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The Morning After the Oval Office Speech: Obama is toast, now what are the rest of us going to do?

Good Morning Conflucians! I’ve been surfing around, and I can’t find many positive reactions to the President’s Oval Office speech. Will Jon Favreau get the boot? It appears that no one else is going to pay for this clusterf&ck. And what are we Americans going to do now? It appears we are on our own. Our “leader” is completely impotent and ineffectual.

Here are some of the responses I’ve found to “the speech,” beginning with the formerly Obama-loving gang at MSNBC.

The folks at MSNBC pretty much trashed Obama last night. Too bad they didn’t notice he was an empty suit back when it would have mattered.

From Jason Linkins at Huffpo: Obama’s Oil Spill Speech: What Was the Point?

Are we operating off a booklet of Mad Libs, written by Jon Favreau, or something? I think you can swap out the references to energy and add back references to health care, and we can all take a trip down memory lane, to the time we all wondered why Obama wasn’t out there, actively pushing for something specific in the arena of health care reform. Right down to the “I am happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party” part, which basically commits Obama to a lengthy period of Chuck Grassley jacking himself off as the Republican Party returns with the idea of doing nothing that even remotely looks like it might be helpful to his Presidency.

Steve at The Left Coaster: Jumping the Shark

Obama failed to act like a chief executive tonight, opting instead for a dry sermon about energy policy and prayer. All the while, the speech avoided leadership, a sense of command, and vision. Rather, it seemed simply to serve as an opportunity for Obama to repeat whatever he’s said over the last six weeks, and then move on, just as the White House confirmed privately. Aside from some lame talk about holding BP responsible, he still managed to downplay the current crisis, in a rush to the future without dealing with current accountability.

Just like he treats the Bush administration.

Ezra Klein makes a lame effort to be positive: Where Have We Heard This Before

The elements of Barack Obama’s speech tonight that were specifically newsworthy were also broadly-expected: A liability fund that BP will pay into and that a third-party will distribute. A “long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan.” Both ideas sound good. But their worth will be determined by, well, their worth. And Obama did not name any dollar amounts.

He also did not utter the words “climate change” or “global warming.” The closest Obama got was to praise the House for “passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill – a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America’s businesses.” The section of his speech devoted to the issue avoided the politically-controversial problem in order to focus on the broadly-popular solution: Clean energy. “As we recover from this recession,” Obama promised, “the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of good, middle-class jobs.”

Obama did not make any specific promises about the bill he would support, or even that he wanted. He did not say he would price carbon, or that we should get a certain percentage of our energy from renewables by a certain date.

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones: Obama’s Oil Spill Speech: Running On Empty

The whole point of a prime time Oval Office speech (transcript here) is that it announces something big. On that score, Obama failed right from the start. He told us that lots of people are already working the cleanup. Yawn. That Ray Mabus is going to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible. A plan! Hurrah! That we’re gonna make BP pay for everything. Roger that. And then this: “I have established a National Commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place.” A commission! So much for “going big.”

James Fallows at The Atlantic: The Oval Office Speech, Seen From Beijing

I couldn’t see this real-time in China, so I’ve just now read the speech and watched an online replay. I have deliberately not yet read or listened to any on-line commentary. Thus my untutored reaction from the other side of the world is: Sigh. [….]

Judging it just as a speech, and applying the standards I laid out yesterday before seeing it, I think it fell short on all three standards.

Finally, from deep in Obot territory, Icebergslim at The Cheeto: sigh, he did not say anything.

This speech did not go into specifics of anything.

And if anyone wants to know what someone looks like in the bubble, we saw it tonight. I mean, damn, he did not say anything!!! I did not expect everything but some specifics on SOMETHING!!!

Yes, we heard a third party to process claims in the Gulf. But how much will BP give to the Gulf Escrow Fund? And notice, he did not use the word ESCROW!!! And we still don’t know about how MUCH FROM BP.

Yes, he gave a time line of what his administration DID, but who cares about that!!!

