Fake President Maddow's Oval-Office-in-her-own-head address Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:41 PM EDT By The Rachel Maddow Show
While there is often online demand for individual TRMS clips, tonight's fake presidential address drew a lot of requests for the transcript. So below is a rushed, possibly-not-quite-exactly-every-single-word-in-the-right-order transcript of tonight's speech that is at least close enough for reference purposes:
I'm here to announce three major developments in the response to the BP Oil Disaster that continues, right now, to ravage the beloved Gulf Coast of the United States of America.
I wish I could tell you that the first development is that BP has capped the well, stopped the leak. They haven't. They can't. They don't know how. And no one else does either. Their best hope is a relief well, which poses its own risks and challenges, and which even in a best case scenario, affords no relief until August.
All the might of this, the mightiest nation on earth, and the combined expertise of the richest, most technologically ambitious corporations the world has ever seen, cannot, it turns out, cap an oil well when it breaks five thousand feet-deep in the ocean. It is something that mankind does not yet have the technological capability to fix.
And that brings us to the first development in this disaster that I am announcing tonight: Never again, will any company, anyone, be allowed to drill in a location where they are incapable of dealing with the potential consequences of that drilling.
When the benefits of drilling accrue to a private company, but the risks of that drilling accrue to we the American people, whose waters and shoreline are savaged when things go wrong, I as Fake President stand on the side of the American people, and say to the industry: From this day forward, if you cannot handle the risk, you no longer will take chances with our fate, to reap your rewards.
Our nation's regulatory oversight of the oil industry has been a joke in many ways, for decades -- from the revolving door of industry apparatchiks taking supposed "oversight" jobs in government, in which they just rubberstamped the desires of the industry to which they were loyal -- to energy industry lobbyists, themselves being allowed, in secret meetings, to write our nation's energy policies.
In light of the state of the Gulf right now, my fellow Americans, the details of how industry has infiltrated and infected the government that was supposed to be a watchdog protecting the American public from them -- those details are enough to turn your stomach. But no detail tells you more about the corroding power of the industry against the interests of the American people than the simple fact that they have been allowed to drill in American waters, without being forced to first prove that drilling is safe.
That will never happen again, as long as I am Fake President.
When I announced in March, that my administration's energy policy would include expanded offshore drilling, that policy change was premised on our acceptance of the oil industry's assurances that they knew how to do such drilling safely. They were lying. It cannot be done safely -- not when no technology exists to cap a blowout on the sea floor.
Offshore drilling will not be expanded in American waters, the moratorium will be held firm and in place, unless and until the industry conclusively demonstrates major advances in safety. Oil industry jobs are important, and I will work with industry to mitigate the impact on American families who survive on oil company paychecks -- but in the 21st century, and in the name of the 11 workers who were killed when the Deepwater Horizon rig blew out, we will not play Russian Roulette with workers' lives, and we will not play Russian Roulette with irreversible, national, environmental disaster for the sake of short-term income.
The second major development I'm announcing tonight, my fellow Americans, concerns another oil industry assurance that we can no longer believe. The industry, has long assured us that they were capable of handling spilled oil. In BP's own disaster response plan for the Gulf of Mexico, they claimed they were perfectly capable of containing, and cleaning-up, up to 250,000 barrels of oil a day. That no significant amount of an oil spill of even that size would get to shore, foul beaches, kill wildlife, or destroy wetlands. They were lying.
And the industry is lying when it says it takes seriously its responsibilities to contain and clean-up disasters they cause. The same low-tech, inffective equipment and techniques are being used to respond to this oil disaster today, as were used in the 1960s and '70s to respond to spills back then. That's because the industry hasn't invested in any new containment and cleanup technology in all of these decades. Because they haven't cared too much about it, as an issue.
And it shows. It shows both in the inept technology that we have to deploy, to contain and clean-up a spill like this, and in the lackadaisical, uncoordinated, unprofessional way this inept technology has been deployed by BP.
Beaches have been fouled and wetlands destroyed and wildlife killed that should have been saved. Pensacola Bay in Florida, if properly boomed, should never have been breached by oil. Perdido Pass at Orange Beach, Alabama, should never have been breached by oil. Queen Bess Island, the pelican nesting ground in Barataria Bay in Louisiana, Barataria Bay itself, none of these areas should have been breached by oil -- even given the sad state of existing technology to stop it -- but the fact that those areas were breached is BP's human error.
