President Obama will address the nation from the White House Tuesday night. Subject: the BP oil spill. The problem is the president is a few weeks late and millions of gallons short.

The president revealed his impotence and just how out of touch he is with this and another issue of profound importance to the public in an interview with Politico. In that interview, the president compared the BP oil spill to 9/11. What ? September 11 was about the murder of 3,000 Americans in a deliberate act by a group of Islamic fanatics.

The BP affair was an accident which killed 11 and injured 17 others.

One could argue that both 9/11 and the BP platform explosion and subsequent leak were preventable, but to compare a murderous act with an accident is absurd.

The president hopes to make it appear he is doing something when all he is doing is talking, or talking about doing something, or doing something that won’t stop the leak and repair the Gulf waters.

He has threatened BP, as if the company wants to continue damaging its already soiled reputation.

He wants the company to set aside a fund, to be administered by a third party, to guarantee payments to those with legitimate damage claims. That might be a good idea, but as long as he is wanting others to pay for damages, how about sending a bill to Iraq and Afghanistan for the damages those wars have caused to American lives and our treasury?

Just how political the BP issue has become is evident in a comment made by Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-Ill). Jackson called on the president to “level with the American people,” turn the oil spill into a job-creation tool and “stop the blame game.”

I agree on stopping the blame game, but the president seems incapable of doing that. At least he can’t blame this one on the Bush administration, or might he?

The president has relied on his speaking ability to get him this far. On Tuesday night, he’ll need more than rhetoric and his TelePrompter. The public is onto him as reflected in his sinking approval numbers.

Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated newspaper columnist and a Fox News contributor.

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