Politics Today: Incompetence, Liars, Sexism, and Racists

Jun 05, 2010 | Updated May 25, 2011

People are furious at politicians and the federal government. It's easy to see why. In a new CBS poll, Pres. Obama takes a hit:

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said the Obama administration should be doing more in response to the spill, while 28 percent believe the government is doing all it can. BP scored slightly worse - 70 percent feel the company should be doing more while 24 percent believe it's doing everything possible to contain the crisis. - CBS

One Grand Isle, LA resident illustrates why, weighing in via an email I was forwarded from a trusted source, so that I know it's legitimate:

As a result of the oil spill the town of grand isle is apprehensive to say the least. The mood of both residents and non- resident camp owners is sadness, fear, anger, distraught, helplessness, and the unknown factor. BP and our federal gov't's response has been casual and with a lack of urgency.local officials are frustrated with federal bureaucracy red tape in getting answers and assistance. many questions remain unanswered. how long will their lives be in turmoil?

The entire island community revolves around the seafood and tourist industry. Consequently the grand isle municipal tax base is eroding and property values are plummeting. the town is in a financial crisis. will the people affected be made whole by BP? what is BP'S definition of "making whole". will they reimburse victims for their losses this year or perhaps 5 to 10 years for residual damage? This is the unknown factor. how do you place a price tag on our children and grandchildren being deprived from enjoying fishing and crabbing. the answer is no amount of money is adequate.

On a personal note i feel a sense of sadness for all the people who can not experience the joy of fishing and crabbing on Louisiana's only coastal beach. many camp owners, myself included, have lost rental income due to cancellations as a result of the oil spill. ...

Pres. Barack Obama says he's "furious" about the BP oil spill. Watching him say it should come with a laugh track. It may be so, but there's no evidence of it. Does that matter? It's ultimately up to you. For me what matters is the sheer political incompetence, but more importantly that there obviously aren't enough bodies on the ground to do the job in the Gulf. The President could change that, but hasn't yet.

Next we've got Rep. Mark Kirk who has lied repeatedly about his military service. Now he's apologized.

Mr. Blumenthal lied about his military service. He also apologized.

State Rep. Nikki Haley has really been going through it. Her politics are not mine, but this is yet another example why women think twice before jumping into the political arena. Infidelity charges against Mrs. Haley have rocked the race in South Carolina. Now she's been smeared by one of her own, with Republicans scrambling to demand an apology from a white male bigot who has no business in public office.

"The South Carolina Republican Party strongly condemns any use of racial or religious slurs. Senator Knotts should apologize for his inappropriate comments, so that we can put this unfortunate incident behind us and focus on issues important to moving our state forward," said Republican Party Chair Karen Floyd in a statement.

Unfortunately for the Republicans in South Carolina, as well as Sarah Palin, who will reportedly endorse Nikki Haley, both the Tea Party activists and Republican voters have said everything imaginable about Pres. Barack Obama. An apology is hardly enough.

We have Republicans across the country vilifying Obama as a socialist, Glenn Beck invoking the full Nazi, with no point of decency ever invoked. Rand Paul hemmed and hawed about the Civil Rights Act, also taking issue with other groundbreaking legislation that makes this country more equal.

I don't care about Haley's politics or with whom she's slept. But until people call for the resignation of Neanderthal bigots who hold office we'll never purge our politics of these racists.

"We already got one raghead in the White House, we don't need a raghead in the governor's mansion." - Sen. Jake Knotts

Now that Obama has canceled his diplomatic trip to Indonesia and Australia because of the BP blowout, the countdown begins on where he will travel. The Carteresque worry about his presidency is starting to creep in, as he's being held hostage because the White House got behind on the politics of catastrophe. Helpless to change what BP has done, Obama is trying to catch up politically, because the White House political shop didn't understand the job of the presidency: People want to see their president in action in a crisis. Behind the scenes machinations don't count, especially when an environmental and economic debacle is claiming a way of life for Southerners.

Nothing in politics today is particularly inspiring.

The national pastime, baseball, stepped in to provide it. A blown call in a perfect game, with Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers showing some class after Jim Joyce blew the call. But then the boss, Bud Selig, stepped in to say, tough, he wouldn't reverse the call.

It takes leadership to make things right and some people just aren't up to it.

Beyond Gov. Bobby Jindal's ridiculous call to end the moratorium on drilling off LA coast, he's stepped in to express the people's pain, but also make up for his first appearance in the State of the Union response debacle.

But it was Charlie Crist who said, where's the Navy and the Coast Guard? We need more help down here, so why not deploy everyone we've got?

That should have been Obama's call. I guess he was too busy celebrating at the White House or getting another jersey. President Obama's performance remains below the curve. Perception in politics is reality and politicians live or die by the public's judgment.

Taylor Marsh is a political analyst out of Washington, D.C.