And tonight, as Fake President, I'm announcing a new federal command specifically for containment and cleanup of oil that has already entered the Gulf of Mexico, with a priority on protecting shoreline that can still be saved; shoreline that is vulnerable to oil that has not yet been hit. I have asked the Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, to assist me in the diplomatic side of this -- in soliciting, greenlighting and expediting all international offers of help from experts in booming and skimming from all over the world. We will bring in the best experts and the best equipment from anywhere on Earth, to dramatically increase our efforts to get the oil out of the water, and off of the coast.
Oil industry workers are often trained in booming and skimming. I am hereby directing BP to fund booming-and-skimming crash academies for all available oil industry personnel, anywhere in the world, to radically overhaul what has been a haphazard, half-hearted, totally unacceptable protection effort. Starting immediately. No expense will be spared and no excuses will be brooked. Even if the oil leak is capped today, the oil in the water will continue to surge toward shore for weeks if not months. As Fake President, I will personally issue a public update on cleanup and containment efforts every single day until this disaster is under control.
And finally, the third development I have to announce to you tonight in the response to this oil disaster is about how we got here, and how that will change. Every president in the modern era has complained that America must get off oil. Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush -- and now I, Fake President Obama -- have all intoned, solemnly, that we must get off oil.
Now that we have, at the hands of the oil industry, experienced the worst environmental disaster in American history, the time for talk is over. The world is different now. Our country is different now. The scales have fallen from our eyes. People say we're not ready? They're right. We're not ready. We also weren't ready to fight in World War 2 before Pearl Harbor, but events forced that upon us, and events have forced this fight upon us now. I no longer say that we must get off oil like every president before me has said too. I no longer say that we must get off oil. We will get off oil and here's how:
The United States Senate will pass an energy bill. This year. The Senate version of the bill will not expand offshore drilling. The earlier targets in that bill for energy efficiency and for renewable energy-sources will be doubled or tripled.
If Senators use the filibuster to stop the bill, we will pass it by reconciliation, which still ensures a majority vote. If there are elements of the bill that cannot procedurally be passed by reconciliation, if those elements can be instituted by executive order, I will institute them by executive order.
The political cowardice that has kept politicians from doing right by this country, finally, on energy, and standing up to the oil industry -- that cowardice has been drowned; drowned in oil on Queen Bess Island. There is a new reality in this country that has been forced on us by this disaster.
As Fake President, I pledge to you that the land and sea and livelihood and lives of the American people will be put first. As we do everything that is humanly possible to stop this disaster. We will never again let the oil industry put America at this kind of risk. We will save what can still be saved that is directly at risk from the oil in the Gulf. And we will free ourselves, as a nation, once and for all, from the grip of this industry that's lied to us as much as it has exploited us, as much as it has befouled us with its toxic effluent.
The oil age, America, is over. If you are with me, let your Senator know it.
I'll next speak to you about the BP oil disaster tomorrow, with my first public update on the cleanup effort in the Gulf.
God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
Oh, and also -- I've decided I'm not a White Sox fan anymore. I'm a Red Sox fan. And I'm closing Guantanamo. KTHXBAI
18. There was only one single mistake Rachel made.
Edited on Thu Jun-17-10 08:25 AM by breadandwine
The FAKE president is the one living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I have never seen a Democratic president give such a worthless, wimpy speech, afraid of his own shadow, afraid of what the GOP would say etc., etc. If I hear one more word about the stupid commission he's appointing to STUDY the oil leak instead of DOING something about it, I'm going to puke.
Here's what. Mr. Presdient, if you don't WANT to be president, why don't you and Biden resign right now? Pelosi would be next in line of succession and she could take over immediately. If she didn't want the job, she could stay on long enough to appoint a vice president like Al Gore, another Nobel laureate who won on the environment and he could take over when she resigns and goes back to Capitol Hill. It could be done.
Mr. President, you are not the legislator in chief. Being president is about more than passing legislation. That's Pelosi's job. YOUR job is to be the chief executive and RUN things. If you don't WANT to be president, you can always go back to the Senate or go back to Chicago and sing around the campfire. You don't HAVE to crack the whip. You don't HAVE to kick ass. You can go back to Chicago and sing kumbaya.
It's obvious you're lost in the White House and haven't figured out yet that the American people elected a DEMOCRAT. Let someone else have your job.
