Do you know what is the fun part of these poor reviews of Obama's Gulf performance?
[Chris] Matthews, speaking during an appearance with Jay Leno on NBC's "Tonight Show," said Obama's response "scares me. He's been acting a little like a Vatican Observer here. When is he actually going to do something?"
[James] Carville, one of the President Bush's harshest critics in the wake of the 2005 hurricane that decimated New Orleans, called Obama's response "lackadaisical."
(Via Hot Air) It's the confused outrage. Matthews' I can understand; the talking head is not after all expected to be observant. But Carville's usually not this dumb, so his befuddlement at the White House's passivity is particularly enjoyable.
Let me explain. The basic scenario that the Obama administration has visibly decided to give British Petroleum a free hand to muck about with capping its well, to the point where the state of Louisiana is pretty much screaming across the board and across the political spectrum. There are some arguments that he's doing it because BP was a major donor to Barack Obama, which could be even be true... but it's more likely that Barack Obama is doing it this way is because passing the buck is the way that Barack Obama 'solves' problems.
Think about it for a second. The 'stimulus' was shaped by the President allowing Congress to throw together a wish list of looting opportunities and calling it a job recovery program (didn't work); the cap-and-trade bill was written by the very lobbyists that the administration was supposed to be regulating (it didn't); and the health care monstrosity was an exercise in both poor oversight and poor regulation. In all cases the administration - whether through inexperience, laziness, incompetence, or a mix of all three - assigned to itself the easy task of mugging for the cameras while assuming that the grunt work would be done by... somebody. And, indeed, somebody did do it; only, badly.
So if you're surprised that the White House is doing the same thing with the Gulf mess, please do our country a favor and don't be too loud about it. We're already dealing with steadily-eroding perceptions abroad of the USA's collective intelligence; no sense in making it worse.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.