President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, has said that “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Those are words that the White House and President Obama have lived by. Every time the nation has faced a crisis or tragedy, large or small, President Obama has tried to use it for his own, and his party’s, political gain.
The last month has been no different, when he attacked Arizona’s attempt to curb the out of control illegal immigration that is bankrupting that state, along with focusing on attacking BP as yet another greedy business who will be kept in check by the President’s foot on their throat. He’s repeatedly attacked corporate America and large financial institutions, and acts surprised when the stock market remains skittish and on the verge of another crash.
President Obama, time and again, tries to ride the populous wave, attacking whatever group he thinks will play best with American voters, regardless of whether their are any grounds for his attacks, or whether he has even read a short 16 page bill that he keeps mischaracterizing.
Dick Morris explains how President Obama is seeing a backlash in his approval numbers as a result of focusing more on populist politics than solving the serious problems America is facing:
The oil spill, the Arizona law, and the fallout from the Greek crisis are a trifecta of issues that are driving Obama’s job approval ratings to an all time low. After four months of hovering between a low of 46% and a high of 49% in the daily Rasmussen polls, Obama has dropped precipitously to only a 42% approval rating.
The three issues that are depressing his ratings have a great deal in common. In each case, the president originally seized on the issue to make populist political hay. Then, when the problem wouldn’t go away, voters began to realize that Obama is, in fact, the president and, logically enough, blamed him for the three ills that beset them.
When oil started to spill into the Gulf, President Obama saw a partisan opportunity to blame Republicans who had chanted “Drill, Baby, Drill” all during the summer of 2008 as high gasoline prices gave the McCain candidacy new steam. Even though he had, with lamentable timing, conceded and allowed expanded drilling a few weeks before the rig exploded, the impetus for drilling was clearly seen as Republican and the disaster hurt Republican ratings. Obama couldn’t resist also piling populist scorn on British Petroleum, lambasting big oil for the spill.
But then the oil did not stop flowing. Now the American people are tired of hearing about BP’s faults and are demanding presidential action to stop the spill. As the oil seeps onto the beaches of Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, it also seeps into Obama’s poll numbers and drags them down.
A week after the spill, at which point the Obama administration had done basically nothing to evaluate or mitigate the damages from the oil spewing into the gulf, Obama’s solution was to snap at a staff members, “plug the damn hole.” A month later, with little more having come out of the White House than those four ridiculous words, the oils is still gushing into the gulf.
ALLAHPUNDIT of Hot Air talks about Obama’s brilliant solution, and about the press finally beginning to turn on Obama:
If Bush had uttered something as mindlessly self-evident as “plug the damn hole” during crisis management, there’d already be t-shirts on sale on lefty blogs with that phrase emblazoned over a picture of him looking like a baboon. What’s doubly bad for The One right now, of course, is that spill anxiety is reaching a crescendo just as the story of the White House trying to bribe Sestak to drop out of the race is taking off again. The left’s grudgingly turning on him over that too, first with Tim Kaine admitting over the weekend that, yeah, maybe the White House should come clean and today with Dick Durbin(!) piling on
A couple days ago we reported on the fact that while Obama administration officials are making the Sunday talk show rounds reiterating how they will keep the boot on BP’s neck and shove them out of the way if they don’t get the job done, the Louisiana marsh lands are awash in oil, because President Obama sat on the sidelines or stood on the stump making sure he didn’t let this “crisis go to a waste”, rather than giving Louisiana permission to dredge up sand to create a barrier to protect the delicate marshlands.
The only real question is what the next phase of the White House plan to not let America’s blackened beaches and dieing coastal ecosystem be a crisis that they let go to waste. Expect President Obama to try and exploit this tragedy in at least three areas:
- Use this as an excuse to apply some type of windfall profits tax on oil companies, possibly in the guise of a clean up fund for future spills.
- Announce a reversal of his largely worthless decision to open up new areas to off shore drilling.
- Use this to hard sell green energy and his cap and trade bill.
President Obama will use the gulf oil spill, the Arizona illegal immigration crisis and any other crisis that strikes America for his own political gain. He has shown that clearly in his first sixteen months in office and there is no indication that he plans to stop campaigning and start governing any time soon.