Thursday, June 17, 2010

Unintended Results

It's now been a little more than 24 hours since the President gave his speech from the Oval Office concerning the ongoing disaster in the Gulf. What strikes me is the collective outcry from those on the left and the right against last night's speech. Considering the times in which we live, when so much division prevails between liberals and conservatives, accidentally this speech has done what thus far Obama intentionally has been unable to do - create common ground for people that have completely different ideologies.

Then again, we've seen this play out before. Obama is making this kind of thing the hallmark of his Presidency - creating unity as an unintended byproduct of his efforts. You don't have to look very far back to see this playing out - the takeovers of AIG, Chrysler & GM; passing the $862 Billion stimulus package; passing ObamaCare into law, opposing the AZ immigration law and now the BP oil spill are just some of the instances where the net result of these realities was the collective mobilization of people from both liberal and conservative modes of thought.

I think what people are starting to see more than ever, regardless of political affiliation, is that the federal government has become a stammering, imposing, incompetent beast that wreaks havoc on anything it touches. Fifty-seven days into the largest environmental disaster the US has ever seen, we received a speech from our President that was about fifty-two days late. Not only that, a significant portion of it was a tutorial in political posturing. It was about making the spill and BP the enemy - and using that to promote a fundamental pivot in energy policy. It should've been all about stopping the leak, what efforts have been attempted to date, why those methods didn't work, what makes an operation like this so complicated, what solutions were being brought to the table and what was being done specifically for the residents of the Gulf Coast who are paying such a heavy price in the midst of this disaster - a region that still bears the scars from a little storm called Katrina.

What all of this does as a whole is shatter the argument that big government works. It also exposes President Obama to be lacking in what times like this require - decisive, irrefutable command and control - unintended results from a man and his administration that seem to be giving under the weight of present realities made with their own hands.

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