Here's how it could work. Key Democrats on Capitol Hill would begin by TAKING THE WALK. They would walk over to the White House and tell the President that if he doesn't want to kick ass and fix the leak, if he is only interested in the distant future, that he has lost the confidence of Democrats on Capitol Hill and should resign. Biden should resign. Pelosi becomes president either for the duration or long enough to select a replacement, her choice.
Now, Mr. President, I can appreciate what a lousy job the presidency is. What with all the chauffeurs, butlers, security, Air Force One, Chopper One, chefs, free food cooked just the way you like it, maids and valets and FOUR MILLION UNDERLINGS in the Federal Government that you can order to do things for you instead of telling everyone you're all butter fingers. You don't HAVE to be president. I know that there are days when you wake up thinking, "I'm SICK of this lousy job! I want to go back to Chicago and sing around the campfire!" Wonderful. Mr. President, you do that. You don't HAVE to be president. If Al Capone got nailed on tax evasion, there are surely ways of screwing BP given all the laws and regulations that could be thrown at them. BP is a good for nothing bunch of lazy assholes who do EVERYTHING in a half-baked way. They won't get this right until you confront them with the CRACK OF DOOM for their corporation and SCARE THE LIVING SH*T OUT OF THEM. They won't do a THING right until you point a gun at their feet and make them dance instead of being all palsy-walsy with them and calling them "our partner." But, Mr. President, if you don't WANT to be president, let a DEMOCRAT have the job......
Excellent post. Timidity, indecisiveness, and wimping out are not characteristics a president should possess. Obama is indeed "lost in the White House". And for those who say that he has been handed a mess - he knew that going in, and still he ran for office. The excuses are running thin, and patience is running out. Lead or get out of the way.
4. Now, let us, in unison, rip her speech apart for some of the things she said.
One point is you trusted the oil industry and you found out they were lying. Well. Madame Fake President, a true leader would not have left it only in their hands. That makes it sound like a cheap relationship where you find out the person you love has been cheating. There is more but I will let others handle it.
With minor variations, this speech is what sane Americans expected out of a responsible White House. What we've gotten instead for almost 60 days is a George W. Bush disaster response. From the far margin on this side of the aisle, I'm duty bound to ask where the "Yes, We Can" crowd is these days? Rachel's speech is vintage FDR and we won't soon get that from Obama, whose servile climbing is deeply ingrained.
Once again, watch Press Secretary Gibbs because he shows you what Obama won't - arrogant parsed responses and thin legal manoeuvers, all in the name of technocratic glory and a snazzy resume. This situation will get far worse before it gets better. Meanwhile...
Batten down the hatches! Prep this thread for a DLC counterattack! How dare anyone question corporate rule!
I can't help but wonder why Obama did not take a golden opportunity to forever change his legacy by making a speech similar to Rachel's. Had he done so, it would have been a watershed moment for his presidency. As it stands now, Charlie Crist has exhitibited more courage on progressive matters - and that says a lot! Perhaps I was too anxious for the speech the other night - I really thought that it would have been one of his best. Is Obama just mailing in the rest of his term? Hard to argue otherwise with the lack of any apparent enthusiasm for the job.
37. Yeah that $20 Billion is really gonna help stop the mass die-offs of wildlife.
Some things, money can't buy.
Throwing money at the problem is such a corporatist thing to do. It might help sustain the economy of those humans living in the affected area but will do nothing toward ending the death and suffering of the birds, sea life, reefs and vegetation that has already occurred.
97. Yeah, I'll bet Rachel Maddow doesn't worry about her mortgage and business loans
and how she's gonna feed her children next year, since her livelihood is gone.
Nothing is going to stop the massive loss of wildlife, but if you think someone who makes their living in a TV studio is more aware of that than people whose business is fishing or scuba diving, well good on ya.
Me, I'm somewhat happy that the President got BP to escrow money to make it easier for those folks. You and Rachel can rant on about what should have been TALKED ABOUT. What SHOULD HAVE BEEN SAID.
And pardon me really, but I never thought that being a Democrat meant "having absolutely no sympathy for working folk".
So,"corporatist, are you really that uncaring about other people?
"Count your blessings we could have had McSame?" Will every fuck up by a Democrat be met with this TIRED excuse?
I would rather have Obama the Candidate in Office, and be saying "Count your blessings that Obama wasn't a corporate sponsored, standard political beast, and he actually MEANT what he said about Change and Hope."
