disaster either.

For any foreign leader, now in fact would be a good time to start something.

Posted by: Jack at June 16, 2010 04:10 PM

I am not one to wish time away for it is a precious commodity, but in this case I have no problem saying that 2012 cannot come fast enough.

Posted by: Mick Kraut at June 16, 2010 04:18 PM

Obama : Beyond Putin

If you are a foreign company don't do business in the US, too risky! If you are a US company doing business overseas, stay safe, watch your step, cos the President has set the precedent....

Posted by: Jimmy Mac at June 16, 2010 04:39 PM

The bright sun light of the Gulf of Mexico has illuminated his towering incompetence and his complete failure as the leader of the free world. You all may not realize it, but the "cornered rat," "the wounded animal'" or the pathological narcissist are the MOST dangerous at the beginning of their end. Be very wary of Obama - he will now do or say anything to foster his own aggrandizement - he is now more dangerous wounded than he has been for the past 18 months. Think about it!!!

Mike, yes - 2012 can't come soon enough, but 11/2/2010 is now more important than ever.

Posted by: mixitup at June 16, 2010 05:26 PM

I made myself watch the show. It was disgusting. Every statement that he made was a clear lie. He claimed that we did not have any where to drill due to a lack of oil. That was the reason for the deep well. The truth is that the govenment blocks efforts at obtaining known reserves. He then says that he is stopping drilling due to increasing safety hazards. One well blows up and this is a trend. One well out of something like 30,000. What is the failure rate on blow out preventers? Maybe one in 10,000. Especially at 5000 feet. Then we have to study the situation for 6 months. I could study it for 24 hours and come up with the cause and a solution. Why does it take 6 months? He indicated that he has been trying everything to contain the spill when he has done nothing at all and has actively tried to stop all efforts. Then he wants an alternative to oil but has no idea what or how, but he wants a big tax bill to find out.

People say that Bush started a war. Fine, at least he tried to win it. Here we have the enemy in the White House fighting us. Can you imagine being told you can't work because the president wants to study something? He has distroyed the economy of Louisiana in a way that was worse than Katrina. This guy is either 4 plus nuts or intentionally trying his best to inflict as much harm as possible. Do you really think that we can stop him in November? I think not!!

I could go on about his treatment of a legitimate business without proof that they did anything wrong. They site violations of safety rules but don't specify what they are, that could mean too few life preservers or a toilet that flushes more that one gallon.

Posted by: David at June 16, 2010 08:08 PM

Why is it that people fail to realize the president is our representative? This is our government, our system that has put Obama in place. I believe this man is a great leader. In fact he is one of the biggest reasons I have taken a closer look at the inter workings of our world. I don't believe he is screwing things up. But even if he were, it only says something about all of the people that put him into place. All of the senators and congressman working with him and against him, those citizens who voted all of their representatives into place, and those who didn't vote at all.

I know a great leader, and a man with passion when I see one. I know a man with strong ideals, and good values. And I know that we can all look at ourselves when complaining about the way the world is. Stop dumping our world and government on Obama, and take a closer look yourself at all of the history that has led to today. Obama is a man that has inspired some of us to act, and be leaders in our world.

Thank you for being leaders, but I don't believe your movement is very productive, give me solutions with the complaints.

Posted by: Steve at June 20, 2010 10:14 PM