Pun Salad has noticed (for about a year now) that President Obama's use of the word "dime" is a reliable signal of dishonesty, deception, delusion, or general incoherence. Last Thursday's news conference proved to be no exception to the rule. Speaking from prepared remarks about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:
The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort. As far as I’m concerned, BP is responsible for this horrific disaster, and we will hold them fully accountable on behalf of the United States as well as the people and communities victimized by this tragedy. We will demand that they pay every dime they owe for the damage they’ve done and the painful losses that they’ve caused.Emphasis added. And as expected, we don't have far to look for something jarringly out of place. For the very next thing the President uttered was:
And we will continue to take full advantage of the unique technology and expertise they have to help stop this leak.Hm. BP totally screwed up in a massive show of deadly incompetence, and we're relying on them to fix things.
The entire press conference was permeated with that kind of rhetorical schizophrenia. Obama accepts full responsibility, except that everything was really the fault of some Bush holdovers he hadn't got around to ferreting out yet. The Federal government's response was fast, except when it was slow. It was competent, except when it wasn't. We're relying on BP expertise, except when we aren't.
And, hey, didya know that the Secretary of Energy has a Nobel Prize in Physics?
The real Barackrobatic howler (pointed out by Taranto):
My job right now is just to make sure that everybody in the Gulf understands this is what I wake up to in the morning and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about: the spill.I can't improve on Taranto's comment:
Obama's job description is fascinating. He has been depicted as a proponent of "activist government," but this may be a bum rap. Now he tells us he thinks that if he somehow gets people to think about him and how much he's thinking about what he thinks they think he should be thinking about, his job is done.President G. H. W. Bush was roundly mocked for saying "Message: I care" during his 1992 re-election campaign. (Just down the road a bit, in Exeter N. H., as it happens.) It was taken as a gaffetastic acknowledgement that his Administration was more interested in shaping public perceptions than actually doing anything.
But don't expect similar treatment for Obama when he says a similar thing. Albeit less coherently.