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Obama’s Climate Hypocrisy: We Need People In DC ‘Willing To Speak Truth To Power … To Take Some Risks Politically’

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"Obama’s Climate Hypocrisy: We Need People In DC ‘Willing To Speak Truth To Power … To Take Some Risks Politically’"

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c_07252010.gifSome days the president seems to have no clue about what his own administration has and hasn’t done on climate change.

Late Wednesday, President Obama gave a speech to a Democratic fundraiser for the House that tried to rewrite history and shift any blame for climate inaction away from his failed leadership and failed messaging.

Obama actually ended his remarks on what is needed to achieve climate action by saying:

But the most important thing that it’s going to take is people in Washington who are willing to speak truth to power, are willing to take some risks politically, are willing to get a little bit out ahead of the curve — not two miles ahead of the curve, but just a little bit ahead of it. And that’s why your presence here is so important.

The donor’s presence is important to “support the prospect of Nancy Pelosi being Speaker once again.” At a second event, Obama even went so far as to say, “If we’re going to deal with climate change in a serious way, then we’ve got to have folks in Congress – even when it’s not politically convenient – to talk about it and advocate for it.”

Apparently the President is unaware that it was his own White House that shut down any serious talk of climate change by his Administration, by environmental groups, and even by Congress — see “Team Obama Launched The Inane Strategy Of Downplaying Climate Change Back In March 2009.”

And, of course, the Congress did pursue serious climate action when it wasn’t “politically convenient” — during the nadir of our recent economic collapse — when the House, under the leadership of then-Speaker Pelosi, passed the Waxman-Markey bill. Then leading Senators spent months trying to put together a deal.

But the President never gave one single national speech on the subject, he didn’t lead, and he wouldn’t twist arms in the Senate on climate the way he did on health care (see “The failed presidency of Barack Obama, Part 2“).

To repeat, it is just bizarre that the president would say the key thing is to elect a Democratic House who can speak truth to power and take risks politically, given that when he had a Democratic House (and as Democratic a Senate as he is ever going to see), he didn’t speak truth to power and he wouldn’t take risks politically.

And his other remarks on climate in the home of Tom and Kat Steyer in San Francisco are even more head-exploding when examined closely:

And something that I know is near and dear to Tom and Kat’s hearts, and to Nancy’s — we’ve got more work to do in terms of dealing with climate change and making sure that we’ve got an economy that is energy-efficient, that is productive, that is cutting-edge, and thinks about not just the energy sources of the past, but also the energy promise of the future.

And the thing that I’m going to have to try to work to persuade the American people a little more convincingly on is this notion that there’s a contradiction between our economy and our environment is just a false choice — that if we invest now, we will create jobs, we will create entire new industries; other countries will be looking to catch up, they will be looking to import what we do. We will set the standard, and everybody else will have to adapt.

But — and I mentioned this to Tom and Kat and a few folks right before I came out here — the politics of this are tough. Because if you haven’t seen a raise in a decade; if your house is still $25,000, $30,000 underwater; if you’re just happy that you’ve still got that factor job that is powered by cheap energy; if every time you go to fill up your old car because you can’t afford to buy a new one, and you certainly can’t afford to buy a Prius, you’re spending 40 bucks that you don’t have, which means that you may not be able to save for retirement — you may be concerned about the temperature of the planet, but it’s probably not rising to your number-one concern. And if people think, well, that’s shortsighted, that’s what happens when you’re struggling to get by. You’re thinking about what’s right in front of you, which is how do I fill up my gas tank and how do I feed my family.

And so part of what we’re going to have to do is to marry a genuine, passionate concern about middle-class families and everybody who is trying to get into the middle class to show them that we’re working just as hard for them as we are for our environmental agenda, and that we can bridge these things in a way that advances the causes of both. And that’s going to take some work.

“The politics of this are tough,” Mr. President? That’s the big insight you shared with the mega-donors.

First off, the politics of everything are tough!  The politics of the stimulus bill, the politics of the financial oversight bill, and the politics of health care reform. And yet, those three all  happened.

Second, and more important, the President is apparently completely unaware that his White House organized the entire climate messaging in his first term around the economic issue, around debunking the false choice — and that public opinion polls make clear that piece of messaging worked.

In “Revealed: the day Obama chose a strategy of silence on climate change,” the UK Guardian quoted Betsy Taylor (and others) about the big March 2009 messaging meeting convened by the White House:

“What was communicated in the presentation was: ‘This is what you talk about, and don’t talk about climate change’.” Taylor said. “I took away an absolutely clear understanding that we should focus on clean energy jobs and the potential of a clean energy economy rather than the threat of climate change.”

