The Oil Spill Is Emotional for Many Americans

When the president claimed to be talking to people in the Gulf Coast region so he would know whose "backside" to kick, I was offended.

I was offended not by the coarseness of Obama's language -- I've heard worse -- but that he still fails to understand that what's lacking is not his kicking someone in the rear, but rather for him to start being the president. Stop blaming everyone in sight, making useless speeches, dispatching members of his administration for carefully orchestrated photo ops and instead lead.

Ronald Reagan was often maligned because he was an actor who became president, but I believe that's much better than being a president that has become an actor: Playing the role in make-believe, not understanding that the real job is not delivering lines from the teleprompter, but delivering a solution.

The situation of the Gulf Coast is personal for me. I'm a property owner there and so are some of my friends. But the tragedy along the coast is not just economic and ecological; it's emotional for the many families for whom the Gulf Coast is their part of the American dream.

This region is often dubbed the "Redneck Riviera" by those who are drawn to the sugar white sands of the beaches that meet the brilliant emerald waters of the Gulf. It is the playground of the middle class from the states that make up the Southeastern Conference. Driving along 30-A, one will likely see the emblems of LSU Tigers, Ole Miss Rebels, Arkansas Razorbacks, Tennessee Volunteers, Alabama Crimson Tide, Auburn Tigers, Georgia Bulldogs, Florida Gators or other teams whose fans will fill my e-mail box for not mentioning them too.

It's where people from the South take their families for vacation or at least dream of taking them. My family couldn't afford vacations there when I was a kid, but my friends went and I listened to their memories and dreamed of my own time watching the dolphins play or listening to the waves crash against the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen.

It's not just tourism, fishing and shrimping, it's a culture and way of life that is threatened not just by the oil spill, but by the inept and arrogant attempts by the president to sound and look interested.

The White House and BP both rejected offers from the Dutch government to send ships with oil booms just three days into the spill. They now ignore the pleas from Gulf Coast governors. The only thing flowing more freely than the oil from the wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon are the tears of a big part of America who watch their home, their playground, the wildlife and their dreams get covered in oil.

That's my view, I welcome yours. E-mail your comments to:

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