All of this week I have been trying to understand why the majority of the GOP base has taken the position that Obama isn’t doing enough to fix the situation in the Gulf of Mexico, the McChrystal fiasco, and our economy in general. Negative comments are being voiced at every turn with most of them based on lies and innuendos rather than the facts.
Lie and Innuendo number one – McChrystal had every right to get it off his chest regarding his relationship with the President, Vice-President, and others on how the war was going in Afghanistan – wrong! The Uniform code of Military Justice (UCMJ) has something to say about that.
Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
Note: For specific details concerning this offense, including elements of proof, maximum punishments, and detailed explanation, see Punitive Articles of the UCMJ
What is even more frightening is these individuals are using public forums to express their misunderstanding of the facts in support of McChrystal… that the President is an egotistical immature boy for not manning up and taking a little criticism from one of his Generals.
What few of those voicing these skewed thoughts didn’t know is that McChrystal has been reprimanded on two previous occasions for the same offense – disrespecting the Civilian leadership of the United States, his bosses. On the first occasion, the President called him in for a ‘talk’ aboard Air Force One. The second occasion the President raked both Admiral Mullen and Defense Secretary Gates over the coals for McChrystal’s remarks. In other words, the egotistical immature boy President was trying to find the key to working with McChrystal with little success.
McChrystal has a history dating back to his days at West Point for being a person willing to push the envelope of his restraints on occasion after occasion – getting away with it because he Father was a General, and like McCain, these golden boys believe that they can do anything and get away with it. McChrystal will have the rest of his life to contemplate the folly of his ways.
The other issue that has been thrown against the wall on several occasions it this notion that the President is not doing enough to stop the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; that the President is not putting enough pressure on BP, nor is he using the Armed Forces to bring this thing under control.
Here are the facts with regard to what the President can and cannot do:
The Coast Guard has been assigned overall control of the operation of containment and stopping the oil that continues to gush from the ocean floor. Our Armed Forces are not capable of stopping an oil leak that is originating from a mile below the surface of the ocean. The use of military support to contain the flow of oil coming onto Louisiana’s beaches and marshlands was granted by the President early on, but to date those troops have not been used by the governor of Louisiana.
Congress ordered the appearance of all oil executives before it – we all saw what a mess that was. Each of the litigants claimed that the others were responsible for the current state of affairs leaving Congress to draw its own conclusions. It is certain to be a circus when the trials began to award damages and find those guilty of criminal negligence.
Finally, there is the scene where Congressman Barton actually apologizes to BP for having been shaken down by President Obama. Many have forgotten the Exxon Valdez and how Exxon eventually was able to reduce its financial responsibilities to a fraction of the actual damage that the fishing industry and the people of Alaska experienced. Obama’s attempt to insure that it never happens with this oil spill was met with accusations of a shakedown. If BP doesn’t pay for this oil spill, whom do you think will be footing the bill – certainly, you and I don’t have that kind of money, but BP sure does and they are at fault?
As a country, we Americans should find common ground within the realm of patriotism and work to achieve a common good for all Americans. It seems to me that the constant chatter that Obama does not have the wherewithal to do a better job as President than Bush has quite a few holes in it – Obama has managed to turn the corner on job losses from the neighborhood of seven hundred thousand a month to an increase in job production. The economy was spiraling out of control – it no longer is! It shouldn’t take the intelligence of a rocket scientist to see that Obama is doing the best job with what he was given to work with.
In a democracy, silence is not golden; it is condonance in the face of injustices; it is fear, where the thought of reprisal fosters control – Rodney A. Davis