I too believe that Barack Obama’s oil-spill speech this evening at 8 pm is as important to his Presidency as his Reverent Wright speech in Philadelphia was to his campaign. The country has experienced something akin to a 9/11 reaction to the spill, and tonight may be Obama’s last chance to stand up and be FDR or LBJ and look the corporates in the eye and say “enough of this…BP isn’t handling it to our satisfaction and we’re taking the reins.”
My sense all along is that Obama hasn’t wanted the apparatus of government to seem overly assertive by wresting the controls from British Petroleum for fear of the right-wing crazies calling him a big-government socialist. It’s not quite that cut-and-dried, perhaps. I understand that there’s no magic-bullet solution to a hugely complex technical problem.
But I know that Obama has this annoying tendency to be thoughtful, conciliatory and mild-mannered, and that he’s got something in him that hates going eyeball-to-eyeball with adversaries. And that “mild-mannered” doesn’t get it this time because there’s been an appalling lack of coordination all along in this effort.
Obama really does need to “send in the troops,” so to speak, in order to coordinate the effort to somehow plug BP’s underwater gusher and tell those “drill baby drill” nutters that corporate power in this country has become arrogant, poisonous and psychopathic, and that enough is enough.
“The Deepwater Horizon tragedy will rival or eclipse health insurance reform as one of the life-altering events of the Obama era,” Peter Daou, a HuffPost op-ed contributor, recently wrote. “This, the greatest man-made environmental disaster in our history, is the mother of wake-up calls.”