He’s Furious!
“I would love to just spend a lot of my time venting and yelling at people,” the president said, “but that’s not the job I was hired to do. My job is to solve this problem.”

No it’s not. Your job is to manage public expectations, not react to public opinion. This is the difference between the successful modern presidents (Clinton, Reagan) and the rest. Obviously he can’t control public opinion but he can be honest. People are foolish to expect inhuman things from their president but he’s the bigger fool for allowing those illusions to persist.

Obama’s failure so far isn’t his inability to fix the spill. It’s his inability to convey to the public the limitations of reality. They are the following:

  • The President of the United States is a limited executive position that was restricted – by design – from having an omniscient power over the population. Through his administration he can enforce laws and encourage certain behaviors but (fortunately) he is not all powerful. Private companies and citizens retain autonomy over their actions – and maintain responsibility for those actions. Announcing that you take responsibility for everything that happens under the sun is irresponsible.
  • Unless he plans on summoning Poseidon to unleash the Kraken, there is no human being who could resolve this problem any faster. The limitations of technology and nature are clearly significant. Even if he were His Majesty the Mighty and Omniscient King of the United States, he would still have to contend with nature and technology. Such are the frailties God has bestowed on the human body.

The disappointment about Obama’s handling of this crisis (and really his entire presidency to date) is his knee jerk reaction to anything and everything. Great leaders find solutions before they point fingers. Obama’s administration has been a study in the opposite – from day one. There’s no doubt BP needs to be held accountable but there is plenty of time for blaming.

At the moment, the good people at BP are tasked with cleaning up the spill. Rather than wagging his finger at them and letting his administration run wild with ignorant threats about boots and regulations, he should be reining his team in and providing any assistance he can. The one hole he can plug is the verbal deluge of ignorance steadily flowing from officials like Lisa Jackson and Ken Salazar.

Second, it would be nice if his administration demonstrated the capacity to understand that a company is made up of many various individual people. A few of them clearly made some bad decisions and ultimately, those problems need to be addressed but that doesn’t mean the whole company is corrupt. BP is not just one big, evil entity bent on destroying earth and humanity. That only happens on Captain Planet – which Democrats appear to have watched entirely too much of as children.

This is not rocket science. The truth is Obama has so far proven to be a horrible leader. He’s the guy on the team who sells out his teammates at the first sign of trouble. He has a far too grandiose view of himself and his position. It’s never his fault, it’s always someone else.  He has the unique ability to say he takes responsibility while simultaneously pointing his finger at everyone else.  He’s basically the Ryan Leaf of US presidents. Surprisingly for a law professor, he seems to have a fairly trite and simplistic view of the world around him. Government good.  BP bad.  Democrats good.   Republicans bad.  There doesn’t appear to be any subtlety to his mind at all.

Above all else, he is missing one important quality. The great Presidents like Washington and Lincoln had something that Barack Obama seems to have absolutely no concept of whatsoever: humility. Without that, any US President is doomed to failure.