Free Markets, Free People

Our Whiner-in-Chief

This is just shameless.

In an interview with Roger Simon of Politico, our Presidential blame-shifter creates a hypothetical situation in an attempt to divert attention from his poor performance to unnamed Congressional persons:

“I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending.”

What they may or may not of have “said” is irrelevant to the fact that 6 months ago, had he gone up to Congress and said a crack down was needed, he’d have enjoyed substantial majorities in both the House and Senate allowing him to do exactly that. In fact he didn’t go to Congress, he didn’t say there needed to be a crack down and he didn’t initiate any new legislation to do so.

His 16 months in office apparently weren’t enough to oversee any necessary changes in Minerals Management Service to better regulate drilling and it was under his administration that the Deepwater Horizon platform was awarded a government award for safety in 2009 for “outstanding drilling operations” and a “perfect performance period.”

In other words, any failure on the part of government rests squarely in his lap.

“Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much,” Obama said. “Some of the same people who are saying the president needs to show leadership and solve this problem are some of the same folks who, just a few months ago, were saying this guy is trying to engineer a takeover of our society through the federal government that is going to restrict our freedoms.”

Here he resorts to a classic logical fallacy: the strawman argument. Those arguing that he’s trying to “engineer a takeover of our society” weren’t arguing about executing the basic functions of government. They were talking about takeovers of banks, financial institutions, car companies, health care and other areas not associated with those basic function. Disaster relief and mitigation – that’s considered a basic function and no one is hollering that shouldn’t happen as it always has. Taking over GM? That relates to what those people were “hollering” about. That is an unprecedented takeover. That is an indication of the point those people are making. Containing an oil spill in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico? That’s Obama’s job.

So the implication here is he’s either not doing his job because those same people will holler, or those people hollering are hypocrites (and he hopes that distracts you from the fact that he’s not doing his job (the strawman fallacy comes under the broad category of “fallacies of distraction”)).

Here’s a hint for our erstwhile President: ducking responsibility and blame-shifting are not among the principles of leadership.

Clarence Darrow once said, “when I was a boy I was told that anyone could become President; I’m beginning to believe it.”

Unfortunately, so am I.

[Another good takedown here.]



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34 Responses to Our Whiner-in-Chief

  • There should be a strong bipartisan effort to get Obama to resign.

    Biden is a fool, but there’s some residual instinct left in him for protecting America.

    This president is over, dangerously over.

    The November election will mitigate the Pelosi-Reid axis in Congress, but mass public opprobrium will be required to drive the fifth columnist out of the White House.

    I honestly don’t see how this can be waited out till January 2013. He does more damage in a week than a merely incompetent president might do in a year.

    • Back before he was Immactulated, I initiated what I called “OPERATION OVER-REACH”.  Nobody who listened to THE ONE could fail to know that he would, with a little time, over-reach.  I had no concept of just how much and how quickly that would happen.
      I agree with your impulse, but Michelle Obama will NEVER allow that to happen.  There would be blood in the streets.

      • I’ll take blood in the streets. It’s not that high a price when you consider that this guy is in charge of the U.S. national security apparatus.

        This presidency has to end; the only way that can happen is resignation; the only way that resignation can happen is mass opprobrium, led by the ignorant slobs in the media who trumpeted the hype and the naive voters who elected him.

        Michelle would get on board if she sees the options this way: Go easy and you still might get the payoff from your fame; make it hard and you risk eternal shunning.

        • I’m afraid we will have blood in the streets…we would have had in Times Square, but for poor bomb design.  As I’ve pointed out, we have had several totally successful bomb attempts…coupled with ordinance failures.
          Again, I totally agree with your position, but the human nature at work all cuts against it, to my mind.  That does not mean we should not work in that direction. Just that the overarching narcissism of THE ONE, coupled with what I think is the unexplored meanness and hatred of Michelle, would have to be overcome by a push in the media…the MSM almost by necessity…that would require them to essentially admit they were totally pawned.  Ain’t likely…
          At this juncture, my greatest fear is that someone will make Obama a martyr.  That would be catastrophic.

          • Even the Left (that one-third portion of it still interested in America) at this point has to be peripherally aware that this cannot go on. Resignation solves only the problem that Obama is engaged in active measures. He can’t be allowed to throw another monkey wrench into the gear box of the economy every time it threatens to recover. He has to go. Even the Democrats (except for the lunatics running Congress) have to know that. The national security issues are even more damning, if that’s conceivable.

  • As I point out in my piece, for 53 days there has been dithering about “who’s in charge?“.
    Obama’s crazy EPA chief is…BY LAW…in charge, but she’s too busy usurping power.
    And THANKS, McQ for the linx love.

  • “… would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending.”

    Funny, but they said the same thing about 9/11.   Remember “The Road to 9/11“.

