The Usurper in Chief will be giving a speech tonight addressing energy policy, preempting your favorite summer re-runs. From Republican Mark McKinnion:
Presidents should use the Oval Office selectively. It has the weight and bearing of the Pope giving a special Mass at the Vatican. It’s not the place to announce volunteerism awards. It’s not a place for updates. It’s a place to announce serious plans.
And that apparently is what Obama is planning: demanding from BP an escrow account to make quick, fair payments to those affected by the spill, and from Congress energy legislation with a much broader scope than had been contemplated before the spill.
I will make one of the safest.bets.ever. Every pundit, and particularly conservatives, will call it Obama’s Malaise speech, most likely before they even get the advance transcripts.
Just in case you were wondering about the origins of the phrase, I wrote a little something about why the public LIKED what Jimmy Carter had to say in his ‘malaise’ speech, that is until the political operatives, pundits, and press got hold of it:
You may recall that Jimmy Carter’s ‘Malaise Speech’ was extremely well received by Americans:
Contrary to later spin, the speech was extremely popular. The White House was flooded with positive calls. Viewers polled while watching found that the speech inspired them as it unfolded.
To this day, I don’t entirely know why the speech came to be derided for a word that was in the air, but never once appeared in the text. Still, the “malaise label stuck: maybe because President Carter’s cabinet shake-up a few days later wasted the political energy that had been focused on our energy problems; maybe because the administration’s opponents attached it to the speech relentlessly; maybe because it was just too hard to compete with Ronald Reagan and his banner of limitless American consumption.
The press still hammered Carter, who incidentally never used ‘malaise’ in the speech “ the phrase having originated from the Reagan campaign. The mention of “malaise in the press over time seems inversely correlated to Jimmy Carter’s approval ratings. The ability of the Sunday morning blowhards and pundits to cause people to act against their own self interest never ceases to amaze me.
Moving away from a petroleum-based economy solves so many problems that one would think it to be a no-brainer. It reduces our risk and exposure to uncertainties in the Middle East, is better for the environment, and would cascading effects for health, the economy, employment, and technology. Of course, success under a Democratic President is unacceptable for Republicans; also, they “ and many Democrats “ are absolutely dependent on the Military-Industrial Complex, the Insurance and Banking industries, and Big Oil. So, naturally, they will advocate an unsustainable status quo.