Barack Obama‘s oil-spill speech, which I just saw this morning, said all the right things, but it was essentially a situational assessment — an awful thing happened, we’re doing this and that, I won’t allow BP to wriggle out of paying for the damage, etc. — and a soft, general-terms sermon about how we all have to stop thinking selfishly short-term and seize the moment by seriously switching to clean-energy policies.

And that…you know, we’ll eventually get through this ecological epidemic if we all hold hands and say a prayer and set out on a new path as a single unified nation, which of course will never happen if the corporate-fellating whores in the Senate and House have anything to say about it.

It was one of those “we can be a better nation if we decide to grow up” speeches — no real fire, no teeth, no thematic lift and, most disappointingly, no tough-sheriff talk and no blunt course-correction specifics.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill didn’t happen like a hurricane or an earthquake — it was caused by greed and a culture that has long been willing (until a couple of months ago) to allow corporate bad guys to do whatever they want as long as they’re “hiring” and don’t fatten their bank accounts too much in their relentless sociopathic attempts to reduce their operating costs regardless of the risks, and by the willingness of government regulators to become non-regulatory, laissez-faire ass-kissers.

It was basically a 1979 Jimmy Carter speech, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that it brought me down.