More and more, I want to lead a movement to unseat every incumbent, no matter what party, no exceptions. Somehow we the people have got to keep these career politicians from becoming entrenched in power. There are so many elected officials who are either, corrupt, power hungry, bullies, or incompetent.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Oil and Snake Oil
The big oil spill in the
Gulf of Mexicois bad enough in itself. But politics can make anything worse.
Let's stop and think. Either the government knows how to stop the oil spill or they don't. If they know how to stop it, then why have they let thousands of barrels of oil per day keep gushing out, for weeks on end? All they have to do is tell BP to step aside, while the government comes in to do it right.
If they don't know, then wh
atis all this political grandstanding about keeping their boot on the neck of BP, the Attorney General of the going down to the Gulf to thre United St ates aten lawsuits-- on wh atcharges was unspecified-- and President Obama showing up in his shirt sleeves?
atis Obama going to do in his shirt sleeves, except impress the gullible? He might as well have shown up in a tuxedo with white tie, for all the difference it makes.
This government is not about governing. It is about cre
ating an impression. Th atworked on the campaign trail in 2008, but it is a disaster in the White House, where rhetoric is no substitute for reality.
If the Obama administr
ation was for real, and trying to help get the oil spill contained as soon as possible, the last thing its Attorney General would be doing is thre atening a lawsuit. A lawsuit is not going to stop the oil, and cre ating a distraction can only make people atBP start directing their attention toward covering themselves, instead of covering the oil well.
If and when the Attorney General finds th
atBP did something illegal, th atwill be time enough to start a lawsuit. But making a public announcement atthis time accomplishes absolutely nothing substantive. It is just more political grandstanding.
This is not about oil. This is about snake oil.
Nothing will keep a man or an institution determined to continue on a failing policy course like past success with th
atpolicy. Obama's political success in the 2008 election campaign was a spectacular triumph of cre ating images and impressions.
ating political impressions and images is not the same thing as governing. Yet Obama in the White House keeps on saying and doing things to impress people, instead of governing.
Once the elections were over and the time for governing began, there was now a new audience to consider-- a much more savvy audience, the leaders of other countries around the world.
However impressed the media and the Obama cult might be with the President's image, rhetoric and style, leaders of other countries-- allies and enemies alike-- are interested in results.
Even our domestic policies can affect foreign leaders, as Ronald Reagan's breaking of the air traffic controllers' strike impressed the Russians with wh
atkind of man they were going to have to deal with, as former Soviet officials said publicly many years l ater.
By the same token, domestic bungling by Barack Obama sends a dangerous signal to countries hostile to us, in addition to the signal sent by his displays of am
ateurism on the world stage.
President Obama had barely settled into the White House before he began demonstr
ating his willingness to sell out this country's friends to appease our enemies. His trip to Moscow to try to make a deal with the Russians, based on reneging on the pre-existing American commitment to put a missile shield in Eastern Europe, was the kind of short-sighted betrayal whose consequences can come back to haunt a n ation for years.
Obama spoke grandly about "pressing the reset button" on intern
ational rel ations, as if all the intern ational commitments of the past were his to disregard.
But if no American commitment can be depended upon beyond a current administr
ation, then any n ation th atallies itself with us is jeopardizing its own n ational security, because dangers in the intern ational jungle last longer than 4 years or even 8 years.
We are already seeing the consequences. Even
Turkey--formally a NATO ally-- is cozying up to Iran, now th atit is painfully clear th atObama is not going to do anything th athas any realistic chance of stopping from going nuclear. Iran
If leaders of other n
ations can't depend on the , then they need to make the best deal they can with our enemies. They understand th United St ates atpreserving their n ation's security is a leader's top priority, even if Barack Obama doesn’t.
About The Author
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow
atthe Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.