And yes, he told us we need to get off fossil fuels. We heard that speech before, but HOW. He did not even say he was going to get on CONGRESS for letting an energy bill just sit there for months!!

I pray to God, that what is happening in the background is worth it for this country in the end, because what I just listened to was nothing.

He said nothing.

None of these people apparently noticed that Obama said nothing specific during his entire primary and general election campaigns. I wish they had noticed he was an empty suit back in 2007-2008, when so many of us did.

But what are we going to do now that just about everyone knows the emperor has no clothes?

Please post links to your favorite speech reactions as well as other news in the comments.

64 Responses

  1. GM, bb! Yes, underwhelming. Ezra Klein asks for details. They’ve always been Obama’s short suit. Which is why I could never get excited about him. No substance.

    • Isn’t it something how this encapsulates his campaign? It was all in plain sight, for all to see, but the villagers obfuscated the truth over and over. And now it’s 3 AM for the past 2 months and there’s no one there to pick up. Who would have thunk it?

    • I don’t know why they are wasting all that virtual ink. It all boils down to we are so fucked !!!!

    • He doesn’t have Hillary to crib off of any more.

  2. I just read that The One only has 20 minutes on his schedule today to “talk” to the BP CEO; after that, he’s having lunch with Joe Biden.

    20 minutes? WTF?

    • How long can he say “please,please, please, please, please, for? Be reasonable!

    • Probably the worst thing for this country is for Oprecious to actually meet with Heyward. Heyward will size the fool up in a heartbeat and know he is dealing with a twit with no brain, balls, or sense. It WAS best to keep him away from everything, behind that curtain pretending to be President. Who let somebody pull back the curtain? It is all transparent now, but not the way many had hoped. We told them so, but what did we bitter old women know?

  3. Oh, yeah. I went around looking – in part – for shameless swooning – and I was shocked how little of it there was

  4. What really struck me about Pres. Obama’s speech was the end when we were left thinking this is in God’s hands and we better all collectively pray. I thought, holy shit, we are looking for leadership and this guy is asking us to pray. We’re in trouble, as if this were a natural disaster in the first place. My Catholic lessons taught me we have “free choice”. Pres. Obama missed this lesson from his friend Rev. Wright as the leadership at BP chose to take short cuts and created this unholy mess in the first place. Taking care of business isn’t about “kicking someone’s ass” but it is about figuring out why and how this happened, taking care of the mess and holding people accountable. I would love to know what really went on in those Cheney secret oil club meetings. The standards for everything went down under the Bush administration. Bush believed companies could police themselves. We all can see how this has turned out when you have the wolf watching the hen house, pretty soon there aren’t any hen to watch. Pres. Obama has chosen to follow Bush in every other area such as the war, economy, etc. I’d like to see Pres. Obama step up and separate himself from the corporations and become a president for the people. Yes, I know this is a dream as the corporations have complete control over this country but leadership means stepping out from your comfort zone and leading!

    • How can he step up and separate himself from the corporations? Who installed him where he is now? He is part and parcel of corporations, probably even more than Bushco was.

    • Obama was the candidate who received the most $$$ from BP (banksters, too).

      BP was a founding member of the “green energy” lobby, with a Democratic advertising firm designing those commercials you saw painting BP as “safe and clean.”

      The Obama administration gave BP all those waivers and exemptions from environmental impact requirements.

      BP provided Rahm Emmanuel with a FREE apartment in DC for 5 years, while Emmanuel ran the subcommittee that granted subsidies and exemptions.

      What on earth makes you think Barak Obama has the balls to bite the hand that fed him?

      • We all know he’s an empty suit owned by the corporations, but I think things are so bad that many people are just wishing he’d find some humanity somewhere inside of himself and do the right thing here.

        • Even I wish that. If he doesn’t do anything about this, we are up sh*t creek.

    • I didn’t watch the speech — did he really say that? OMG, when the person in charge says we should pray it’s like saying “Panic Time!”

      Imagine if a plane was having engine dificulties and the captain announced that the passengers should pray ….

