Obama the Incompetent

By J Sanderson | Jun 02, 2010

 

Morris: Obama doesn’t have a clue

By Dick Morris - 06/01/10 07:03 PM ET


Conservatives are so enraged at Obama’s socialism and radicalism that they are increasingly surprised to learn that he is incompetent as well. The sight of his blithering and blustering while the most massive oil spill in history moves closer to America’s beaches not only reminds one of Bush’s terrible performance during Katrina, but calls to mind Jimmy Carter’s incompetence in the face of the hostage crisis.

America is watching the president alternate between wringing his hands in helplessness and pointing his finger in blame when he should be solving the most pressing environmental problem America has faced in the past 50 years. We are watching generations of environmental protection swept away as marshes, fisheries, vacation spots, recreational beaches, wetlands, hatcheries and sanctuaries fall prey to the oil spill invasion. And, all the while, the president acts like a spectator, interrupting his basketball games only to excoriate BP for its failure to contain the spill.

The political fallout from the oil spill will, indeed, spill across party and ideological lines. The environmentalists of America cannot take heart from a president so obviously ignorant about how to protect our shores and so obstinately arrogant that he refuses to inform himself and take any responsibility.

All of this explains why the oil spill is seeping into his ratings among Democrats, dragging him down to levels we have not seen since Bush during the pit of the Iraq war. Conservatives may dislike Obama because he is a leftist. But liberals are coming to dislike him because he is not a competent progressive.

Meanwhile, the nation watches nervously as the same policies Obama has brought to our nation are failing badly and publicly in Europe. When Moody’s announces that it is considering downgrading bonds issued by the government of the United States of America, we find ourselves, suddenly, in deep trouble. We have had deficits before. But never have they so freaked investors that a ratings agency considered lowering its opinion of our solvency. Not since Alexander Hamilton assumed the states’ Revolutionary War debt has America’s willingness and ability to meet its financial obligations been as seriously questioned.

And the truth begins to dawn on all of us: Obama has no more idea how to work his way out of the economic mess into which his policies have plunged us than he does about how to clean up the oil spill that is destroying our southern coastline.

Both the financial crisis and the oil come ever closer to our shores — one from the east and the other from the south — and, between them, they loom as a testament to the incompetence of our government and of its president.

And, oddly, to his passivity as well. After pursuing a remarkably activist, if misguided and foolhardy, agenda, Obama seems not to know what to do and finds himself consigned to the roles of observer and critic.

America is getting the point that its president doesn’t have a clue.

He doesn’t know how to stop the oil from spilling. He is bereft of ideas about how to create jobs in the aftermath of the recession. He has no idea how to keep the European financial crisis contained. He has no program for repaying the massive debt hole into which he has dug our nation without tax increases he must know will only deepen the pit.

Some presidents have failed because of their stubbornness (Johnson and Bush-43). Others because of their character flaws (Clinton and Nixon). Still others because of their insensitivity to domestic problems (Bush-41). But now we have a president who is failing because he is incompetent. It is Jimmy Carter all over again.

Who would have thought that this president, so anxious to lead us and so focused on his specific agenda and ideas, would turn out not to know what he is doing?

Morris, a former adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of Outrage, Fleeced and Catastrophe.

Comments (5)
Posted by: J Sanderson | Jun 10, 2010 15:14

Incompetence or negligence?

Steffy: U.S. and BP slow to accept Dutch expertise

By LOREN STEFFY Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle

June 8, 2010, 10:13PM

Three days after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, the Dutch government offered to help.

It was willing to provide ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms, and it proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands.

The response from the Obama administration and BP, which are coordinating the cleanup: “The embassy got a nice letter from the administration that said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,'” said Geert Visser, consul general for the Netherlands in Houston.

Now, almost seven weeks later, as the oil spewing from the battered well spreads across the Gulf and soils pristine beaches and coastline, BP and our government have reconsidered.

U.S. ships are being outfitted this week with four pairs of the skimming booms airlifted from the Netherlands and should be deployed within days. Each pair can process 5 million gallons of water a day, removing 20,000 tons of oil and sludge.

At that rate, how much more oil could have been removed from the Gulf during the past month?

The uncoordinated response to an offer of assistance has become characteristic of this disaster's response. Too often, BP and the government don't seem to know what the other is doing, and the response has seemed too slow and too confused.

Federal law has also hampered the assistance. The Jones Act, the maritime law that requires all goods be carried in U.S. waters by U.S.-flagged ships, has prevented Dutch ships with spill-fighting equipment from entering U.S. coastal areas.

“What's wrong with accepting outside help?” Visser asked. “If there's a country that's experienced with building dikes and managing water, it's the Netherlands.”

Even if, three days after the rig exploded, it seemed as if the Dutch equipment and expertise wasn't needed, wouldn't it have been better to accept it, to err on the side of having too many resources available rather than not enough?

BP has been inundated with well-intentioned cleanup suggestions, but the Dutch offer was different. It came through official channels, from a government offering to share its demonstrated expertise.

Many in the U.S., including the president, have expressed frustration with the handling of the cleanup. In the Netherlands, the response would have been different, Visser said.

There, the government owns the cleanup equipment, including the skimmers now being deployed in the Gulf.

“If there's a spill in the Netherlands, we give the oil companies 12 hours to react,” he said.

If the response is inadequate or the companies are unprepared, the government takes over and sends the companies the bill.

While the skimmers should soon be in use, the plan for building sand barriers remains more uncertain. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal supports the idea, and the Coast Guard has tentatively approved the pro-ject. One of the proposals being considered was developed by the Dutch marine contractor Van Oord and Deltares, a Dutch research institute that specializes in environmental issues in deltas, coastal areas and rivers. They have a strategy to begin building 60-mile-long sand dikes within three weeks.

That proposal, like the offer for skimmers, was rebuffed but later accepted by the government. BP has begun paying about $360 million to cover the costs. Once again, though, the Jones Act may be getting in the way. American dredging companies, which lack the dike-building expertise of the Dutch, want to do the work themselves, Visser said.

“We don't want to take over, but we have the equipment,” he said.

While he battles the bureaucracy, the people of Louisiana suffer, their livelihoods in jeopardy from the onslaught of oil.

“Let's forget about politics; let's get it done,” Visser said.

Loren Steffy is the Chronicle's business columnist. His commentary appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Contact him at loren.steffy@chron.com. His blog is at http://blogs.chron.com/lorensteffy/.



Posted by: Andrew Carpenter | Jun 03, 2010 13:05

Justin, he's more like Rod Blagojevich. Carter was at least honest.



Posted by: J Sanderson | Jun 03, 2010 10:29

Andrew, do you think Obama is more like Jimmy Carter or Rod Blagojevich? The combination of incompetence, arrogance and corruption is really historic. It's actually an insult to Carter to compare him to Obama. Carter had no clue, but at least he wasn't arrogant and he didn't commit high crimes while in office.



Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Jun 02, 2010 18:39

"Obama the Incompetent?"  Right, from Morris the disreputable.

 

Why is it that conservatives can only think up the old bush criticisms in inventing things to use against Obama?  Imitation is supposed to be the height of fattery, but in this case it's only evidence of childish petulance.



Posted by: Andrew Carpenter | Jun 02, 2010 15:32

It is Jimmy Carter all over again.

Enough said.



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