Thursday, May 27, 2010

Obama Failing Disaster Relief Test

By Jon E. Easter

You know what? The President of the United States has a tough job. I realize that.

President Barack Obama has had it tougher than many of his predecessors. Besides the fact that he prevailed in a divisive climate in Washington, he inherited a messy economy, two wars, a fractured nation, and a myriad of scandals. Slowly but surely, Obama has begun to tick off the campaign promise list. The progress has been more quick lately.

In the past couple of months the economy has begun to turn around, but things are still uncertain in the world. Problems in Europe have effected the stock market, and there is still uncertainty. Consumer confidence is up though. People are starting to get back to work.

The problem is that things keep popping up. These are the things a President hopes he (or eventually she) never has to deal with. Sure you have the scary prospect of the people that want to do us harm across the world by inciting terror. There are many. You also have the biggest terrorist: The Natural or Man-Made Disaster. On this front, I'm sorry to say, President Obama is more like President George W. Bush than President Clinton.

Nashville is still waiting for President Obama to tour its flooding damage that devastated that community. Now, the perception is that Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is going rogue because he can't get what he needs from President Obama. The truth really is that Jindal is part of the problem. Rather than act as a watchdog for his state, he praised President Bush for lifting the offshore drilling ban in 2008.

But, perception is too often reality in politics. The perception is that President Obama has been more hands off than hands on. That perception needs to change. The reality needs to change. He needs to do it now, and he needs to do it himself.

President Obama needs to use a full court press and name lead a blue ribbon, all star panel to find a solution and have a plan. I would suggest someone like General Wesley Clark. Someone that has the experience of deploying resources and military units in the field. Obama needs to get himself to Nashville. He needs to shake the hands and hug the victims.

After all, President Obama is not only the Commander-in-Chief, but he is the Comforter-in-Chief. While it's important to be in control of the situation in Washington, it's important to respond to the people in Tennessee and Louisiana.

If people are going to call these disasters Obama's Katrina, it's time for him to own this mess and realize that if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.


Anonymous said...

It goes further than not giving comfort. Obama is making the disaster in Louisiana worse by refusing to send aid. Is the situation for Louisiana a National Emergency. Of course it is, but Obama refuses to declare it. The federal government receives billions of dollars in tax revenues for off shore drilling. In fact the majority of tax revenues goes to the feds with a very small percent to Louisiana, yet the feds have refused to send booms and refused to allow the army corp of engineers to aid to protect the coast(even Bush with all his failings sent the Army Corp of Engineers to fix the levees) , not only that but will not sign permits to allow Louisiana to dredge to shore up the barrier islands off our coast.
Why not declare a National Emergency? (Bush declared a National Emergency BEFORE Katrina hit Louisiana)Is this not a national emergency? Why? Because if Obama declared it an emergency, he would have to send aid, which he has refused to do. AND the nation is silent on this. To us in Louisiana the reason is obvious and disgustingly so, he and opponents of the oil and gas industry is playing politics, blaming BP,while the president himself does nothing, in an effort to gather support to nationalize the oil and gas industry.
By the way, the truth is,the methane explosion which occurred on the rig did not cause the massive gushing of oil into the Gulf. The pipeline was still in place. SOMEONE sent water boats that pumped thousands of gallons of water onto the rig. There was NO reason to do this. EVERYONE knows you can't put out a oil or gas fire with WATER. This action caused the rig to capsize, of course , what else does one expect to happen, and when the rig capsized this burst the pipeline, which is still sending oil into the Gulf. Yet the nation is silent on this, and on the President's refusal to declare it an emergency.

Anonymous said...

Did you watch the President today at his Press Conference? I think he laid it out pretty well and all of these folks who are hyper critical need to chill out. The President and his administration are doing all within their power.

For Bobby Jindal and the drill baby drill crowd I have two words: SHUT UP.

My only complaint with the President is that he signed off on offshore drilling as a political trade for an Energy bill.

This is yet another example of greed overcoming good sense and BP is going to be paying for it for a long time. And they should.

But the President did not create this mess. But like Wal street and Iraq he has to clean it up. And he will