      Talk about flunking leadership 101.

    • Maybe he should be Rev. Wright in charge of the MMS. He could do worse.

  5. The other day there was a headline about Hillary supporter Sophie B Hawkins saying Obama has thrown us under the bus…

    Seeing her name made me go back to her Hillary youtube from the primaries. “Hillary… we know you can lead us…”

    Obama can’t/won’t lead… he is a frontman for the corporations.

    • 2012 can’t get here soon enough.

    • I saw Robinson I think with Tweety and they are still trying to block Hillary with the ra@ist meme from 2008. Unbelievable! They will have Big Dawg go out and work the campaign trail, but they are still ra@ists and they can’t have Hillary on the ticket or God forbid run.

      • Eugene Robinson is the worst of the Obots.

        • Yup, I think that is him, and he was almost saying that, that was the least they could do (service for free) and still it was NOT ENOUGH! Sickening really!

      • The night Hillary won NH Robinson was on MSNBC with in about five minutes calling the people of NH racist. F*ck him and the race card he rode in on.

  6. Public Policy Polling surveyed La. residents and found a majority of voters here think George W. Bush did a better job with Katrina than Obama’s done dealing with the spill



    • Donna Brazille is looking a whole lot sheepish on CNN, these days.

      Shame on you, Donna, and your momma’s pot of beans.

  7. So the obots are not happy that Obama’s “speech did not go into specifics of anything.” In 2008, it was magic that Obama never said anything. And that’s no change.

    • They are missing “Candidate Obama” — they think that version of Obama had specifics and the problem is that he’s not being himself right now.

    • 0. He has to say that!

      1. He’s only been President for two years!

      2. Wait ’til he does something!

      3. Governing is hard.

      4. You’re a racist!

  8. Well, I wasn’t expecting much and on that score the President delivered. He even offered a “Good job, Brownie” moment with the Salazar shout out: Salazar corrected the worst corruption but alas it ran too deep and time was too short.

    We went from the war analogies to the kill-spill being epidemic-like. Perhaps the President can apply a healthcare strategy to the solution.

    The truth is Barack Obama is not a leader. He had nothing in his resume to recommend him for governing a country in troubled times or otherwise. He may have been able to skate in a time of relative peace and prosperity. But not now. And though I knew that the scales would begin to fall from people’s eyes, it gives me no joy seeing it happen.

    I know this won’t happen but frankly, the best Obama could do for the country is step down. I’d put my money on Biden than more of this wretched play-acting.


  9. I can’t find anything about the speech at Talk Left. What’s up with that?

    • Nothing good to say, say nothin honey, or have the legal minds gone on vacation.

    • Yes. Have you ever known them not to “blog” an Obama speech? It’s just as noticeable as the environmentalists who suddenly see no reason for outrage against the current government who helped this disaster along and are to this day, virtually sitting on their hands. It’s not about reality, it’s about coverup.

      I did see some comments on the open thread about the speech. Laughable. Basically the reason Obama didn’t mention specifics is because he analyzed his audience and decided they didn’t want specifics! LOL, in other words these elitist noobs to the issue thought Obama’s real audience is a bunch of moron little people!

      These days, Talkleft is a whole group of souls (with a few exceptions and I don’t know why they post there anymore) who up until about 2 days ago, didn’t digest what really happened, because the blogs they hold near and dear didn’t cover it. They had to see the dead birds, over, and over again, and then they went…Ohhhh, now I see. They think they’re so brilliant, when in actuality, they’re just another group that needs a master to tell them what to think.

      I always knew Jeralyn was a shallow flake, but there was a time when I really thought that BTD would call them as he saw them if they thought things were bad…for instance, back when he was pretending to be a feminist (but showed his true colors when he defended Obama’s Jane Crow EO).

      I was wrong. That site has become a barren wasteland and an utter waste of time.

      • PS: Yes, I do go back, but only because it’s such a freak show, thus entertaining. That people can isolate themselves so well, because doing otherwise would require that they abandon ideas they’ve clung to (such as Democrats goo, Republicans bad). It’s amazing, and sometimes good for laughs.

