The weak, spineless worst president ever, whose abysmal speech yesterday eliminated any hope for American prosperity for countless generations, is such an evil corporatist that he's... found a way to make BP pay claims. Will he ever "show leadership"?
The reaction to Barack Obama's mediocre speech last night revealed one of the more annoying trends in parts of the Left: you're less vulnerable bashing the shit out of him at all times than trying to defend him, or even consider his motives.
It was disappointing that he didn't acknowledge the environmental need or the economic merits of pricing carbon in the wishy-washy second half of his speech, absolutely. The public has, sadly, grown more skeptical if not outright dismissive of the need to address climate change and the transition to an advanced, high-tech, clean energy economy — something only achievable through carbon pricing, be it a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax. This is understandable — most people are too busy worrying about unemployment right now — but the president can't let our carbon problem disappear entirely from the public arena. A line or two would've been nice!
But there are not and will not be enough votes in the Senate this year to pass an energy bill with a strong carbon pricing mechanism, and that's why he didn't bring it up or "set markers." This was the takeaway from his speech. You can ask him to "lead" more, but the votes will not show up in the Senate. They're not there. He cannot twist enough arms. It would go down in flames and ultimately be a major misread of the public mood, in an election year. The same people would be calling him "weak." This is the situation.
So if Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Howard Fineman and pretty much every other liberal pundit who freaked the fuck out over the quality or modesty of the president's 20-minute television speech last night would like to help the situation, they should direct more ire at the Senate. That is where people write laws. And they don't have the collective will or numbers right now to write a good law pricing carbon.
But what of today's White House agreement with BP for it to set up a $20 billion, independent escrow fund to pay claims, cancel its dividends for at least the rest of 2010, and set up another fund compensating oil workers for lost wages? (And that $20 billion is not a cap, either — it can, and probably will, go up.) Those seem like pretty strong results and displays of leadership! BP probably wouldn't have conceded its hand like this, either, if it thought the White House wouldn't try more aggressive legal ways of getting them to pay up were they to refuse.
This fund is going to help many, many people along the Gulf Coast, immediately. That doesn't change the fact that Barack Obama doesn't "act angrily," like a clown, for the personal amusement of pundits, but it's something.
The president just called for creating a fund that would be administered by outsiders, which would be more of a redistribution-of-wealth fund. And now it appears like we'll be looking at one more gateway for more government control, more money to government
Thanks for the confirmation, Michele. Now we're making progress.
[Image via AP]