I'm sorry but this tired 'would you rather have/do you think it would be better with' 'Palin/McLame' meme. I write letters and call my congressmen all the time and occasionally even send an email to the white house. When we talk about the issues and policies we want enacted here or when we talk about what we want our leaders to be supporting we are engaging in Democracy.
A president should say things like this and should promise and follow through on it. Are we that afraid of the petrol industry that we can't speak out against them directly? I think most people still respect frankness in speech and boldness in leadership.
I mean, we know that the oil companies will be throwing tons of money at re-pug-nik candidates, why mitigate it at all? Use it as a brand or a weapon. "'Republican x' accepts money from the Chamber of Commerce which takes its money from the oil industry."
Flash images of the gulf and point out the bills they fought. The harder President Obama and the democrats stand against the oil industry the better this kind of commercial works. The other option is weak leadership and weak congressional Democrats who cannot use the issue and will still get outspent by the lobby groups of the oil industry anyhow.
You get to dump slimy oil on those slimey bastards in the US Chamber of Commerce, who have never, ever, been a reliable friend to the Democratic party. Why wouldn't you crush the chamber of commerce if you were given half a chance.
28. Rachel out-Obama'd the President on this one - I'm pretty shocked. And, lo, there was substance!
It goes to show you how quick a bubble forms over the Presidency - ANY Presidency - because this is truly the speech the President WOULD have given a month into office, but it is no where near the speech he will ever give again.
I guess it was election foreshadowing when he said that folks wanting him to serve longer in Washington ahead of running for office were simply trying to 'stew him until they boiled the hope out of him'.
Its really getting to be a joke. I sometimes ask myself if Hillary wouldn't have been a better choice now. Obama was the better campaigner for office hands down. But a great campaigner does not a great President make. Where are his fiery bluster, the stirring call to arms? The cocky dusting of his shoulders at critics? Most of all where is the bravery?
I loved Rachel's speech and it is exactly what Obama should have given Tuesday night. The only thing I'd have added to her speech was having the government take over the clean-up so that the workers can be properly protected with haz mat gear.
When I announced in March, that my administration's energy policy would include expanded offshore drilling, that policy change was premised on our acceptance of the oil industry's assurances that they knew how to do such drilling safely. They were lying. It cannot be done safely -- not when no technology exists to cap a blowout on the sea floor
Plus, chuckles aside, it was an effective way to demonstrate what else progressives would like to see from Obama, without simply codemning or cheerleading. I'd like to see her use this bit again.
Or, as an alternative, if she really doesn't want to be drafted, Obama should hire Rachel as his press spokesperson and chief of staff. Replace both Gibbs and Rahm Emmanuel with Rachel. Rachel is a woman, a strong woman. She could do the work of those two men with no problem.
89. My head is not in the sand. I'm just dreaming.
Dreaming of a world in which people are judged not by the color of their skin or their gender or their gender preference but by their ability. Nothing wrong with dreaming. Dreams can be made real. It's just a matter of getting enough people to dream along.
Unfortunately, she wasn't running. But, I did pay attention to Obama's campaign, and am not surprised at all, on what he has done in the White House. I'm not disappointed because I never expected him to do much of anything, and unfortunately, I was right. He had his opportunity for greatness, and let it pass him by.
77. Let us all get down on our knees and pray for guidance.
Edited on Thu Jun-17-10 08:40 PM by ooglymoogly
I puke with embarrassment. Go preach in a church, but not in the whitehouse. Being excepted by the pugs is not in the cards for you, so give it up; The fact that you need this acceptance so badly that you will cave on everything and anything of substance and become a step'nfetchit, for the pugs is downright scary. You need to take off the pug controlled, krypton scram device and LEAD!!!
79. Bravo Rachel! you hit the nail right into BO's brain where it needed to go.
His chance at greatness is slipping away into less than mediocrity. Perhaps this will be his clarion call; That peoples lives and well being which he has sworn to protect, are more important than the enrichment of ones self.
80. Thank you, thank you, thank you, future President Maddow!
When the hell are we going to have a leader who speaks for US, the American people?!? Every president, senator or rep in my lifetime has been somehow in the pocket of some corporation and I have had enough!
81. This is so funny...I kind of watched this late last night on the internet
and was so tired I was falling a sleep while watching this. All day I was thinking how excited I was that Rachel was taking over the job of stopping the oil leak and heading the effort to clean up and prevent further damage. Now I realized it was her pretending....I was so sure she could do it!
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