The message stuck. Subsequent campaigns from the Obama administration and some environmental groups relegated climate change to a second-tier concern.

The Guardian story explains, “The White House, after studying polling and focus groups, concluded it was best to frame climate change as an economic opportunity, a chance for job creation and economic growth, rather than an urgent environmental problem.”

I and others, such as the WashPost‘s Ezra Klein, explained at length why this was only half a message (see “Can you solve global warming without talking about global warming?“).

But the President seems to have no idea that his team got everyone pushing a climate bill to focus on the economic message, on the economic benefits to the middle class of climate action — and that polling makes clear it worked at the time:

As you can see if you click on those links, most of those explicitly polled on the question of whether the public thinks the climate bill would create jobs, foster new industries, and be good for the economy — including key middle class groups such as independents and swing voters — overwhelmingly said yes.

Obama’s remarks last night would seem to confirm that it was David Axelrod who mismanaged the messaging decisions without discussing the matter at length with the President. Even so, the president cannot be unaware of his general silence on the issue and his leadership failure at the key moment. The speech is a disappointment for anyone expecting serious leadership on this issue from Obama in his second term.

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61 Responses to Obama’s Climate Hypocrisy: We Need People In DC ‘Willing To Speak Truth To Power … To Take Some Risks Politically’

  1. Joan Savage says:

    “Speak truth to power” has become a mainstream term, yet it has an origin worth revisiting.

    The phrase has been traced back to a letter written by Bayard Rustin. Rustin knew that as a black, conscientious objector, labor and civil rights organizer and gay man, he himself was too controversial to lead from the podium, so Rustin instead coached Martin Luther King Jr. It has been said that Rustin organized the formidable logistics of the March on Washington from 3×5 cards in his hip pocket.

    Rustin would not have stopped at the word “willing.”

    Those who are merely “willing” to speak truth to power are holding back from the ethical requirement to do so.

  2. paulina says:

    “…at our fingertips…beyond our reach…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXq-5skPw_M

    Obama podcast, 2005.

  3. BobbyL says:

    Not surprising when you realize the statements are coming from someone fighting global warming with an all-of-the-above energy policy.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      But he’s not fighting climate destabilisation, is he? That’s the point, and the lesson of the last five, and the next three, years.

      • BobbyL says:

        He claims he is. Stimulus money for renewable energy, improved efficiency standards for cars, telling Congress if they don’t act he will. He just neglects to add up the emissions from his policies. The emissions no doubt would add up to another inconvenient truth.

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    I’m surprised the Steyers hosted this fundraiser instead of focusing their efforts on actual climate leaders, such as Waxman, Inslee, and Sanders. Maybe that would shake up the president, since his conscious donors should have abandoned him a while ago.

    Democratic leaders, including Boxer and Sanders, have prepared a new climate bill. The response from Obama has been zero, just as in 2009. And with another Interior chief from the oil industry, it’s clear that we will keep drilling, mining, and burning as fast as we can.

    We will only succeed in slowing global warming when a president does things that enrage the oil industry. He would be back where he started anyway, since Koch and Exxon prefer Republicans. It’s time our leaders addressed the fact that the oil, coal, and gas industries are proactive in poisoning and heating the world. That makes them enemies of the people, and when they encounter a supplicant like Obama, they lick their chops.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Obama’s task for the next three years is to not just do nothing, but to kick sand in the face of environmentalists from time to time (eg Keystone) to get them mad enough and disillusioned enough not to turn out in 2010. It has been cleverly managed, the Obama sell-out. You get a President who has reneged on virtually every pledge and strong indication that he made in order to rope the Hope Fiends, but who is made to look less like a Bush clone by the antics of the Tea Party Mad Hatters and the FoxNews dementors. The Bosses get what they want, but the pretense of ‘democratic choice’ remains. After Obama goes to his cozy ‘consultancy’ at Goldman Sachs, and Murdoch gives his several million for his ‘memoirs’, a la Tony Blair, in 2016, a new Bush will keep things ticking along, or perhaps we’ll be blessed by Hilary Clinton.

  5. Mimikatz says:

    The fundraiser was for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee not for Obama personally, who won’t be running again, and was for the purpose of keeping Dem incumbents and electing more House Dems, important because the intransigence of the House is a major problem. Obviously Steyer held it because he got to talk privately to Obama. I’m sure that with his commitment to the issue he is helping Markey as well.

  6. ltr says:

    This is President Obama on issue after issue. Yesterday Obama was quoted in the New York Times as talking to Republicans about cutting Medicare benefits.

    President Obama says one thing and does another almost non-stop. The President will surely approve the pipeline.

