Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First, get rid of the pundits!

I am sick of pundits. I am especially sick of the ones who have been blathering on almost since the awful oil spill began about how the president isn't showing enough emotion about it. He needs to get angry, shake his fist, spit fire, punch somebody. This is what the pundits live for - something that makes good theater. Something that helps them fill their three minutes on live television.
If I were the president, I'd definitely be angry about a lot of things, but perhaps the thing I'd be angriest about is the damned pundits who don't seem to have a clue about the real world. Theirs is the virtual world of the 24-hour news cycle and the "conventional wisdom" of the "inside the beltway" clan. The rest of us, including the president, live in quite another world.
I'm not interested in a president getting angry and putting on a show for the 24-hour news guys. I'm interested in a president who is competent, intelligent, and thoughtful about the actions he takes. As far as the oil spill is concerned, I don't expect him to put on his Superman suit and personally plug the hole. I just want him to do everything that he can to get it stopped and to clean it up, and, most importantly, make sure that it doesn't happen again. I'm satisfied that he is making every effort to do that. I wish it could be accomplished quicker, but the truth is he is not Superman and he is bound by the laws of physics, just like the rest of us.
There is one thing, I think, that the government needs to seriously look at, and I'm not sure if they have. That is the expertise that exists in the rest of the world. For example, Holland. There was a column in our paper today about how the Dutch had offered their help right after the spill, but the government is apparently hampered in accepting outside help because of some of our laws. Those laws seem to be based in the assumption that America always knows best and doesn't need help from anybody. Perhaps those laws need to be changed for if there is anybody in the world who knows about dikes and protecting their coastline it is the Dutch. Maybe they have some wisdom to offer in the discussion as we go forward, and maybe we should be wise enough to listen to them.
Meantime, the level of the discussion about what to do about the oil spill or any other topic you could name that affects America today could be raised to a whole new level if we, first, get rid of the pundits.

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