Archive for June 3rd, 2010


Some days it seems like we’ll never get there.

During the June 1 White House press briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was pressed to defend the president by asserting that he has de-evolved, responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by succumbing to futile, counterproductive, and damn dangerous atavism.

Reporter: You said earlier that the President is enraged. Is he enraged at BP specifically?

Mr. Gibbs: I think he’s enraged at the time that it’s taken, yes. I think he’s been enraged over the course of this, as I’ve discussed, about the fact that when you’re told something is fail-safe and it clearly isn’t, that that’s the cause for quite a bit of frustration. I think one of the reasons that—which is one of the reasons you heard him discuss the setting up of the oil commission in order to create a regulatory framework that ensures something like this doesn’t happen again.

Reporter: Frustration and rage are very different emotions, though. I haven’t—have we really seen rage from the President on this? I think most people would say no.

Mr. Gibbs: I’ve seen rage from him, Chip. I have.

Reporter: Can you describe it? Does he yell and scream? What does he do?

Mr. Gibbs: He said—he has been in a whole bunch of different meetings—clenched jaw—even in the midst of these briefings, saying everything has to be done. I think this was an anecdote shared last week, to plug the damn hole.

Rage. Clenched jaw. Yelling. Screaming. What they want from him, apparently, is behavior like that depicted in the clip below. Four-million-year-old apeman behavior. Here in the 21st Century. As Kubrick’s famous jump cut so eloquently expressed it.

Throw a tantrum, Mr. President. Lose control. Go on TV and spew spittle; let us see the veins bulge out in your neck. Maybe you can bite the head off a live chicken. Or beat on the president of BP with a bone. That’ll solve the problem.



When I Worked

June 2010
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