Obama’s Oval Office Speech Must Contain

Newsweek counts down to the somber presentation with 5 things to look for from the president.

To highlight from number 4 on their list:

The problem is, it’s impossible to find a solution until you admit you have a problem. And just like an alcoholic seeking help after an accident, if Obama can’t use the Gulf spill to lead the nation in a collective “We’re Mad As Hell And Not Going To Take It Anymore!” then he may never be able.

Beyond the condemnation of BP – their tactless ads and incompetent CEO – the nation needs a cold shower, followed by a slap to the face and the paternalistic scolding that a wizened old Grey Wizard once gave to a rambunctious hobbit.

Or, in more serious words, this is Obama’s JFK “going to the moon” moment.  No opportunity presents itself more as the perfect bait-and-switch for America’s most stubborn elements.  The very same movers and shakers and no-book-readers who put us in this quagmire. Now is Obama’s moment to get them on his side as he attacks BP, promises real solutions for remuneration in the Gulf and plays presidential.

It’s time we got off this drug, kicked the habit.  Those veins are getting harder to find.  Obama should call for a national plan, full of promises and demanding sacrifices from the American public to get us off of oil in the next 20 years.  That means we may need some nuclear power but it also means wind, solar, tidal, coal, etc.  Perhaps Obama should create a new agency of super-scientists to research alternative forms of renewable energy.  Free them from the shackles of the Corn Lobby who gave us corn gasoline.

So NASA has been downsized, lets throw that budget behind a governmental body designed to give us the best new technology for a domestic purpose: saving our planet from collective environmental destruction.  How hard would it be to sell the American public on creating a body that’s goal is to develop energy technology, something the rest of the world would pay handsomely for.  It makes no sense for us to have to buy that technology – because it will exist one day – from the Chinese, Indians, or Europeans.

It may be impossible.  But at least put something out there, reduce our oil input by a significant fraction.  Just do something with this moment instead of squander it appeasing no-book-reader Gulf residents and domestic oil interests.

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