When asked what he thought of Hitler, the distinguished historian Oswald Spengler responded, "Germany in this hour needs a hero. But we have a heroic baritone instead. " The parallel between Germany's predicament and our own is obvious to anyone catching the President's address to the nation last night. It's difficult to get one's mind around the fact that our last three Presidents have been men who sought and won the highest office in the land without reflecting on their own inadequacy for the job. One wonders if they ever read the Constitution to discover what the post demands. The President is the chief magistrate of the Republic. His role is actually quite limited, but in the face of a crisis he must be a man who can assess problems and take the actions open to him under the law.
Even Obama's most fervent fans now realize that their hero is an orator with nothing of the leader in him. He does not take action. He waits, like the slip and fall shyster looking for deep pockets. And British Petroleum has deep pockets indeed. Of course upwards of 36% of BP's shares are held by Americans. A great many British pensioners rely on BP dividend checks as well. But our President has already made it clear that he thinks of share holders as as fat cat capitalist bad guys, so they are doomed. And BP as a provider of a product we all need, must be held criminally culpable for doing business with us.
But what of the physical disaster? What is Obama doing by way of stopping the flow of millions of gallons of crude oil into the gulf? What extraordinary measures is he taking to contain the damage? He leaves us little detail on these small points. He says that he is doing all that he can, while giving no indication that he knows what's possible in the first place. So we elected a man with no management experience of any kind, who's background is occluded in mystery, and who points fingers as a substitute for taking action. And we can't be free of him till 2012.