Even the house organ of liberalism is stunned at the incompetence:
From the beginning, the effort has been bedeviled by a lack of preparation, organization, urgency and clear lines of authority among federal, state and local officials, as well as BP. As a result, officials and experts say, the damage to the coastline and wildlife has been worse than it might have been if the response had been faster and orchestrated more effectively.
"The present system is not working," Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said Thursday at a hearing in Washington devoted to assessing the spill and the response. Oil had just entered Florida waters, Senator Nelson said, adding that no one was notified at either the state or local level, a failure of communication that echoed Mr. Bonano's story and countless others along the Gulf Coast.
"The information is not flowing," Senator Nelson said. "The decisions are not timely. The resources are not produced. And as a result, you have a big mess, with no command and control."
They were supposed to be better prepared. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska in 1989, skimmers, booms and dispersants were in short supply for the response, which was led by a consortium of oil companies in which BP was the majority stakeholder. A year later, lawmakers passed the federal Oil Pollution Act to ensure that plans were in place for oil spills, so the response effort would be quick, with clear responsibilities for everyone involved
The utter lack of leadership and hands-on management in responding to the Gulf oil crisis is an embarrassment to the President, as well as a hideous disaster for the Gulf and those who live near it. Can Obama's first-ever Oval Office address make the damage to his standing go away? I seriously doubt it. Obama has failed in his duty to protect the homeland through sheer inexperience, incompetence, and indolence. The man who has planty of time for golf, hoops, parties, and fund-raisers is asleep at the switch when it comes to making the system respond effectively to an emergency. There is no papering over the spectacle with rhetoric.