Obamateurism of the Day

What happens when a former, self-professed Constitutional scholar wants to sound tough? They tend to forget about the Constitution. Barack Obama recently had the Department of Justice announce a criminal investigation into BP’s activities in the Deepwater Horizon. When the subject of the criminal investigation took the prudent step of ensuring legal representation, the former lecturer on Constitutional law publicly scolded BP for “lawyering up”:

According to the pool report, BP and Coast Guard officials whose job it is to handle claims “are stationed with each parish president in Louisiana, and [Obama] wants the same arrangement for county governments in all the affected states.”

At that point, the pool report says Obama “lit into BP” because he wants to — Obama’s words — “make sure that BP is not lawyering up essentially.”

Just two days ago, Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to Louisiana to announce that the Justice Department has begun criminal and civil investigations into the oil spill. As a result of that investigation, BP and other companies could be charged with violating a variety of environmental laws, as well as other crimes. Holder pledged to prosecute any offenders “to the fullest extent of the law.” The prosecution could result in enormous penalties and losses for BP beyond what has already occurred because of the spill. And now the president himself goes after BP for “lawyering up.” The company certainly has huge obligations as a result of its actions in this matter. But surely the constitutional-law-professor-in-chief would concede their right to a legal defense.

Well, only if the Constitutional-Lecturer-in-Chief knew what he was talking about then. This is one of the reasons that people questioned the timing of the announcement by Holder and the DoJ. There is plenty of room later for criminal probes, but right now the US needs BP focused on stopping the spill. We don’t need BP “lawyering up,” but that was the completely predictable result of Obama’s attempt to deflect criticism of his handling of the oil spill.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/with-doj-threatening-prosecution-obama-slams-bp-for-lawyering-up-95647809.html#ixzz0q8D3IwX3

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!