        • Wow, I really wish we had preview (WordPress G-ds are you listening?). It would help me actually write full sentences. Gawl!

          • Heh. Actually your typo i this case makes sense: “Democrats goo”

            spineless goo

      • LOL, in other words these elitist noobs to the issue thought Obama’s real audience is a bunch of moron little people!

        I’ve been noticing that talking point too, they’re saying stuff like ‘It was light on specifics, but Obama was talking to an audience that only hears buzzwords. They aren’t policy geeks like us.’

        • When in reality, in all likelyhood my elderly FIL who sits down and reads a newspaper everyday, could tell you more about what’s happening and what needs to be done than the “policy geeks” at TalkLeft.

          I haven’t asked him what he thought of the speech. Should be interesting to find out.

          Oh, and BTW, he doesn’t read Talkleft ;-).

          • Lol, I wasn’t even talking about TL, but Obots in general. I stopped reading TL. Jeralyn’s defenses of criminals were just getting to be too much to read.

          • LOL – she does more than defend criminals, she embraces them with compassion and throws her nasty, critical barbs at the victims. I think these cases she blogs non-stop about are actually job interviews. She’s desperate to get herself attached to another high-profile criminal…..it’s been a long, dry spell since McVeigh and she’s not getting any TV gigs anymore.

      • I believe I read the the Environmental Defense Fund and another
        big group got 10,000.000 each from BP

    • I was driving to town today and listening to Sirrius radio, 146 left. Tom Hartman is finally, like finally, disappointed but Big Eddie as in Ed Schultz is over the moon for Obama’s speech. He thinks Obama is doing great and was thrilled about the 20 billion that is being set aside by BP. He thinks that’s the president holding their feet to the fire. Everything Big Eddie said was all about praise for Obama and trying to convince people that Obama is doing all he can and has really stepped up.

  10. I believe the media has begun to turn against obama because they’ve been told to do so by the very people who told them to cover for him throughout the primary and the GE.

    obama has done one thing the power elites did not expect and surely do not want. Instead of lulling us into a false sense of security and slumber, obama has awakened and united our country against his agenda (i.e., the power elite’s agenda) and they cannot afford to let him continue. They know that a united America would be too difficult to take over without a fight and they were hoping that he would make be able to keep us hoping long enough for them to totally take over right under our collective noses!

    I don’t think the corporate elite will support obama for a second term like they did in helping him get a first term!

    • It’s easy to stand in front of adoring campaign audiences and read a speech.
      Now that his star is falling, how will Obama handle it since he loves to be loved?

  11. I can’t argue with any of this:

    Given only hours before a scheduled White House meeting with top BP executives, the speech made absolutely clear that the Obama administration takes its marching orders from the corporate-financial oligarchy. In his response to the Gulf disaster, Obama has adopted the same approach as he did to the criminal actions of Wall Street that threw the US and the world into the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression. No one is to be held accountable and nothing is to be done that challenges the basic interests of the financial aristocracy.

    In his speech, Obama made no clear condemnation of BP’s actions, either before or after the April 20 blowout of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that took the lives of 11 workers and sent millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.

    He made no mention of the latest shocking revelations of BP’s systematic violations of safety procedures in the run-up to the explosion that sank the rig – violations that were part of the company’s policy of cutting corners in order to save time and money and boost profits.

    He did not even note the new estimates released that day by government scientists placing the oil flow rate at 35,000 to 60,000 gallons a day – the latest evidence of BP’s consistent policy of lying about the crisis.

    Nor was there any mention of a criminal investigation into BP – something that was floated two weeks ago by the administration and has since been dropped.

    Obama devoted exactly four short sentences and less than a minute to the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig, omitting anything that could be damaging to BP. For example, he failed to note that the company’s blowout preventer, supposedly the failsafe barrier against an oil gusher, failed to operate.

    “Because there has never been a leak this size at this depth,” he continued, “stopping it has tested the limits of human technology.”

