Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Obama BP oil spill watch continued (UPDATED)

In my continuing quest to seek substantive critiques of Barack Obama's handling of the BP oil spill crisis, the Washington Examiner's Byron York offers up another interesting suggestion. He basically believes that mobilization of the bureaucracy could have happened much sooner, and that this could have been accomplished through the exercise of executive leadership from the president himself.

Now, I've noticed that some defenders of Obama's handling of this crisis essentially make the argument that Obama did what he could, or that he really couldn't do anything to begin with. Basically, it's all BP's fault, or oil, or some combination therein. I'm certainly willing to entertain the possibility. Yet, something tells me that some people are clinging to the image of Obama that they grew to love and adore during the election campaign, instead of holding the man to at least some standard of responsibility and accountability as president.

This is one of the worst environmental disasters imaginable, and some seem to be of the belief that being hostage to it is good enough. Question: Would they have held George W. Bush to the same low standard? I doubt it. Indeed, why should any United States president be expected to merely stand by as passenger as a disaster continues to unfold?

It doesn't mean we have to blame anyone. I think it just means that we have to assess presidential leadership during challenging times. Would the campaigning Obama have wanted it any differently?

UPDATE: Now here's what I'm talking about:

A leading scientist following the BP oil spill said Monday that if the company or the government had made realistic estimates about the amounts flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, they could have had sufficient tanker space ready on the surface to hold the crude being pumped up through a make-shift collection device.

Instead, BP officials have acknowledged they may be constrained from pumping oil up too quickly because the surface ships there now can only receive only 15,000 barrels daily. 

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