Frank Rich has written a compelling Op-Ed piece (6.4.10) in The New York Times Don’t Get Mad, Mr. President. Get Even asking if or when the British Petroleum gulf oil spill will finally trigger Mr. Obama’s anger to reach a boiling point. I think for many Americans, especially those living from Texas to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and to Florida, that tipping point passed some days ago.
Doesn’t it bother any one but me that he seems so measured? So level headed… so unflappable even as pelicans and other shore birds die; just as beaches, industries and communities all slathered in oil may not recover for a generation? Doesn’t this disaster rise to the level where some one in government, some one in charge, can appear to be righteously pissed off over the event, the handling, the aftermath and the guile of the company and executives in charge?
And then comes the story from The Washington Post Gitmo Becomes $500 million Camp Costly that the government’s investment in facilities at the prison camp includes features that might be considered by some, especially those suffering from the downturn in the current economy, to be lavish by any standard. Fast-food franchises, an Irish bar, astro turf and playgrounds (mostly unused) litter the base even as its mission is on the decline and the urgency of these constructions seems to be mitigated?
A story in the Seattle Times over the weekend reported fees for the Washington Mutual bank failure have topped $100m and are still climbing. Of course these are fees that to be paid from whatever is salvaged from the assets even as that means an even smaller fiscal pie is left to pay back to investors. What was most alarming was the line that attorneys are charging $925. and hour for their services. That’s a higher rate than most criminal attorney’s charge on capital cases! Doesn’t any one wonder whether this seems exorbitant? Is there a better way, a more affordable way? Should there be?
The lessons learned from the bank failures and the catastrophic consequences of the financial meltdown are still yet to be calculated. But for those responsible, isn’t tar and feathering an option worth reconsideration? Shouldn’t many Americans who are living on savings, borrowed money, who have lost jobs and in many cases are losing hope, what little remains, aren’t they justifiably angry? What’s wrong with showing anger? What’s wrong with being authentically mad? Why is showing anger something that seems to be out of place?
I cannot help but recall the lead character from the movie “Network” who asked his viewers to go to their windows and scream, “I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more.”
On the eve of election night here in California, as well as other states, I do wonder when the electorate will find its way of expressing its simmering anger… not just in a ‘toss the bastards out” kind of knee-jerk response, but when will we demand and get better?