Submitted By Todd on May 30th at 8:28am
As the oil continues to spew unfettered into the Gulf, a similar mass of darkness hangs over the Obama administration.The failure of Top Kill threatens to make Road Kill of the Obama presidency. The unrelenting flow of oil forces the spotlight back onto the White House strategy of playing politics, rather than offering leadership, with the tragedy.
"We've got to get more vessels. We don't need 1,300, we need 10,000," said Ed Overton, environmental science professor at Louisiana State University. "Now's the time to stop being optimistic and get the assets out there."The political damage done to the president with the passing of each barrel of oil is too big to measure. Not only is his ability to lead, facing it's first real test, called into question - but so is the fantasy upon which his ascendancy was built. That is, that the Obama election represented a return to the norm of American excellence that was robbed us by the insidious insiders of the Bush years.
Wayne Landry, parish council president in Louisiana's, said that local communities are going to take a more aggressive and independent approach to fighting the effects of the spill rather than rely on BP or the federal government.Obama was to have been the Exedrin that, with the simple swallowing of two little pills, would relieve the fever of Bush and Cheney and return us to normal operating mode. Americans will now come to terms with a reality that doesn't bode well for Democrats hoping to hang on to leadership - that there is no pill, that the malaise was no passing headache but is, instead, a serious disease that has taken hold of the country and requires medicine much stronger than the placebo than is Obama.
Taking perhaps the starkest view of the events is Matthew R. Simmons, founder of a Houston investment banking firm specializing in the energy industry. "You have to hire as many supertankers as you can find and pump as much of it into them before hurricane season. Once the hurricane's come, the game is over," Simmons said. "You can take a big tar mop and paint the Gulf Coast black."With mid-term elections just five months away, with the recovery faltering and the Obama economic team pushing for another stimulus - even as voters fume over the nation's skyrocketing debt and the health care "accomplishment" that Obama sacrificed his first term to pass grows less popular every day - it is the Democrats who see Hope fading as the plumes of oil continue to cloud the waters of the Gulf.
The failure of traditional well-killing methods may also heighten the pressure on authorities to try unconventional approaches. Simmons, for example, suggests a military takeover of the whole operation, and possibly even an attempt to seal the well with an explosive device.Presidents like to drop bombs when they're failing politically. They are often consumed, however, by the rubble they create.
"My view is since we don't know the condition of that well bore or the casings, I would be cautious about putting any kind of kinetic energy on that well head," Allen said, "because what you may do is create open communication between the reservoir and the sea floor."Through his failure to offer leadership, Obama is opening a communication between his administration and the one that came before. That's a reservoir of trouble that threatens to make road kill of the president.