Polls show that a majority of the public disapprove of Obama’s handling of the BP oil spill. This shouldn’t be terribly surprising, since the feds have essentially done nothing and the spill continues; indeed, some scientists are speculating that this is an extinction-level event.

It’s not clear that Obama or the federal government can do much about this, but we’ll see. My concern is how this reaction has been seized upon by the Right to show that the president has made some sort of disastrous error, on par with the Iraq invasion.

I have no particular investment in Obama, but this is not the case.

Now, suppose Obama declared: “Citizens of America, I strongly believe that the terrorists are hiding 5,000 feet below the surface in the Gulf of Mexico, dressed as dolphins. We have clear evidence, which Robert Gates has presented to the United Nations, showing that dolphin costumes and oxygen tanks are amassed off the coast. In order to deal with this problem, we must ask British Petroleum to blow a hole in its piping to release oil, thus blinding our attackers. True, oil will be spilling into the ocean, but the end result of our actions will be to bring democracy to the region.”

In that case the situations would be parallel. Such is not the case.


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