There is something profoundly bass ackwards in the way Obama is reacting to the disaster in the Gulf.

Obama keeps focusing on legal liability:

President Obama will use his first Oval Office speech Tuesday night to outline a plan to legally compel BP to create an escrow account to compensate businesses and individuals for their losses from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, administration officials said on Sunday….

As critics continue to fault Mr. Obama less for his administration’s overall response to the spill than for what they say has been his own slow and reactive leadership style, the ultimatum to BP and the president’s use of the solemn setting of the Oval Office escalate his personal engagement to a new level.

Birds are dying, marshes are being swallowed whole by oil, and communities are crumbling.

And Obama’s presidential address will focus on an escrow fund for liability claims?

Even Obama’s supporters now realize that he has bungled the federal response, and that he may be incapable of acting in time of true emergency.

Just think how many claims could have been avoided had the full weight of the federal government promptly been brought to bear in the early days, when the administration knew, or (here’s some legalese for you) in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, the potential magnitude of the disaster.

If Obama focused on (more legalese) mitigating the harm, there would have been less need for legal claims.

There will be time to hold BP to account; what we have needed and still need is action, someone in charge who can do more than point fingers and wag his tongue.

We need a President, not a Claims Adjuster in Chief.

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Related Posts:
The First Victims of Obamacare
Is It His Katrina Yet?
Eight Days In April,” by Paul Krugman

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