The indispensable one speaketh

My father used to tell me that “no one is indispensable.” Yet yesterday, a man who is as close as it gets to indispensable addressed the nation.

I hung on his every word. He was his crystal clear brilliant self, until his remarks were cut short by dehydration.

Enough about General David Petraeus. I will get to him later. For now I will shift from the indispensable to the inconsequential.

President Obama gave a speech, because he does that.  The topic du jour was the Gulf oil spill. In all fairness, this speech was appropriate to give. It was not a good or bad speech. It was simply an irrelevant speech.

The best speech Barack Obama gave was his 2004 keynote address at the DNC Convention. That will remain one of the all time great speeches. His speech on election night of 2008 was quite good.

Yet since being president, too many of his speeches have made him come across as pompous. It only almost cost him the White House, when he looked disdainfully and said, “You’re likable enough Hillary.”

He is also at his worst when he is being petulant. Blaming his predecessor for everything from fungal infections to dead possums on the highways is long past tiresome. This speech was better because he finally managed to stop doing that. He may not have gotten the message in his heart, but he does pay attention to polls.

The worst part of this speech was when he decided to set up a commission to study what went wrong regarding the oil explosion. Setting up a commission is code for doing nothing. I can tell everyone right now what happened.

It was a tragic accident.

That is it.

This was not 9/11. 9/11 was a deliberate act of evil barbarism.

This may or may not have been preventable. The problem with the president is that on more than one occasion he was quick to jump to conclusions without having all the facts.

The only thing we know about the oil explosion is that we don’t know.

The president can talk about commissions, he can have Robert Gibbs threaten to put his boot on the throat of BP, and he can have Eric Holder look busy and pretend to actually do something by starting an investigation at the worst possible time. What he cannot do is fix the d@mn problem.

I don’t expect him to plug the hole. I expect him to stop being so sanctimonious and let BP do what it needs to do. The government should only intervene if they have alternative and better ideas.

The problem with this and most presidents is that they come into office wanting to do certain things, and anything else outside their scope of interest, they prefer not to deal with. George Herbert Walker Bush enjoyed picking up the phone and talking to foreign leaders. Domestic policy did not interest him.

Barack Obama wants to deal with only three things: health care, the environment, and energy. Virtually nothing else matters to him. The oil spill bothers him because it takes his time away from other things.

Naturally, he “never lets a good crisis go to waste.”  Ramming cap and trade down our throats and banning offshore drilling are easier when an evil oil company can be vilified.

The problem is that like with health care, his cap and trade proposal is light on substance and long on ideology. He says it will work. That is not good enough.

Again, this was far from one of his worst speeches. He did seem cool and detached through most of the speech, getting sincerely excited only when talking about cap and trade.

He again used the straw man argument that those opposing him favored doing nothing. He still cannot accept that for some people, doing something just means doing it a different way from him. He again tossed out the meaningless line about wanting good ideas from all over, but his actions show he does not mean this.

The president is caught in a bind. Either he is in charge, or he is not. If he is in charge, he has ownership of the mess. He did not cause the oil spill, but his predecessor did not cause Hurricane Katrina or 9/11.

I still maintain he should continue to outsource the situation to BP, since they have every incentive to fix the problem.

He needs to stop bullying them. Also, his proposal to lift the cap on damages from 75 million to 20 billion and apply it retroactively might be illegal.

(I am against retroactive policies in general, although the president has lawyers to advise him on the constitutionality of his actions.)

The biggest problem with this speech is that it spent more time on macro issues of grandeur and less time on the specific micro issue at hand.

Oil is flooding the gulf. The president is passionately lecturing us on wind farms and solar panels. Ecology is not a negative topic, but right now the issue is timing. We can talk about the future, but the present is that we have a disaster in the gulf with no end in sight.

The president responds with regulation and oversight. Yet accidents happen. That is why they are called accidents. They will happen again. Wind, solar, and other energy forms are unproven, and they will have their benefits and drawbacks. I am not saying to discount them, but right now America needed a speech on what was going to be done to stop the flow of oil in the Gulf.

The left will love the speech because they worship him. Their opinions of him are as predetermined as his opinions on every issue are.

I would be surprised if the middle of the country that decides elections found anything useful in his speech regarding the specific problem facing us.

This is why I found his speech to be less troublesome than irrelevant. The president is on the verge of being peripheral, insisting that he matters as we all go about our lives without him.

This brings me back to David Petraeus. He does matter. He delivered the goods when he had to do so. He fainted during his senate hearing from exhaustion and dehydration. Ever the trooper, he was prepared to continue testifying before the senate decided to postpone for the day and give him some rest.

They understand how important he is. Not since Chief Justice John Roberts had a seizure a year or so ago have I felt the fate of America (and the world) hinged on one man.

Somebody make sure General Petraeus is resting comfortably, because heaven help this world if something happens to him.

I know he is supposedly not indispensable, but evidence has suggested he really is fairly close to it.

