Bush's 'Unforgivable Sin' Sounds a Bit Like Obama's Suggestion to Hit the Beach

Add columnist Gail Collins to the list of liberals unhappy with Obama's first Oval Office speech, on the BP oil spill in the Gulf. But that didn't stop her from making some unfair attacks on former president Bush.

From her Thursday column, "The Boring Speech Policy."

Still, it was a disappointment. I was hoping for a call to arms, a national mission as great as the environmental disaster that inspired it. After the terrorist attack, George W. Bush could have called the country to a grand, important new undertaking in which everyone sacrificed personal or regional advantage for the common good. The fact that he only told us to go shopping was the one unforgivable sin of his administration.

O.K., also attacking the wrong country. And creating the deficit. But I digress.

Wouldn't a post-9-11 burst of nationalism from Bush worried liberals like Collins even more?

As far as Bush's "unforgivable sin" of pleading for normalcy and keeping the economy healthy (including suggesting people go visit Disneyland) after the national body blow of 9-11, didn't Obama just do something similar when he promoted tourism on the Gulf Coast even as the beaches are threatened by oil? The headline to Monday's Agence France-Presse story from the coast: "Obama implores Americans to visit Gulf beaches." (Hat tip Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online.)