Sunday, June 13, 2010

Unraging Obama: No straw to fix the oil leak

NOW THAT President Obama's "rage index" has become issue in the national media, I have taken some time from my yard work to find out what I've been missing. With the BP oil spill, the Afghanistan war, the Israeli blockade, staggering economy and the latest comments on Barbara Boxer's hairstyle, it's understandable that the DC reporters and pundits would be forced to look elsewhere for some meatier news. Voila! Is the president raging enough? Well, whether he is or isn't, I doubt that if he would have kicked over a few flower pots on the first day of the spill that we would be any farther ahead in solving what is now the country's greatest environmental disaster.

Were the pundits really counting on a furious meltdown like a deranged King Lear in the Oval Office demanding that thunder "strike flat the thick rotundity of the world!"? Naw. Even if you are talking about obesity, which a lot of people are doing these days, no editor would allow "rotundity" to appear in a modern newspaper. And what about a reenactment of Rigoletto's explosive anger upon realizing that his daughter had been murdered , believing that she was the victim of a curse .(Actually, I believe it was a stiletto that did her in. ) "Ah, la maledizione", he cried out anyway. The curse!

The media, however, did look at Obama's cool disposition as indifference to the mess and the question came up at a recent press conference in which the CBS guy asked press Secretary Robert Gibbs for an estimate of Obama's rage. "Yes, I've seen rage from him," Gibbs replied. But Chip Reid, the TV reporter, persisted. "Can you describe it. Does he yell and scream? What does he do?"

You can see that Reid was not going to take anything less than a description of Obama climbing the walls a la Spider-Man after a lost week end. Over at Fox News, the sole arbiter of good and evil, they aren't taking Obama's rage index lightly, and have gone so far to bleep "ass" in reference to what the president says he has to kick. I don't remember. Did they bleep George Bush when he called the NY Times' Adam Clymer a "Major League asshole" and Cheney added, "Oh, yeah."? And there were no dead pelicans on the beaches, either.

And now Rupert Murdock's Times (of London) is advancing the rage index in a piece by a clearly enraged British columnist, who believes we have been much too harsh on BP.
"Barack Obama," Jonathan Leake sizzled, "has indulged in shameless partisan attacks on a foreign company for the sole purpose of boosting his popularity ahead of crucial elections due to be held in a few months time. The American press, which is notorious for its complete inability to conduct meaningful , impartial research, has gone along with Obama." Right.

There are a lot of things wrong with that thought, including the bit about partisanship, but he's entitled, I guess. But, Jonathan, before you ready the Red Coats for another trip to our chores, you should at least be aware of a real sign of official rage that would suck up some of the loose oil and dump it into the Themes.

Unfortunately, Obama says he personally can't go down into the deep and suck it up with a straw. The president will address the nation tonight on the oil spill and unless he finally agrees to take a straw down to the rig's base, nobody will be satisfied. If it were me, I would invite some of the national media critics to go down there with him.


No comments: