Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Obama's Dilemma / No Scapegoats, No Excuses, No Action


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President Obama's dilemma is that he is running out of scapegoats to blame or excuses for his own inability to live up to his campaign promises, move beyond beltway politics and restore transparency and trust to the presidency: Allen L Roland

President Obama is seemingly still reading the owners manual for the presidency while his credibility rapidly sinks in the growing muck of an out-of-control oil gusher in the Gulf.

But the manual seems to be the updated version which was written by the Cheney/Bush administration ~ where the corpocracy reigns supreme and truth and transparency are thrown overboard. The manual Obama needs to read is the Teddy Roosevelt manual of rightful moral and emotional indignation.

In other words, our pragmatic unemotional President is still trying to politically please everyone while the vast majority of Americans want him to rise above politics and do the right thing ~ regardless of the political consequences.

Witness Jummy Carter and Obama's reaction to Israel's deadly attack on the Freedom Flotilla and a recent WH Press Conference.
Obama said the Israeli raid on the flotilla is a "tragic situation" and called for an investigation into the incident.
Former President Jimmy Carter condemned a deadly Israeli raid on the flotilla of aid ships on its way to Gaza.
Chip Reid, CBS: You said earlier that the President is enraged. Is he enraged at BP specifically?
Press secretary Robert Gibbs: I think he's enraged at the time that it's taken, yes. I think he's been enraged over the course of this, as I've discussed, about the fact that when you're told something is fail-safe and it clearly isn't, that that's the cause for quite a bit of frustration ...
Reid: Frustration and rage are very different emotions, though.
Have we really seen rage from the President on this? I think most people would say no.
Gibbs: I've seen rage from him, Chip. I have.
Reid: Can you describe it? Does he yell and scream? What does he do? (Laughter.)
Gibbs: He said. . . he has been in a whole bunch of different meetings. . . clenched jaw. . . even in the midst of these briefings, saying everything has to be done. I think this was an anecdote shared last week, ' to plug the damn hole ' .

Sam Smith ( Progressive Review ) " Again, what we face is not an ideological problem, but a class and cultural one; a president so practiced at self-protective reserve that he can't get cross when he needs to. By trying so hard to act intelligent and measured, he ends up seeming distant and a bit dumb.

Frank Rich, made this very same point in his June 4th NY Times column ~ Don’t Get Mad, Mr. President. Get Even ~ where Rich correctly states " But the debate over how to raise the president’s emotional thermostat is not an entirely innocuous distraction. It allows Obama to duck the more serious doubts about his leadership that have resurfaced along with BP’s oil."

Excerpt: " His most conspicuous flaw is his unshakeable confidence in the collective management brilliance of the best and the brightest he selected for his White House team — “his abiding faith in the judgment of experts,”
as Joshua Green of The Atlantic has put it ..
Obama’s excessive trust in his own heady team is all too often matched by his inherent deference to the smartest guys in the boardroom in the private sector. His default assumption seems to be that his peers are always as well-intentioned as he is. The single biggest mistake he has made in managing the gulf disaster was his failure to challenge BP’s version of events from the start. The company consistently understated the spill’s severity, overestimated the progress of the repair operation and low-balled the environmental damage. Yet the White House’s designated point man in the crisis, Adm. Thad Allen of the Coast Guard, was still publicly reaffirming his trust in the BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, as recently as two weeks ago, more than a month after the rig exploded...."
" It’s this misplaced trust in elites both outside the White House and within it that seems to prevent Obama from realizing the moment that history has handed to him. Americans are still seething at the bonus-grabbing titans of the bubble and at the public and private institutions that failed to police them. But rather than embrace a unifying vision that could ignite his presidency, Obama shies away from connecting the dots as forcefully and relentlessly as the facts and Americans’ anger demand...."

Rich concludes with the analogy of the need today for a Teddy Roosevelt fire in the belly truth talk pivot point to not only rescue his presidency but the nation as well ~ " But Obama can’t embrace his inner T.R. as long as he’s too in thrall to the supposed wisdom of the nation’s meritocracy, too willing to settle for incremental pragmatism as a goal, and too inhibited by the fine points of Washington policy debates to embrace bold words and bold action. If he is to wield the big stick of reform against BP and the other powerful interests that have ripped us off, he will have to tell the big story with no holds barred. "

In other words, Mr President ~ stop reading the manual, stop being careful, stop playing politics and stop looking for scapegoats as well as making excuses. It's your presidency and you'd better take full charge of it now or you'll soon be a one term lame duck president ~ floating in a sea of BP's oil.

President Obama says he would have fired BP CEO Tony Hayward if he worked for him. Unfortunately, the White House works for BP and the Corpocracy, so his hands are tied ~ and that's how he is acting.

Allen L Roland

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Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his
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1 comment:

  1. There is only one person who needs his ass kicked in this whole uncomplicated nightmare ~ and Jon Stewart hilariously and rightfully identifies him as the President himself.