A Ship in Stormy Seas (an editorial)
I listened to the “60 Minutes” interview with President Obama last night. He was asked about his lower popularity ratings these days because of our poor economic environment. I really liked his response.
President Obama analogized his role to that of the captain of a ship on stormy seas. He suggested, in essence, that the people on board who are seasick from the roiling waves, the rolling deck, the buffeting wind, and so forth, ultimately are not enjoying the ride. As if the captain could control the storm, the passengers blame him for not ending the storm or getting them out of harm’s way fast enough.
I think he’s right that our citizenship can neither blame him for the long lasting economic storm nor can they complain if the economy does not move out of the storm quickly enough.
President Obama did not complete his analogy. What President Obama did not say in the interview was that the ship’s crew was not helping him.
To extend the analogy, I see Congress as the ship’s crew. They are just not rowing the boat well or at all. They are not coordinating the oars, but banging them together; they are not hoisting or managing or even replacing the sails that are torn, to help move the boat forward. They have forgotten about the health and safety of the passengers.
As the crew of this storm-blown boat is self-absorbed with its own survival, so is the Legislature.
More succinctly, the President, as the head of the Executive Branch, cannot control the Congress, the Legislative Branch, which must cooperate to make the laws and enact the acts that will help.
I respect our President, although like the captain, I fear he may go down with the ship notwithstanding his best efforts to steer.
I still want him to be the captain however. He has good sense, he is smart, and he can guide us, but only if he has the right crew to work with him.