That is why I hang on his every word.

As for the president, I hang on his words out of respect for the office, and nothing more.

He has done far worse and far better in the words department. In the actions department, saying you are doing things is hollow without the results. Trying hard is not good enough.

He set the bar high. He was going to save the world.

He is now sitting in the chair. Time will tell if my assessment that he is not up to snuff has validity.

For now, he does not seem to matter.

I wish he did.


4 Responses to “The indispensable one speaketh”

  1. Eagle 6 says:

    Even a man as powerful and healthy as General Petraeus could not expect to survive in a room with all those oxygen thieves… I’m not sure why anyone is that concerned about Pres Obama’s “performance” right now with crisis management, foreign policy, health care or the economy. We knew when we elected him that his background was community organizer – completely government dependent and hell bent on creating rather than fixing crises. If we wanted a crisis manager, we would have chosen Hillery Billery. If we wanted economic help, we would have voted in Romney…foreign policy: McCain or Hillery again. If we wanted to feel good, our choices were Fred Thompson, Barack Obama, or Mike Huckabee. We simply wanted change. We enjoyed the platititudes of nothingness and were in a comfort zone of CNN/Fox News sound bytes because they don’t deal with hard truths or decisions we have to make – they simply get us riled up enough to say, “Someone should do something”. Well, we voted for change and got it. Maybe 2010 and 2012 elections will determine whether we want to keep it. I wonder whether “someone” will do something…

  2. Well, I can’t speak for the whole “Left,” but I thought the speech was a waste of time. Too general. Probably too soon. I did not love the speech. Neother did a few other Lefties I know. He just didn’t have anything to new to offer, other than a rather vague hint that BP was soon to make a big breakthrough on capping the spill. That would be nice, but he didn’t need a televised speech for that.


  3. Dav Lev says:

    During WW2, a famous German general said, “If one bomb falls on Berlin
    call me Mayer”. Another said, if America/Britain attack us, (thanks to the Jews), they (the Jews) will be hung.

    Anyway, Germany declared war on the US.

    6.5m Jews were butchered, including 1.5m children, many experimented upon. 5m others were similarly killed in German/Austrian/Polish camps
    (hey Helen, do you think we should go back there?).

    Helen, have you forgotten the Lebanese civil war, which killed 200,000
    of your brethren? Have you forgotten what one faction did to another
    in those 2 refugee camps (and blamed Sharon for it)?

    Let me be up front, I hate, I loathe, I despise, leftists, both Jew. Christian and other.

    They get me sick., causing me to almost vomit.

    Up to them, we will all be speaking Farci or Arabic. Up to them
    Sharia law will replace our constitution. Up to them, our women
    will wear burkas, keep their mouths shut, and be flogged in public,
    bare ass and all to see. No shame here.

    And this is what Obama, Reid, Schumer, Boxer, Feinstein, Clinton (s),
    Emanuel, Axelrod, and Pelosi are heading us towards.

    The BP tragedy, an accident, pure and simple, nothing more.
    Accidents happen and continue to happen. Its the law of nature.
    Like Katrina, only G-d knows why?

    It is Obama’s job to fix the situation. He gets paid for it. He was elected
    by 75% of we Jews, and 99% of the blacks to do it.

    He was also elected to aid our allies against Islamic fascism, whether
    Hamas (the criminal govt in the Strip), Hez (took over a good Christian
    nation and runs the Lebanese govt by force), Iran ( too big and mighty to fail while torturing thousands of Iranians), Syria, ( tried a clandestine nuke site in defiance of the NPT), Turkey ( now in the Muslim orbit totally and getting those S-300 Missiles from Russia (to defend against whom?), No korea (not intimidated and making more nukes), Russia (with bases io South America, China (owns Wal-Mart and most US assets), and on and on and on.

    Former Mayor Koch writes that prior to Obama’s election, he went to
    Jewish communities to convince them (wavering) to vote Obama. They did. Now he says, we were all fooled. Obama’s policies, favoring the British Mandate Western Palestine Arabs, is leading the area to disaster.
    (I am predicting a full scale war between Israel/Iran and Turkey within year.)

    If the above, Israel will use it’s 400 high fusion nukes and perhaps
    neuton bombs (lead coated nukes). The war, over with in 2 days.

    Yes Obama, you gave a brilliant speech on the oil flow and what it is
    doing to the pelicans. You say we should conserve energy, by using
    sunlight and wind power. That’s okay in Southern California, but
    in Maine, NY, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois?

    Oh BTW, a small victory of sorts at UCI. They have finally realized it
    not okay to thwart free speech of anyone you disagree with.

    Hey Obama, what are you going to do about the next flotilla (Iran)
    headed towards Gaza City (by sea and air)? Will you help Israel mine
    the harbor?

  4. Dav,

    If it wasn’t for “liberals” you wouldn’t be legally able to say the loony things that you say.


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