Category Archives: whiplash

It’s Tough to Be President

Being the President of America is not easy. Everyone has something to say, much of it critical. The President is supposed to respond to all the advice, complaints, demands of all Americans. But we also expect the President to be more responsive to the people who elected him/her. Obama may end up with whiplash. Some people say he is “Hitler”, others that his is too milquetoast. Areas he never had to address while campaigning have taken over his own agenda and have driven the Presidency in certain problematic directions, like our economic issues and the tragedy of this Gulf oil spill.

Our government can’t afford to have duplicate sets of the technical equipment used to drill for oil, or to clean up from an oil spill. The law says that the company which makes the spill pays to clean up the spill and, we hope, for the fallout from the spill. Our problem is that right now, at this moment, we don’t care about what the law says. The clean up takes precedence over everything. If the company can’t do the job properly do we want the Gulf of Mexico destroyed over a point of law? Maybe everyone will have to extend both time and money and then charge BP for the cleanup after the fact.

Which brings me back to the President and his whiplash. In the months before the oil spill America was occupied by the Tea Party stumping against big government, and more deficit spending, and that our children’s legacy from us will be massive debt. In other words they wanted government out of the business of spending money and “entitlement programs”. Along came the Deep Water Horizon explosion and subsequent spill. If I am President, knowing what I know about people’s recently expressed feelings, knowing what I know about past practice and the law for environmental catastrophes, I believe I would have had no choice but to hold BP’s feet to the fire and not offer federal money. Apparently there is no federal money, there is only debt.

This particular Pandora’s Box of sorrows has been opened. We have to throw a lot of money and resources at the Gulf. It was our beautiful southern coast. But we know the truth. There is no quick fix unless one of the 40,000+ ideas from people is a real gem. Only time will really repair the damage, and consistent efforts by experts to restore the health of the Gulf and the ocean beyond.

No, I would not want to be President. First we insist that the President not spend money, and then we turn around, at what is admittedly a crisis, and get rabid because he is not spending money. Whiplash! We seem unreasonable and demanding lately and no one could possibly satisfy us all, or even satisfy us from moment to moment.