It’s Not a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Enough World!

From Alex Pareene at  Salon:

Grown-up professional political pundits and journalists have decided that President Obama’s response to the oil spill has been a complete and utter failure because he has not acted mad enough. Some of them are also mad that he has not magically stopped the leak. A couple of them have specifically wished for him to act more like America’s Dad.

Original movie poster

Of course, I wouldn’t leave you without a key so you know who’s who, kids:

1.  David Gergen

2.  James Ragin’ Cajun Carville

3. Thomas Friedman

4.  Maureen The Plagiarist Dowd

5.  Peggy Noonan

6.  David Broder

7.  Chris Tweety Matthews

8.  Joe Squinty Scarborough

The pundits and journos who have demanded that the president find some way to act angrier — that he simply do something, even if that  something is entirely ineffective and pointless and merely for the sake of appearances — include:


Here is a reasonable, moderate portion of a reasonable, moderate David Brooks column:

In times of crisis, you get a public reaction that is incoherence on stilts. On the one hand, most people know that the government is not in the oil business. They don’t want it in the oil business. They know there is nothing a man in Washington can do to plug a hole a mile down in the gulf.

On the other hand, they demand that the president “take control.”


They want to hold him responsible for things they know he doesn’t control. Their reaction is a mixture of disgust, anger, longing and need.

Did you notice the odd thing about that excerpt? The joke is that when David Brooks talks, without any supporting evidence, about what the “public” and “the country” wants, he is actually referring only to the response of the professional media elite.


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19 responses to “It’s Not a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Enough World!

  1. I would love for the President to take control of the situation.

    You know, if he knew anything about underwater oil drilling. Or mine engineering. Or cleaning up oil slicks.

    Or even marine biology.

    As it is, whether we like it or not, the experts on this kind of thing (such as they are) are in oil companies. Having a hissy fit isn’t going to help, and having the government take over will slow things down as the people who might be able to do something have to go through even more layers of bureaucracy.

    At this point, I think that Pres. Obama is doing the best that can be done.

    The real test will be what he does in response to this. If a year from now, we haven’t revamped mine contingency regs, required relief measures, begun to find experts in this kind of thing, and taken some real steps toward preventing it in the future, I’ll join in with the critics.

    This is one of the perils of trying to fill a 24-hour news cycle. There’s so little to say and so much time to say it, so it has to get kooky.

    • it’s so ridiculous. what do they expect obama to do, and how would his getting angry help anything? i agree with you that what counts is what he does because of the disaster. will he rein in the oil companies? will he make sure that worker safety rules are followed and that those who don’t adhere to them are dealt with severely? will he start building high-efficiency high speed rail that lessen the necessity for cars (as well as add tons of jobs)?

      what really gets me is that they’re twisting their hankies over obama not getting angry. were they twisting their hankies over chimpy and cheney getting angry and making rash decisions that are still screwing us over today?

      • kaylaspop

        You know, here in New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson got us a train built, it’s always packed, good luck finding a seat with your travel companion & all the rethugs can say is “WHAT A WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY”. They will also write a nasty letter to the editor via WI-FI from said train.

        • i read today that I-95 in florida is the deadliest road in america. it’s always congested, and while there are plenty of morons on days when the weather is clear, when we have one of our hellacious rainstorms, you’re taking your life in your hands. there is a train that goes from miami to palm beach, but the stations are not centrally located, so you’d waste just as much time and gas getting to the stations as you would just driving to your destination.

  2. I bet these guys would prefer Doctor McCoy over Mr. Spock, as McCoy would get all emotional over an issue. Never mind that Doctor McCoy was most famous for saying “He’s dead, Jim” while Mr. Spock would actually solve the problem.

    • that’s so funny, because i was thinking the other day that we need someone like scotty to fix the oil disaster. scotty would shove all the bp guys against the wall and tell them to either fix it or get out of the way.

    • Note that Kirk never went down to the engine room to repair the antimatter inducer, magnetic containment field, or anything else.

      He left Scotty in charge because Scotty knew how to fix the stuff that was broken.

      I like the Spock/McCoy analogy. McCoy might make the show more interesting, but Spock gets the job done far more often.

      I have a strong desire to watch “The Tholian Web” right now … which really highlights the differences between the two … and Spock was right.

  3. “On the one hand, most people know that the government is not in the oil business. They don’t want it in the oil business.”

    Lies. The oil companies and our politicians are in bed together. Everyone knows this… er, everyone with half a thought in their head.

    I find it ironic that when “heck of a job Brownie” screwed up in New Orleans the republicans vehemently opposed holding anyone responsible. Now an oil company (who probably gave lots and lots of money to politicians, maybe even some democrats) screws up, suddenly it’s all the President’s fault. And to top it all off, they’re still screaming that we should be drilling more here. God, the twisted logic is enough to make one’s head implode.


    • hiya mad! quite appropriate that you would comment on this particular post with this particular title! 😀 i agree 100% with everything you said.

  4. Here is who IS mad:

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    • how much is msnbc paying you, fran? 😉

      • OK I have it posted @ my blog. Mississippi Guvnah Haley Barbour really IS mad.
        He’s saying come on down to Mississippi & enjoy the beaches. He even goes on to to say the sludge is like chocolate mousse & we all know chocolate mousse is NOT toxic.
        You gotta see this glimpse of insanity & drivel all rolled into one.

        Hey you could have great fun doing a photoshop of this madman…..
        big oil $$$ stuffed into his pockets, a swirly glaze in his eyes, drinking from a pitcher of the Drill Baby Drill Kool aid.
        Eating some non toxic chocolate mousse.

        This is from the Rachel Maddow show.
        No kickback from MSNBC from me.

        But I’m thinking Mississippi tourist associations might hand out beach kits….
        complete with rose colored glasses,
        Spoons for the mousse & a clothespin to hold your nose closed so as to not smell the oily sludge.

        As for Obama- they publicly announced the criminal investigation, hit up BP for $69 million in initial expenses. They are just getting started.

        In the end BP is going to be mad…. mad in debt! Still, even of they threw every corporate penny they have at this issue, it can’t fix the problem.

  5. Sometimes a pressing problem can be dealt with in a calm, thought out approach yielding a positive result without all the shouting. Look at FDR going before Congress on December 8 in his request for a declaration of war against the Japanese Empire. Now look across to the european realm several days later when the mad Austrian in one of his manical fits declares war on the US. Two important points: he was under no treaty obligation to do so and the Repubs in US congress would not have given Franklin that same authorization without a fight because of the pro-nazi factions in this country. But bad Adolf was good at shouting, some say the best!

    • calm and thoughtful doesn’t make for exciting tv. the news networks think they need reality shows (which we know have almost nothing to do with reality) instead of information.

  6. havent you figured out that matthews, friedman, fox etc are mad because obama isnt PERFECT. – bush, well his imperfections were kinda cute. obama – his imperfections mean disaster

    also add chuck todd to this mess of pundits begging him to get mad

    • calm and deliberative doesn’t make for good tv. they’re trying to compete with faux, where everything is drama. they’ve forgotten that they’re supposed to be journalists, not entertainers.