  7. john atcheson says:

    Whether it’s Wall Street, economic policy, Health care, climate change, campaign reform … Obama talks progressive in the months leading up to the election, then governs as a right of center politician. He’s devoid of courage or conviction.

    It’s time to stop listening to his words and instead, look at his deeds — a watered down health care program, a useless banking “reform,” and a continued war …

    Hard to know what to do.

    • EDpeak says:

      John,
      Re: “[Obama] is devoid of courage and conviction”

      I share your frustration and your general point. And the wording you
      use is used widely. But I think it’s the wrong framing. To say he is
      devoid of courage and conviction is a way for progressives and others
      to frame things so it convinces us the problem is one of a person
      (it’s not) and of personality (it isn’t that either).

      Now I’m not saying
      that if Ralph Nader was president the actions would be identical [assuming
      even identical congressional Democrats and Republicans for him to work
      with, identical right-wing Limbaugh, Beck etc]” but not nearly, nearly
      as different as we sometimes like to convince ourselves. And the
      reason is NOT “OMG, Nader too is a liar without convictions” no, it’s
      the system, the rules of the games, including many factors, of which
      campaign financing is only one (important but only one). We need to focus our attention on changing that system, not wringing our hands over “lack of courage/conviction” over and over and over again with Clinton then (candidate) Gore then Obama I and now Obama II, we progressivse can sound like a broken record. Let’s fix what’s really
      broken, the system – political and our economic system , and the mass media system too, among others.

      • john atcheson says:

        ED

        All true, but I think a lot of us were led to believe — perhaps naively — that Obama would at least challenge the system. We didn’t necessarily expect him to win, but we thought he’s take it on.

        Instead, he burrowed into it.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

          Chomsky and Nader, amongst many others, nailed Obama as a confidence-man before he tricked his way into power. It’s not just the betrayals, it is the extremity of his reversals, their immediacy, his unapologetic attitude, as if his earlier promises and false impressions do not even any longer exist and his apparent absolute lack of shame or guilt that tell you exactly where Obama lies in the psychological spectrum.

      • fj says:

        Pre-election Obama in the Superman Costume poster hinted that expectations were too high.

  8. M Tucker says:

    “The speech is a disappointment for anyone expecting serious leadership on this issue from Obama in his second term.”

    He demonstrated what kind of leader he is on the climate issue in his first term. I expect nothing serious to happen during this term. No mention of Keystone in this speech. Obama is a political animal and if he really thought that climate action would win seats in the House or Senate or help boost another Democrat into the White House he would be more aggressive. Despite all those polls from 2010 or earlier, if Obama thought that climate action would get people out to vote on election day he would be more aggressive. He does know that immigration reform will bring the votes. He is hoping that gun safety legislation will bring the votes. He is pretty sure that championing gay rights is a winner. He believes talking about raising the minimum wage will stir up some interest. But he believes that climate action must always be linked to an economic boost and jobs and energy efficiency. He does not believe that climate action will actually bring people to the polls. I tend to agree. It is easy to answer a question about climate change on the phone but will it really bring voters out on a cold day in November? I’m not sure and it looks like Obama isn’t sure either.

  9. SecularAnimist says:

    Joe Romm wrote: “The politics of the stimulus bill, the politics of the financial oversight bill, and the politics of health care reform. And yet, those three all happened.”

    And there are plenty of progressives who are every bit as disappointed with what “happened” with those three, and with Obama’s role in those outcomes, as you are with Obama’s lack of leadership on climate.

    God help us if Obama “achieved” with climate legislation what was “achieved” with health care “reform” — we would have an individual mandate requiring each and every American to buy gasoline and coal.

  10. Joan Savage says:

    Obama is not doing the policy “our way” (even though that in itself is a medley of opinions), but I could cut him some slack for doing it another way if, and only if, the US cuts greenhouse gases overall and fast enough.

    He’s broached energy efficiency – is that something that could get bipartisan support, and is it a big enough wedge to be an honorable legacy?
    I’m not convinced that it is, but I’d like to see a list of the do-ables for the next three years, and see what adds up.

    PS I hate it when Obama or anyone else uses the words “climate change” interchangeably with policy to minimize it.

    It is sheer nonsense for Obama to say we need people to “advocate” for climate change. NOOOOO! Quite the opposite.

    Messaging.

    • Joan Savage says:

      I’d advocate for Climate Preservation.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Joan, I admire you calm, sensible, knowledgeable contributions, but if after five years of Obamanism you are not yet prepared to recognise the truth of what Obama is, ever was and ever will be, then I regret to say that, in my opinion, you are seriously deluded, no doubt due to over-generousness of spirit and unflinching optimism.

