Narrative watch: Obama isn’t angry enough at BP

Whatever you do, do not accidentally type "DP spill" into Google image search. I cannot emphasize that enough.

As the Gulf of Mexico slowly fills with crude oil and burned-off dolphin faces, forcing executives of British Petroleum to move their extra houses to the Pacific coast, an increasing number of Americans are putting the blame squarely where it belongs: on President Obama’s emotional experience. At least that’s what the news tells me. While attempts to cast the Deepwater Horizon spill as Obama’s Katrina foundered on the rocks of that makes no goddamn sense at all, the narrative that the President has displayed insufficient anger at the disaster has found a lot more traction. “Since The BP Oil Spill Began, President Obama Has Been Trying to Convey Presidential Action and Concern; But Is He Showing Enough Emotion?” CBS News asks.* Aside from the baffling meta-semantic demand that the President “convey Presidential action,” CBS pretty much captures the signature elements of the narrative. First, the President can’t really do anything. Second, if he doesn’t act more pissed off, people are going to think he doesn’t care. It’s an argument that presumes that Obama’s response to the disaster is reasonable, and also that people are too stupid to recognize it as such.

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