Jen, just to add to your post, which shows the BP oil spill response is rated worse than the response to Hurricane Katrina: I wonder if President Obama regrets, when he was serving in the Senate, referring to the Bush administration’s “unconscionable ineptitude” in the context of Katrina and, during the 2008 campaign, declaring, “We can talk about a trust that was broken, the promise that our government will be prepared, will protect us, and will respond in a catastrophe.”
Knowing Obama, that kind of regret is almost unimaginable, as it would require a degree of self-reflection and self-criticism that is, I suspect, simply beyond him.
In any event, it did look so much easier back in the day when Barack Obama was simply running for the presidency rather than today, when he is serving as president. The kind of balanced judgment that he could have offered then is not likely to be granted to him now. Indeed, based on the standard Obama set for himself and the federal government, he now looks both hapless and helpless, insisting he is “in control” and yet proposing a strategy that has been utterly ineffective and is more or less reduced to his plaintive plea to aides, “Just plug the damn hole.”
But the damn hole remains unplugged. The spill remains uncontained. And the oil continues to wash ashore, with the sickening images of an environmental disaster penetrating the public consciousness every day and without an end in sight. The oil spill is doing extraordinary and irreversible damage to the Obama mythology and, perhaps, to the Obama presidency. We shall see. But once again, and not for the last time, we can say that the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.