A Puffball Presidential Address

President Obama last night gave his first Oval Office address to the nation to lay out his plan for dealing with the crisis in the Gulf.

If you missed the speech, don't worry: Marshmallows have more substance.

The address included more tough talk on BP (minus the profanities), plans to start an escrow account to help people harmed by the disaster and the faint outlines of an agenda for a green-energy economy.

Many liberals were hoping Obama would use the BP disaster as a "teachable moment" for the country and make the case that the government plays a critical role in society. 

Obama himself recently complained to Politico's Roger Simon that conservatives were hypocrites for saying they want less government but then attacking the government for not doing enough about the oil spill.

Fair enough. But the flip side of that coin is the oil spill highlighted a borderline-criminal dysfunction in the federal government -- which sort of undermines the Obama argument that the government works for the people.

Obama's nod to this factor was to announce he is bringing in a former federal prosecutor and inspector general to clean up the Minerals Management Service, a cauldron of mismanagement, ethical breaches and incompetence.

That's nice. But what took so long?

He also told us he had tapped Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former governor of Mississippi, "to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible."

Another plan. Yay.

And then, of course, Obama is establishing a "national commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place."

We don't need any more plans or commissions. We need a permanent moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling and some sort of functional cleanup system for the damage that's been done.

There's a reason there was a 30-year bipartisan congressional and presidential ban on offshore drilling in the lower 48 states. The risks are too great.

Kirsten Powers is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading her column, click here.

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