    This is a miserable and dishonest attempt to place the disaster outside of any direct responsibility on the part of BP. The issue is not the supposed limits of human technology, but the fact that BP had no plan in place to deal with a blowout.


  12. I remember posters at Kos saying Obama speaking in generalities was a good thing and that Hillary saying, “I will do X” and “I will do Y, if elected” meant she was some sort of egomaniac.
    In other words, having a specific plan of governance was a fault.
    Remember that saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”?
    Well it looks like Tweety, Keith the Screamer, the Koskids, and TPM Josh are starting to realize the meaning.

  13. Obama can’t say anything in detail because he can’t copy from Hillary Clinton’s proposals.

    Hillary needs to start up another web sight detailing plans for this country again. That way Obama can just copy and paste them so maybe something will get done.

    There are rumors of massive fish kills out in the gulf . There has also been reports of baby dolphins washing up on shore only to be immediately removed. BP along with the feds do not allow anyone with cameras or recording equipment anywhere near the area. The workers employed by BP are not permitted to say a word unless they get fired. I usually just leave rumors in the “rumors column” until I get more verification. The more Obama says pray..the more I am going to believe the rumors. However, if any of this is true, one cannot hide massive kill offs forever. I don’t care who you are.

    I wonder when the economist are going to figure all of this in on the national economy. How are they going to spin this one when the numbers come in.? The only way to mitigate the numbers from a collapsing fish industry, collapsing tourism industry plummeting land values with increasing defaults on residential and commercial real estate causing more banks failures is to drill in the gulf for more oil. What are the politicos supporting? Just that.

    • Only a fool would think that the aquatic life in the Gulf isn’t being decimated. It already had a super massive dead zone to begin with due to pollution and contamination from the chemical factories and the oil refineries. They can cover it up all they want but when the wildlife disappears people will notice. Of course, we Americans are about as stupid and unengaged as any population of people that has ever existed. Not going to matter much to many people as long as they aren’t directly affected by this. We are quickly converting our beautiful paradise of a country into an urban wasteland filled to the brim with toxins and garbage. Way to go my fellow Americans! The bad thing is that I am at fault here as well. We all are.

  14. I meant “site” not sight

  15. Here’s an annoying headline: “U.S. Pays $400 million in bonuses to federal employees.”

    I wanna know if Ken Salazar got a bonus.

    • Hush money?
      Fall on your sword for the emperor money?

      • My partner gets one of those bonuses. Not a whole lot, but she does get some. Little fish get the bonuses too, only they are tied to getting excellent performance appraisals . The big fish get a bonus for breathing on federal property.

        • $400 million is not a little amount to the tax payers and the millions of unemployed who are no longer getting payments. That $400 million is OUR tax money. This bonus thing is not acceptable for the gov’t under the current conditions! What isn’t a surprise, though, is the double-standard.

  16. Obama’s Daily Rasmussen 6-13 thru 6-15:

    42 approve
    57 disapprove

  17. News post up.

  18. I suggest that the folks at MSNBC knew Obama was an empty suit from the beginning. That’s why they promoted him so hard. The last thing they wanted was a Democrat of substance getting elected. How could that be good for GE?

  19. “None of these people apparently noticed that Obama said nothing specific during his entire primary and general election campaigns. I wish they had noticed he was an empty suit back in 2007-2008, when so many of us did.”

    Yeah. And it was so obvious.
    And that alone tells me that he was selected and elected by the powers that be with the help of the servant press.

    They had only one goal: make Obama president. Was he up to it? No. But they didn’t care.

  20. True, even the Obots are not praising the speech but they’re still out there desperately defending Dear Leader. Their defense appears to fall into three categories.

    1. What did you expect? He is NOT a magician.

    2. Why are you wasting time criticizing the president instead of proposing solutions?

    3. Would you rather have a Republican?

    Sorry folks, there isn’t enough Dawn dish-washing liquid in the world to scrub the FAIL off of this lame duck.

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