I’ve held my tongue about the oil spill in part because I wanted to support the president I admire so much and in part because it’s like a rolling nightmare everyday knowing that oil is just gushing without stop into our ocean. Lives have been lost already — human ones. And every oil-covered bird or turtle breaks my heart. The true toll on animals and plants — including some we like to eat — is yet to come. For the people of the gulf region, lives and livelihoods are being destroyed at an unknown scope because BP can’t — or won’t — stop the oil.

I agree with James Carville and share his frustration. Check out the video above. I want to knock loudly on the White House’s door and ask — is anyone home??? Where is the focus — if clearly not on this? I’m guessing it’s been somewhere between moving Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in Congress (YAY!) and preventing all-out war between South and North Korea (also very important).

Still, why was there not a Haiti-like all-in dedicated effort on the part of the administration. I get that they wanted the focus to be on BP and make it about their screwup and their need to clean it up. But it’s not that simple now, is it?

It’s clear that there was inadequate enforcement by the Mineral Management Service, which loosened up under the Bush Administration and apparently wasn’t tightened up enough under Obama’s guy in charge of that: Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. Um, exactly why hasn’t that guy been fired yet, btw?

If there was ever proof that President Obama is no socialist and far from being a communist, well Tea Party, you can rest easy. Because Obama has clearly allowed himself to be soothed by BP’s promises and lies about how much oil was actually coming up and how they were going to be a good corporate citizen and pay for everything — that he dropped the ball. He blew it. When Bobby Jindal looks like a hero, you know things have gotten off track. Rather than taking a tough tone re: BP after the first week or even for pete’s sake — the SECOND WEEK and using this as an opportunity to talk yet again about the need for a green economy, we heard the same kind of soothing, baby talk nonsense that I assume the administration was rolling downhill from BP.

Sure, BP has specialized knowledge. Which they have focused on not stopping the oil, but in trying to capture as much of it as possible to pull it up to the surface once more. Only now is BP finally engaged in just plugging the dang pipe.

Why the slow reaction time? Could it be because at the end of March, just weeks ago, the Obama Administration engaged in some hippie-kicking and decided to open new areas of the ocean off the U.S. for oil drilling? Drill baby drill, in the words of Michael Steele. From the NY Times:

The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.

The proposal — a compromise that will please oil companies and domestic drilling advocates but anger some residents of affected states and many environmental organizations — would end a longstanding moratorium on oil exploration along the East Coast from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida, covering 167 million acres of ocean.

What an incredibly awesome idea!!!! Drilling in the ocean is super-safe, right? (Sigh)

I’m with James Carville. The administration may be limited in what it can do, but it should be giving the impression of a) caring as much as the people of the Gulf about this and b) doing whatever they can. Why not get NASA or NOAA or Woods Hole involved? Where are the submarines, the Marines and Navy in addition to the Coast Guard? The administration is finally turning its full attention to this, but is it too late to salvage an impression of Barack Obama and team of not being on the ball. Not taking this seriously. Not launching as much aid as possible or holding the MMS or BP & vendors accountable enough. Not showing real caring for the loss of life and livelihood, and for the destruction unfolding.

Obama needs to get on the good foot. Before he finds a foot kicking him out the White House door in a couple of years. If there was ever an issue that threatened to damage his reputation and thwart his re-election, it’s this. If Obama doesn’t get this right, it could indeed, in the words of Glenn Beck, be Obama’s Katrina.

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