President Obama, preparing for a rare address to the nation from the Oval Office, told Politico that the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has "echoes of 9/11." Obama argues that "this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come" in the same way that the terrorist attacks "profoundly" shaped "our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy." Is Obama exaggerating the impact of the spill? (Watch The Week's Sunday Talk Show Briefing on Obama's leadership during the BP crisis)
The analogy is getting more apt by the day: This "national and environmental emergency of unprecedented proportions" isn't "a true environmental 9/11" — yet, says Joe Gandelman in The Moderate Voice. But it's getting frighteningly close to that point, which raises the question: Why is Obama taking to his "bully pulpit" only now to put his stamp on this crisis?
Obama to address the nation Tuesday night... Too late?"
Obama's insulting 9/11: How is a "piddling oil spill in the Gulf" anything like "the largest, deadliest, most disruptive terrorist attack in United States history"? asks Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades. Yes, the spill is a "big deal," but "isn't even in the same hemisphere as 9/11," and Obama's only "repulsive" purpose in conflating the two is to inflate the spill's significance so his handling of it looks less shoddy.
"President out-of-touch opines: Gulf spill 'echoes 9/11'"
Right-wingers don't own 9/11: Doesn't Obama know better than to "desecrate" 9/11 by comparing it to anything else, asks Steve M. in No More Mister Nice Blog. Doesn't he know how fiercely conservatives protect their "right-wing Christmas"? The brutal attack on "a city they otherwise despise" still "fills them with the unsurpassable bliss of self-righteousness." No oil spill can ever be so "sacred."
"Obama desecrates right-wing Christmas"
Actions speak louder than analogies: Obama wasn't the first to make the 9/11-BP comparison, says Bill Becker in Solve Climate. But it's good he sees it, and hopefully he'll be able to use this disaster to "rally us around something we must do" — rapidly "transition to all those domestic energy resources that don’t have to be blasted, drilled, dug up, and burned." Our life, and economy, depends on that.
"Will Obama become the first environmental president of the 21st century?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- 9 Harvard dropouts who became fabulously successful
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- How China sparked an Asian frenzy for killer submarines
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- 5 deliciously creative oats recipes
Subscribe to the Week