Barack Obama on Presidential Commissions in 2008

“John McCain’s big solution to the crisis we’re facing is — get ready for this — a commission,” Obama told the crowd. “A commission. That’s Washington-speak for we’ll get — we’ll get back to you later.”

Senator Barack Obama, 2008

Fast forward to 2011.

Obama himself yesterday blamed his sagging ratings on the soaring price of gas.  

“My poll numbers go up and down depending on the latest crisis and right now gas prices are weighing heavily on people,” Obama acknowledged at his sixth fundraising event in two days. 

So, not wanting to appear as powerless as he actually is, Obama has decided to do something, even if that something is forming a task force (“a task force? We’re saved!” says nobody):

“We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain,” Obama said at a town-hall style meeting at a renewable energy plant in Reno, Nev. ….

The task force will focus some of its investigation on “the role of traders and speculators” in the oil-price surge, Obama said, and will include several Cabinet department officials, federal regulators and the National Association of Attorneys General.

It would be one thing if the President even bothered to attend his commissions’ meetings or listened to their findings. But this non-reaction to a serious problem facing all Americans is very nearly insulting. It is exactly what he claimed commissions were in 2008.  And this technique for kicking the can down the road (and hoping problems sort themselves out before too long) is becoming a habit for him.

Basically what this move implies is “we don’t have any ideas, we won’t take any responsibility for it happening in the first place, and you’d better think twice about driving anywhere this summer.” At least he has the media to cover for him. It seems so long ago that gas prices reached $4 under Bush (2008) and high gas prices were entirely the fault of the President. I don’t remember “speculators” being mentioned then, but I guess I have a short memory.  Apparently President Obama does too.

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