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Obama's Tough Room

you know he wanted to say: "LOOK, IDIOTS, we can't continue this way....."

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.

President Obama gave a sort of speech last night on the BP Oil horror, and to reference it in history as one of his lesser efforts would be kind. He seemed to realize that as he started, but he gamely went on to try to intertwine large and miniscule concerns in a fashion that the American public would be able to both grasp and be motivated by. In some ways, he did okay, in others the difficulty was too much. Obama does not shy from potential failure, you have to give him that. And, it isn't easy to focus our diverse nation, as opposition parties enjoy, because our education system has failed.

After all, the Wasilla Gasbag could dis Obama for not calling in the Dutch and Norwegians to stop the leak on Bill O'Reilly's show, and this because the Dutch experience with building dams and sluiceways and the Norwegian experience of, well, being recently included in a sentence with the Dutch so totally corresponds to drilling for oil a mile underwater and stopping a high pressure leak. Palin apparently had once read that New Orleans could have benefited from Dutch dam-building expertise in the construction of its levees and dikes which would have mitigated the Katrina disaster. Her opportunistic mind, composed entirely of dubious free association by synapse that she unfortunately values as thought, enjoyed the rather hysterical conceit that the BP disaster was Obama's Katrina. Since she knew her shrinking political base enjoys anything anti-Obama, the syllogism was sound to her.

Difficult things in all areas are handled by the same mysterious folk in Wasilla World, don't cha know, much like mythical Daddy is to young children, which is why Palin could probably in the future convince herself that NASA's expertise in solid fuel space launchings is always called upon by neurosurgeons should trouble arise with a patient on the table. One difficult thing is much like another. She is, without question, an idiot.

What's dangerous about her is that so are her supporters. Even O'Reilly seemed to be embarrassed that this woman who, after lambasting Obama for not doing enough, got irritated and had no answer for his query about what she would do in his stead. Of course, Republicans don't know, or Democrats, or anyone, because over the years government has granted too much and not demanded enough responsibility from Big Oil, just like Big Banking, and Big Business in many spheres. It wasn't entirely laziness or corruption. After all, to have a government unit to verify each and every action of a huge international business would be incredibly expensive which would require tax levels of which nobody would approve, so government and therefore ourselves are at the mercy of their experts about the location and extent of reserves, both crude and metal. And, to be honest and fair, given the enormous opportunities for fraud and disaster, it can be argued Big Business does a pretty good job, although far worse than they can admit. But when a business or the industry of which they are a part demonstrates their incompetence and dishonesty and disregard for public welfare, tight leash and an open, south-facing window is needed with the media peering in. The problem is, the media has never been as expert as it thinks and is easily fooled, and with revenues in a nosedive across the journalistic sphere, it's not likely that knowledgeable experts could afford to be reporters in public service, which is what journalism is supposed to be. And certainly needs to be.

What Obama faced last night was more than an Inconvenient Truth, he faced a Nonsensical Myth that finds its root in the theory of American exceptionalism. This is the belief in America as chosen by God and Fate as above others. It doesn't vary much from Nixon's belief that if the President does something, it is therefore not illegal. Similarly, if America does something, in the public mind it must be good, at least in the long run, whether bombing Afghan caves or illegally torturing Muslim variants of Colorado's Gary Brooks Faulkner, who was just arrested in Pakistan. Faulkner said God, via dream, required him to travel to Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. The same God that tells other Americans to run for office or seek their bliss. America has a life style of waste and excess and obesity and ignorance, and that's freedom and we're forcing it on the rest of the world in exchange, willing or not, for their resources. What annoys the public is that this spill is taking place here and not in the Arabian, formerly Persian, Gulf, where we could feel sorry for other people not as competent as ourselves. Not as special. Not as blessed. We're a difficult audience, and I felt for the President last night. But today, as promised, BP is putting $20 billion in an account for victims of their incompetence.