Obama’s Speech

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been making a lot of people angry lately, and unfortunately, it has been difficult to know where to direct that anger. I have heard many folks lambasting the president or BP, and while I have felt that their anger is misdirected, so too has been my own anger at what I’ve seen as illogical scapegoating.

As if somebody close to us has died, we are all angry, but we don’t have anywhere particular to direct that anger. Like death, this oil spill is a part of life. In many ways it’s an inevitable consequence of our standard of living, our government and corporate policies, and our humanity, i.e. our fundamental inability to control and tame all the natural variables in this world.

Since my last post, it has become increasingly clear that BP did cut corners and potentially break the law in their operations of the Deepwater Horizon, and for this, through a legal process, they will be held liable. I’ve also been somewhat frustrated that President Obama hasn’t channeled our widespread and undirected anger over this incident into a movement and series of new policies supporting lifestyle changes away from fossil fuels and investments in clean energy, which are not only good for the environment, but in my mind, and many others, the future of our economic recovery as a nation.

Well, he finally did last night from the Oval Office. I thought the speech was great and that he addressed everything we needed to hear. Sadly, the pundits have mostly been panning it. You judge for yourself. I’m curious how others thought.

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About Tony

Lives in Austin, Texas and likes music, art, philosophy, and random stuff.
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9 Responses to Obama’s Speech

  1. Obama is Communist says:

    Obama is a communist nazi who wants to put all the whites in FEMA camps.

  2. Tony says:

    So, after reading a bunch of critical responses to Obama’s speech*, the primary gist of complaints has taken two main forms: a lack of specifics and a lack of passion.

    I find both of these complaints ridiculous. I can’t help but start to get angry at the lack of positivity shown by these columnists, bloggers, pundits, etc.

    Regarding specificity, Obama was incredibly clear throughout his speech, and to expect him to detail the specific steps of his plan to clean up the gulf and develop an energy bill is a little silly. As Korie commented to me today, “Kennedy didn’t specify every step of how we would get to the moon: First we build a rocket, then we train some guys, then we fire it.” I mean, come on, people. Obama told us exactly what they’ve been doing and what they are trying to do. These reactions make me incredibly confused.

    Regarding passion, did people want him quaking? He isn’t the type of person to show his passion visibly. Not everybody expresses their anger in the same way, and often, I find emotional display of ‘passion’ fairly disingenuous. I tend to more believe that what people say is what matters, and if you look at his words in this speech, he was pretty on point. Robert Reich, who I love, criticized him on this point, lack of passion, and I just ask, please give some consideration for a somber type of passion.

    Talking about it with Korie, it just seems like these people don’t want to be proactive. Obama is giving us a call to action. This isn’t about him doing stuff for us. It’s about us doing stuff for our country and our planet. We need to be the change we wish to see in the world, for god’s sake. Stop bitching and start selling your cars, riding bikes and voting for candidates that support a clean energy agenda.

    *Note: I haven’t really seen many uncritical responses, which is sad, except Al Gore, who reiterated a call for the Senate to act and start passing some legislation

    • Citizens for the Status Quo says:

      Clean energy is a hoax! We should just use up all the coal and oil as quickly as possible to hasten the inevitable annihilation of the human race.
      And yes Obama is a heartless communist.

    • Citizens for the Status Quo says:

      unfortunately the efficacy of the response is not the key point on election day, but rather the perceived efficacy (and/or how hard it looks like they are trying) in comparison to what is expected.
      i found that article to be just as unenlightening as many others.
      The real question is what terrorist group blew up the well.

      • Tony says:

        Sadly, because the general public has no understanding of the limits to technology in this area, it’s very easy for us to say they should be trying harder.

  3. Tony says:

    So, in response to some offline discussion regarding the lack of specifics in his plan, I finally went and looked at the White House website, and sure enough. They have a pretty detailed explanation of how their response is organized and who is doing what: http://www.whitehouse.gov/deepwater-bp-oil-spill/

    Additionally, to all those claiming they haven’t been hard enough on BP, I’d recommend this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/16/AR2010061602614.html?hpid=topnews.

    So, we’ve got the money, BP is apologetic, they’re giving more money, they’ve already been giving out money, and are on board to make right. Sounds pretty good to me.

    Now let’s just stop this freaking leak.

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