George Will: Obama Unfairly Blamed, Serves Him Right
George Will says that President Obama is “being unfairly blamed” for the so-far-anemic response to the Gulf oil spill but “it sort serves him right.”
Media Matters posts the above video without comment.
Steve Benen is “mystified.”
At this point, the discourse seems to boil down to a) those who want to see the president don a wetsuit and head to the Gulf floor; b) those who want to see the president don a cape and fly around the planet really quickly in order to reverse time; and c) those who want to see the president pound on podiums and lose his cool, as if that would make a difference.
Andrew Sullivan misses the point even more spectacularly:
Notice how post-modern the right is. You have to abandon your own principles of limited government, then pretend that the advocates of maximal government believes the state should be able to fix deep sea drilling blowouts, and then argue that all that matters in politics is not reality, but narrative.
Will couldn’t have been more clear: People expect unreasonable things from presidents but Obama himself has helped stoke that phenomenon with his own pompous pronouncements about what he would accomplish. Indeed, right after “and here’s what I mean by that,” Will cited an example from the middle of the campaign in which Obama promised to make the oceans stop rising. “That kind of grandiosity has been part of his and the modern presidency’s narrative,” Will continued, and Progressives in particular have promised to solve all manner of problems if only they were given sufficient control over our lives.
It’s an incredibly gentle tweak of Obama and one that myself and other OTB authors have made in recent days in deriding the cult of the presidency. See, “Cult of the Presidency: Oil Spill Edition,” “The Limitations of Government,” and “Obama’s Obligatory Oil Odyssey” for further discussion.