We think we've been pretty good about containing ourselves, not piling on and going Katrina on Obama over the Gulf spill disaster, don't you? The administration and the federal government can't be expected to to plug the damn hole! - and with respect to the clean-up effort, any slow start out of the blocks and conflicting direction given to BP and state and local officials speaks as much to the layers and inertia inherent to a highly bureaucratized entity like the federal government than it does to whether a Republican or Democrat is in office.
However... the President is making things awfully hard on himself. His recent "whose ass to kick" comment has to be about the most shameless bit of pandering we have heard in quite some time. It's obvious the criticism regarding his emotional detachment has been internalized by the administration and by the president himself and the rolling out of his passion offensive sounds downright Bushian and, unfortunately, because he is the anti-Bush, totally unconvincing. Nothing is as wince-inducing as a public figure trying to be somebody they are not. Regardless, America is still left to wonder just how it is that kicking some body's ass is going to aid in the spill clean-up effort.
Ditto for the miserable hack that runs the Justice Department and his peoples' efforts to bring criminal charges against BP, the same BP that was going to be bestowed a safety award by the Obama administration. Everyone can agree that the responsible people need to be held accountable but reasonable people can agree that these efforts by Justice is putting the cart before the horse.
This is criminal prosecution as fishing expedition — scouring the federal code to find anything that might possibly work to provide criminal penalties. That’s counterproductive to the number-one priority, which must be stopping and containing the oil spill. Announcing criminal investigations to score political points or stave off political damage is an abuse of one of the most awesome powers of the state, the power to deprive an individual of his or her personal liberty.
We're sure that BP will be that much more diligent in their efforts and that much more cooperative with the federal government in containing this spill with the threat of criminal prosecution hanging over their head. Works every time. When the top priority and focus of our leaders should be containing and cleaning up the oil spill, we instead get the CinC going locker room slang to desperately try to demonstrate his alpha dog status and the Justice Department turned hanging party.
We're in the best of hands.