    • You might be linking the wrong version of The Road to 9/11. That one leads to a BBC production and the synopsis suggests that it blames it all on the West, although that’s not entirely clear. Were you looking for the one that was shown on ABC in the U.S.?

  • That stupid, dumb, uncurious G W Bush! my he sure was an embarrassment wasn’t he?
    Of course dumb old George wasn’t stupid enough to believe that you can get security through appeasement and abasement. That we are all going to die from global hoaxing. That progress comes from punishing the doers and rewarding the do nothings, and that we can tax, spend, and borrow our way to prosperity.

  • “I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending.”

    >>>> Six months ago, you’d have had a SUPERMAJORITY Pres. dipsh*t.

    • It is interesting that Obama shows he was concerned that he might get some criticism if he tried to crackdown on oil companies, but he has had no problem weathering the criticism on health care, GM, CO2 taxes, and cap and trade.  So, we are left to wonder what his decision process is when to avoid criticism and when to forge ahead even if the voters hate the program.  I sure would like to see that decision tree.

      • To the extent that he’s worried about BP, and not oil companies per se, the answer may be that he’d be facing a legal process he cannot control.  International law would not be a walk-over.  With Eric Holder in his pocket, I think it is apparent that Obama has no remarkably little concern about U.S. law

  • What a worthless , whiny, thin-skinned lightweight excuse for a man this fool is.


    • He is, in virtually every respect, the man he was raised to be.  Which, when you consider his innate gifts and what he might have made HIMSELF in spite of his awful childhood, an absolute tragedy.  But in his position, it is also a national calamity.

    • The only lesson learned from Katrina is that virtually nothing was learned.

      In the past week or so, the President has made noises about those who would want smaller government …
      Well take a look Mr. President, your bigger government can’t seem to do “dick” .. would a smaller government do any worse ?

  • So I’m curious, when’s the almighty free market gonna step in and fix this thing?

    • I’m curious – what has the free market to do with mitigaition and containment? Is that the only thing that can do that job? Or is that one of the things we charter the federal government to do?

    • As was the case with Katrina relief, the free market was prepared with…and is working now on…a broad range of responses that nobody in government would dream of…or know what the hell to do with.  See the miles of containment boom sitting in the NE.  The CG head duck said he’d never heard of it, but the story is out his office had a letter some time ago from the maker.  We will see MANY such stories percolate with time.
      The market is stymied…as usual…by the overburden of bureaucracy and counter-productive red-tape.  This is one thing that THE ONE could have lifted, showing leadership in this area of his unique purview.  Of course, we know what history will show…

    • There’s a false equating of Corporations with Governments or Government Agencies.  That’s one problem I have with the snotty ‘where’s the free market solution’.
      The other is part of the Government Inaction we’re complaining about is the Government has taken over, by law, the responsibility for managing various activities but is not green lighting private organizations and solutions.  I guess the top kill lingered for 1 week for White House approval.  Which means the partial collection happening now happened one week later.

    • Perhaps Devin will learn not to troll around here with some dumb little comment he read somewhere, but did not understand.    The free market is not free here because the government has assumed control.  I wonder how much Devin would be willing to bet that the free market would already have containment booms and sand berms built and operating if it were solely up to that free market.
      Now, little child, run along and try to understand your comment next time.

    • Like this?
      You see, for the free market to work, there has to be a market.
      That said, I’m only a little-libertarian and don’t have a problem with a government response to this; it is in federal waters after all. Of course the government is so busy doing stuff with its 20-some agencies that have some involvement here that it can’t actually get anything done. But by all means, bigger government is surely the solution to the problem of a government too big and klunky to get anything done.

    • So I’m curious, when’s the almighty free market gonna step in and fix this thing?

      Problem not before Obama removes his “boot from it’s neck” and finishes kicking it’s ass.

      Seriously dude, where do you see a free market in oil?

  • Obama is going to sigh in relief when the Dems lose the House. Finally, he can vote present and blame the GOP.
    He better be careful not to do that too well, or in 2012 he could be back in the hot seat.

  • For the President of the United States to publicly speak in this manner is embarrassing.  “[T]here are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending.” [emphasis mine – dj505]

    This is junior high school stuff.  “Well, I won’t name any names, but a certain girl was behind the gym with Bobby Smith yesterday, and… well, I won’t say what they were doing, but I don’t think his girlfriend would like it.”

    McQ and other commenters have noted the gaping holes in his already juvenile argument.  Are we really to believe that the man who rammed through health care over the objections of ALL the Republicans in the Congress, a handful of democrats, and around 60% of the public would balk at something as simple as imposing more regulations on oil companies???

    I suggest an alternate explanation: he got a f*ckload of money from BP and he paid it back by NOT imposing more regulations.  Unfortunately, he got caught.  Now, he’s whining (no other word for it) that mean ol’ people (HE won’t name names, but their initials are G-O-P) just would have complained too much, so he didn’t even see the point in trying.

