He’s No Taibbi, But…

Tim Dickinson has a big article up on Obama’s failings re: the big oil spill. I’m posting this before reading it, so I’m hoping the vagueness here is because he’s introducing material he’ll go back later in detail but I did spot one thing that set off my bs alarm:

On May 27th, more than a month into the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, Barack Obama strode to the podium in the East Room of the White House. For weeks, the administration had been insisting that BP alone was to blame for the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf – and the ongoing failure to stop the massive leak. “They have the technical expertise to plug the hole,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs had said only six days earlier. “It is their responsibility.” The president, Gibbs added, lacked the authority to play anything more than a supervisory role – a curious line of argument from an administration that has reserved the right to assassinate American citizens abroad and has nationalized much of the auto industry. “If BP is not accomplishing the task, can you just federalize it?” a reporter asked. “No,” Gibbs replied.

via The Spill, The Scandal and the President | Rolling Stone Politics.

Ok, that certainly makes for snappy copy but it tells me absolutely nothing about whether Obama actually has said authority. If he does, it doesn’t depend on his stances on auto bailouts or (ugh) assassination of US Citizens. (And it was Congress that bailed out the automakers anyway, wasn’t it?) That sentence jumped out at me as Dickinson potentially throwing red meat to both sides at once– “who the fuck does this guy think he is (nationalizing the auto industry / continuing Bush policies) and then saying he can’t…” etc etc.

By the time I get through with the article I’ll probably have forgotten to update this post, but hopefully he has more to offer us than this. …and if I seem premature in my criticism here, it probably has something to do with a general feeling of underwhelmedness(?) at the Dickinson pieces I’ve read up to this point, ie. this one that passes along the not-so-shocking revelation that Karl Rove is gathering cash so he can exploit the Citizens United ruling. Ok, so that thing that everyone knew would happen the second the ruling came down is happening with Karl Rove’s name on it. Big whup.

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