So much for the Republican-created myth of the mainstream media’s love affair with Barack Obama.
I watched President Obama’s address to the nation last night, and while he tried to give everyone what they wanted, the analysis that followed was breathtakingly negative.
Naturally, the We-Hate-Obama Network did its usual nut-cracking of the President, with conservatives criticizing him for a slow response and for “politicizing” what manifestly is a political issue. Everyone expected that.
But before Obama had made it back to the living quarters in the White House, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Howard Fineman of MSNBC—which is falsely understood to be our nation’s “liberal” network—began ripping him, and ripping him good.
It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days. Nothing specific at all was said… I don’t think he aimed low, I don’t think he aimed at all. It’s startling to have heard this, isn’t it?
And here’s the way the “liberal” Huffington Post—which has sometimes virulently and oftentimes sarcastically attacked Democrats and Obama for the crime of pragmatism—reported on the speech:
“We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes,” declared Obama, whose own presidency has been stumbling because of the gushing oil.
Obama offered no immediate remedies for a frustrated nation.
Stumbling? Obama offered no immediate remedies for a frustrated nation? Are you kidding? Doesn’t the writer really mean frustrated liberals? And did the writer even listen to the speech? Or has the Obama-is-not-sufficiently-pissed-off meme made such inroads that sober analysis is no longer possible, even from supposedly friendly journalists?
As far as there are “immediate remedies“—”immediate” defined as, “as soon as possible”—Obama offered this one:
…we have directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology. In the coming days and weeks, these efforts should capture up to 90% of the oil leaking out of the well.
The President spoke as an adult last night. That’s who he is. He was sufficiently stern, but characteristically realistic about what is going on, something his critics on both ideological sides are not:
Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it is not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.
But make no mistake: we will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.
He then went on in detail about the federal commitment to clean up the mess, including the authorization of more than 17,000 National Guard members—most of which the Republican Governors of the states involved haven’t got around to activating.
He assured the people around the Gulf that he would see to it that they were fully compensated by BP for their losses and said he would “inform” the chairman of BP,
that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness. And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent, third party.
And BP complied today by agreeing to set aside $20 billion.
Besides the short-term compensation and cleanup issues, he spoke of the,
long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region…
and he pledged to find out why the disaster happened and discussed,
steps we’re taking to ensure that a disaster like this does not happen again.
Finally, he talked about the need to “move our country towards energy independence,” and, like an adult, mentioned that “there are costs associated with this transition.” How refreshing to hear that these days.
“[T]he one approach I will not accept is inaction,” he said, and continued:
The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is too big and too difficult to meet. You see, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II. The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon. And yet, time and again, we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom. Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is our capacity to shape our destiny – our determination to fight for the America we want for our children. Even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don’t yet know precisely how to get there. We know we’ll get there.
I thought the President’ speech addressed the American people like we had brains. Like we could understand that try as he might, the problem with the busted well was taxing even the best minds in the country. He gave us reason to believe that he would be there to make sure that BP made all the folks around the Gulf whole, that the environment would be restored, that he would find out what happened and why, and that he would direct the country toward a future free of the tyranny of crude oil.
Almost from the beginning of this crisis, liberals have been racing to criticize Obama for not being the liberal they want him to be. He’s too friendly with Big Oil, they say, too unwilling to attack BP and essentially destroy it, not realizing that the company has to survive, if only to pay off all of the claims against it.
Unlike establishment conservatives—who will rally around their own in a time of crisis—liberals are too willing to give Obama-doubters the benefit of the doubt. They are too willing to shoot the troops on their own side, before all the facts are in.
It’s one thing to criticize your own team, after the game is over. It’s quite another to take shots at teammates while they are still on the field.
I’m starting to see why conservatives—no matter how many times they fail—always can count on liberals to make a way for them to come back.