Witnessing the heart as it cracks – UPDATED

It is not possible to remain unmoved as Rep. Charles Melancon (D-LA) finds the break point.

“Everything that I know and love is at risk.”

Watch it all. Melancon’s sincere pain is a rebuke to the incessant political posturing we see out of Washington, and all the artless media outrage to which we have become so accustomed.

In all seriousness–because this is a very serious situation–it seems that Chris Matthews’ heart is breaking, too:

Allahpundit writes of Matthews:

But now that I’ve watched and seen the hurt in his eyes when he says “idiotic cerebral meritocracy,” I fear something’s died here that can never be rekindled.

Matthews’ whole remark was:

“. . . this idiotic cerebral meritocracy has got to step aside and let the people who do things take over…”

And that is the problem in a nutshell. Our government is top-heavy with people who have never “done” anything.

The Obama administration is loaded down with academics and lawyers who have spent their lives theorizing about things like economics, markets, social order and crisis management–and criticizing methods with which they disagree–but who have little practical experience in doing.

In fairness to the White House, many members of congress (and their leadership) have never done anything but talk, pose and run for office, too, but perhaps it behooves a president to have a few people in place who know how to (as any successful capitalist would) find the people who have an acquaintance with practical applications and who know how to yell, and how to dig in with both unmanicured hands.

Admittedly, it is difficult to put such people in place. Can-do capitalists are jawboners; they tend to want to lead, rather than fall-in-line. But any administration should have a couple of them discreetly in the background, so that when things hit the fan, there are more than mere theorists on board.

Otherwise, you end up hearing the people who loved and trusted you question the “idiotic cerebral meritocracy” you’ve put in place, and declaring you “incompetent” from a rather large mic.

AJ Strata cries “incompetence” on another issue, too.

UPDATE: As a rule, I generally avoid posting videos created by political parties, unless it is to laugh at them, but this one is exceptionally well done, and relevant to the issue. It is also depressing as hell. When James Carville moves you, you know it’s serious. Yes, it makes the heart crack.

It’s going to take more than a marketing campaign to reassure these folks.

This sort of tone-deafness won’t do it.


“incompetent, inexperienced and divisive”
“President is too busy to talk to you, Mr. Congressman”
Expecting too much of Government
Did Birnbaum lie to Congress?
Culture of Corruption at MMS
Passing the buck?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • dnb

    Okay, tomorrow is Sunday. For those of us who practice a faith that honors the Sabbath, use the time wisely, pray for the Gulf. Let us together send up a prayer to our God to save the Gulf. (Catholics, ask St. Francis to intercede on behalf of the parishes of Louisiana and all Gulf states.) May God continue to bless America.

  • DrD

    It is true that the government is loaded with people that have never done anything. But worse than that, most of them are confident that they know all, and they are opposed to letting anyone with real knowledge and ability be able to function. This is a catastrophic combination.

  • flataffect

    All that anybody can do at this point is watch and pray. The answer is not to quit accessing our natural resources, but that will be what the government will do. Others will call for more regulations, when it was the failure to apply the ones we have that made this the disaster it is. This was a failure of the big government measures that environmentalists have pushed for.

    Only the oil industry has the expertise and equipment to fix this. It’s too late for the government to stockpile booms, form and train environmental crisis teams or invent new technologies to address these circumstances.

    I think the best point I’ve seen was from Charles Krauthammer asking “What are we doing drilling wells 5000 feet under water in the first place?” when there are sources closer to shore, and on the north slope of Alaska, that have been place off limits by the government.

    As much as I feel sympathy for those being hurt down there, it might be a good time to remember how much of their economies are based on offshore drilling. They aren’t all fisherman.

    From the earth’s perspective this is nothing more than a hiccup. It will recover and bury this, just as it did in Prince William Sound. Chris Matthew’s outcry notwithstanding, the Gulf isn’t going anywhere. This isn’t like a meteor strike or a nuclear attack. We’ll recover and prosper. We always do.

    Meanwhile, I wish we had leaders both local and state as well as federal who would quit worrying about how to promise more and spend more to refashion society and actually do their jobs of keeping the promises they’ve made in the past. There’s an old saying, “Stick to your knitting.” That should be the message to all politicians and the oil industry. Do your jobs and do them right. You can’t afford to let your attention stray.

  • dnb

    Pierre Toussaint, holy man of old New York, intercede to God to send a miracle in your name on behalf of the citizens of the Gulf. May your saintly life lead you to sainthood.

  • fantum

    Liars are certain they can outsmart their target. Kids lie to mommy and often get away with it, mainly because she wants to believe her precious child, dad is usually a little tougher, but he also wants to believe.

    Next comes lying to a group and proficient liars can usually pull it off, but, when you lie to millions, the odds of exposure are tremendously increased, and once someone exposes the lie it becomes clear to almost everyone… except maybe mom. The king has no clothes!

    Finally, once you have convinced folks you are a liar, they are suspicious of everything you say, true or not. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!

    Obama is a habitual liar and now everyone knows it, even his most dedicated supporters.

  • http://www.truthandcommonsense.com archer52

    Two things-

    One- If the Dem congressman voted for anything the left was pushing, then I have no sympathy for his feelings. You lie in feces, you’ll get up smelling. It’s a Karma thing.

    Two- Funny that a commenter mentioned Alice. I just finished a post at my site talking about how Alice, the left and Europe are having to wake up and maybe grow up. The money is gone.


    I was trying to find an example to show what a European liberal (like the Greeks) look like.

    I came up with this guy.


    “Chaz” from the movie Wedding Crashers. He is perfect for an example. Still living at home, thinking he is on top of the world, contributing nothing and screaming at the rest of the world for more “MEATLOAF!”.


  • Dan

    The country is bleeding profusely suffering from two man made disasters simultaneously: the oil spill in the gulf and the election of an incompetent, arrogant, corrupt political hack to the oval office.

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  • SKay

    “Of course, with Katrina, the provenance of emergency response was local, state, fed, whereas this disaster took place in federal waters and was therefore the provenance of the fed right away. I don’t know whether that makes any difference, but it probably should be noted. -admin]”

    As governor -Blanco was in charge yet could not make a decision on her own. Sad to say-her advisors were very political.
    The New Orleans mayor was even worse.

    Charlie Melancon voted for Nancy Pelosi and was a big backer of Obama.
    He is now running for the US senate seat now held by a very conservative Republican. This is all about Charlie’s ambitions.

    Melancon will be backed by ACORN(headquartered in New Orleans) and SEIU(offices in same building as ACORN).

    I am from Louisiana–I have great sympathy for the people on the coast–but non for Charlie Melancon.

    Carville has been teaching political classes at Tulane in New Orleans. That is what we need in Louisiana–more just like him. I saw video’s of him later-stepping back from his rant–someone from Chicago must have “spoken” to him.

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  • VR

    I too worked at Interior for 31 years. What was described earlier was exactly right. The field people (where the work got done) mistrusted headquarters to the point of ignoring them. Over the years, I saw more and more useless paperwork and buck-passing that served to bog necessary work down more and more.

    I did work with (NOT for) the Minerals Management Service. The MMS corporate culture was largely one of self congratulation and insulation from reality. I also saw a situation where an employee of high rank was not only not fired, but promoted after the offense was adjudicated. It was an open secret around the agencies. So yes, the MMS is largely incompetent to do anything other than shuffle paper.