    You know, this is the second time in a week or so that he’s complained that something was too pointless to try.  Calling Tony Hayward?  Ah, no point in that ‘cuz he’ll just lie.  More regulations of the oil industry?  Ah, no point in that ‘cuz the GOP will just complain.

    What a f*cking loser this clown is.

    Incidentally, has it been proved that we have a failure of regulatory oversight here?  Or is that just the dems’ favorite strawman these days when anything bad happens: “We didn’t have enough regulation because of BUSH (snarl!)!!!”

    • One of the obvious problems with the collectivist “rule by smart men/women” model is that NOBODY…regardless of their motivation, intelligence, expertise, etc….could CONCEIVABLY understand all they HAVE to understand to run a complex bureaucracy well…MUCH less a national economy.
      The hubris and conceit of DREAMING you can do that is bred into the bone of lots of “certified smart people” (I watched the process in law school).
      Obama is the perfect storm…a very gifted child twisted and warped by his up-bringing to have what I called huge-bris, since it completely transcends normal hubris.
      My experience with regulatory agencies is that they do not work to do what they say they are doing.  They will grind to pieces a small, pretty defenseless outfit that is doing little wrong, while bigger, well-heeled players cruise by with much larger infractions.  (This is one reason why regulation always limits market competition, and why incumbent businesses often SEEK regulation as a means to foster monopoly or quasi-monopoly).  There are good organizational behavior reasons for the systemic failure of regulators to regulate effectively, and the bigger and more complex the regulatory code, the more likely the systemic failure.
      But you couple that with the perverse incentives that we are sending to the oil industry; you HAVE to drill out at the edge of technical competence, because we won’t let you drill up what could be much more safely exploited.  Spend fortunes on PR and lobbying to placate the green idiots who hate humanity and rationalism, despite the fact that your industry is one of the greatest benefactors in man’s history.
      I don’t think Obama was specifically bought by BP.  They didn’t have to.  Obama has a very clear agenda, and it does not include running government’s vast bureaucracy well.  It is about VASTLY EXPANDING power, centralized in D.C., and transforming America.  I doubt very much that he’s aware of his mandate…in any number of areas.  Those are details that simply are not interesting to him.

  • About a dozen environmental groups took out a full page ad in the Washington Post Tuesday — not to fault Obama over the ecological catastrophe but to thank him for putting on hold an Alaska drilling project. “We deeply appreciate your decision. …” the ad says to Obama.
    President Obama is the best environmental president we’ve had since Teddy Roosevelt,” Sierra Club chairman Carl Pope told the Bangor Daily News last week.  “He obviously did not take the crisis in the Minerals Management Service adequately seriously, that’s clear. But his agencies have done a phenomenally good job.”

  • There is the small matter of the U.S. Constitution – Article 1 Section 9

    No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
    Congress can’t do too much to change current law that will affect BP regarding the Gulf.
    Thanks to Obama’s jawboning, virtually anything that even vaguely looks punitive will scream “Bill of Attainder”.

    • Neo, the trouble there is that the ex post facto provision has been held to only apply to criminal law.  Never seemed right to me, but there it is…  I’ve studied civil case law where a court imposed a duty that was novel, after the events took place and before anybody knew they had a duty.  No problem with that, except for the poor defendant who was found liable for a duty that they didn’t have until  the lawsuit was appealed.  I hated that, but there is lots of precedent.

  • I doubt our system of electing officials can produce anyone who would be more competent than what we have on our hands right now.  There are certainly plenty of well qualified people,   but the system seems to either discourage them from entering the race in the first place,   or weeds them out based on some silly irrelevant criteria.    It’s all about who has the slickest PR  team.
    I just finished digesting that RS article about the Administration’s early responses,  their failure to clean up the MMS,  and a slew of other disturbing items.  I am pretty appalled by the Obama administration right now.   This spill is the the wooden stake through the heart of this administration, they’re done.   I’d like to think we’ll get someone who’s sincere coming in next,   but I can’t shake the feeling that the charlatans pulling the strings behind the Republican curtains will just provide us with more of the same.

    • Yeah, that RS article was a beaut…(I kept checking to see if it was for real…..)  If it goes main stream it’s going to take a lot of whatever brings vampires back to remove that wooden stake you’re talking about.
      The problem here is, this won’t be the last problem, there’s a slew of them, some of them really were inherited and some are new.  Issue I have is this administration has a tendency, when walking on eggs, not just to hop, but to jump up and down for all it’s worth.   They are a testament to what happens when you violate the first law of holes.  STOP DIGGING.
      What really concerns me about this guy amigo, is there are just a slew of nasty shooting wars that are about to break out because it’s becoming obvious the sheriff is busy sitting in his office congratulating himself on what a great job he’s doing and getting ready to take Miss Michelle out on a buckboard ride and picnic in celebration, again…. and those, because I think we’re going to get a couple simultaneously, are going to make the oil spill pale by comparison.