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The President and the Twin Disasters

Saturday, May 15, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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This Washington Post story on the Gulf spill and the damage it is doing to the president notes that President Obama made his typical maneuver yesterday: showering “withering criticism” on others.

The story also notes that even Congressional Democrats are beginning to wonder about the president’s handling of the disaster. As the enormous spill heads towards its one month anniversary without a solution in sight, the buck is pulling up to the Oval Office and about to stop there. An administration already known for its haplessness is being defined, again, as all talk and no successful action.

The picture of the scale of the disaster under the water is just becoming clear, and as that focus increases, so too will the impact on the president’s reputation. He’s the president and is supposed to be able to do more than point fingers. That’s the job of senators. “Cool” wasn’t supposed to mean “paralyzed.” Unlike his faux health care “reform,” speeches and 2,000 page bills won’t stop the oil from gushing into the Gulf, and unilateral declarations of “big deal” breakthroughs don’t carry any weight even if themedia is still fawning. When the rig exploded he and his team did nothing for more than a week, and when they began to try they still couldn’t come up with a solution.

Useless rhetoric unmatched by effective action also defines the president’s approach to our growing fiscal crisis. Read John Hinderaker’s brief but very troubling post on the “Looming Obama Debt Disaster.” The country has to take action on its hemorrhaging debt immediately, but Democrats are instead proposing even more new bursts of monopoly money for the states. The president is standing by and waiting for a debt commission to hand him a report because he doesn’t want to do any heavy lifting when it comes to cutting spending.

A new Congress is needed, one much imbued with the spirit of Chris Cristie. (See Scott Johnson’s post with the mail from a New Jersey reader.) If Tim Burns manages a huge upset in PA on Tuesday, even Nancy Pelosi might realize that the public is disgusted with and fearful of the course charted by her, Harry Reid and the president. But if the district’s Democratic registration advantage combines with the turnout generated by the Specter-Sestak race to let the Dems hold on to the seat, the delusion about their “mandate” may even deepen and with it the fiscal crisis that is every bit as menacing as the environmental/economic catastrophe in the Gulf.

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