The reviews are in...yet another blow to consensus making

It strikes me as odd that in the moment the President calls the nation to action, appealling for unprecedented cooperation to advance a legislative solution to the crisis in the gulf, the nation is already divided over the substance of the speech and over how well the President delivered the message. Okay, so maybe the nation is not divided but the pundits sure are. Just one day after the President's Oval Office address, even a survey glance at the headline's makes one wonder if everyone was watching the same channel.

The Washington Post's David Ignatius proclaims "Glimmer of Leadership" and E.J Dionne wonders "Did he turn a corner?". The New York Times' Peter Baker argues "With Call to Arms, Obama Seeks to Shift Arc of Oil Crisis." While Andrew Winston of The Huffington Post calls Obama's speech "An Enormous Wasted Opportunity" and Robert Reich agrees; his post is entitled "Obama's Missed Opportunity to Tell it Like it Is"

In the midst of the greatest ecological disaster in the nation's history, how to do you reach consensus on a solution when we cannot even agree on how to interpret the substance of a speech? No matter what the opinion of the author, each of these articles follows the exact same formula - "Yeah, yeah, yeah those are all good options Mr. President but here is what we really need to do..." If we are to address this problem, insiders and advocates, pundits and policy-makers, are going to have to move beyond advancing positions and start focusing on shared interests.

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