      • Joan Savage says:

        Mulga,

        My remarks were actually tongue in cheek, as there’s a lot of American humor based on saying something like, Honey I don’t care how you fix the sink as long as it works, or Honey I don’t care what dress you wear, as long as we get there on time.

        I might have as well have said, I don’t give an expletive how he does it, as long as the administration shows us evidence of US cuts in greenhouse gases overall and fast enough.

        • Joan Savage says:

          But I do care how they do it – don’t want to leave a mess.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

          Sorry Joan-I’m a bit tired and emotional today, and am a little dim at the best of times. It went over my head, I fear.

          • Joan Savage says:

            Not a problem. It’s great to get feedback. Hope your day goes better.

            By the way, my worldview isn’t based on optimism. It’s about maximizing what we can do.

            I come from a long line of folk who did various things like organize humanitarian relief in WWI and WWII, run stations on the Underground Railroad in the 18th and 19th centuries, etc. activities that pushed back at the paradigms of the day.

            “We don’t know how to give up,” is a saying of one of my indigenous neighbors. That works for me.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            We all have to give up, in the end, when we go on the ‘Long Vacation’, but, until then, you’ve just got to keep on getting up and plod along. As Casals said, ‘The situation is hopeless-we must take the next step’.

      • Nicely said, Mulga. Whatever happened to Superman1? I miss being harangued for the inadequacy of my advocacy.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

          Deported back to Krypton, perhaps? Or what’s left of it. He probably burned himself out, I suppose. A man’s gotta know his limitations.

        • Merrelyn Emery says:

          Take it easy there Philip, don’t encourage him. I’m happy to muddle along with my delusions, ME

    • Mark E says:

      He could advocate for BOTH health care reform and climate by asking people to walk or ride bikes….

      …. and eating a lot less petro-grown food, thereby losing weight and reducing more than one kind of emission, all at the same time.

  11. EDpeak says:

    Great piece but as usual some caveats/questions/concerns..

    First, well financial regulations that in practice didn’t have teeth, progressive analysts and watchdogs say…maybe that’s why they didn’t find it too “tough” to pass those..

    But I do wonder though if part of it isn’t that what polls say Americans think, are quite a separate affair from what Obama is told privately to “please don’t talk about the dangers or Koch will fund massive attacks on me for voting with you, Mr. President” I doubt Obama is not smart enough to see the cost of not talking about the dangers (the other half) of climate change. But he judges that the costs are even higher of talking too much about it – and not always the costs to him, but the costs to the “moderate” (conservative) Democrats and others whose votes he needs…because they beg him to “tone down” such speeches so as not to get the (massively funded) Fox/Limbaugh/Palin etc machines against not just Obama but against their congressional re-election. In that sense one can “sympathize” with Obama, but then again, Joe is ultimately right in that, even if Obama’s short term calculus is correct, well, if we “win some battles but lose the war” on climate, thanks to that calculus, well we’re kinda screwed – big time.

  12. “the politics of this are tough”
    When the going gets tough the tough get going!!!!

    • BobbyL says:

      All the polls like this one show a majority of Americans support building Keystone. I wonder if the Arkansas tar sands oil leak will weaken the support.

      • Ernest says:

        Polling is shallow and volatile. The Arkansas leak provides some concrete gut level visuals. Much depends on how Exxon is able (or not able) to clean up and compensate for the damage. But I am surprised at the margin of difference in the polling. It wasn’t even close. If I were an elected representative, I wonder should I “lead” or should I “represent” despite my preferred judgement.

        • J4zonian says:

          “…how Exxon is able (or not able) to clean up and compensate for the damage.”

          Ha ha ha! Good one.

  13. David Goldstein says:

    Latest weekly Mauna Loa CO2- (as of 3/24) – 397.92. Highest ever. Get ready to say goodbye to the ’300′s’….maybe forever (at least in terms of human history), though, of course, they’ll come back around for a few years during the winter lower CO2 seasons. Sniff. I’ll miss the 300′s, they are all I’ve ever known (I am 49)

    • Merrelyn Emery says:

      You’ll just have to be a big brave boy David, life is full of ups, and hopefully, one day, downs, ME

  14. Paul Magnus says:

    Obama just does not quite grasp the risk involved here. He knows the detail, but just fails to see what the outcomes are going to be.

    What would it take to get him to realize the gravity of the situation?

    • Gestur says:

      Paul, my opinions on what exactly makes Obama so reluctant to take a meaningful stand on Climate Change are still evolving, but right now what makes sense to me is to think that he’s simply exhibiting, at the presidential-level, what psychoanalysts call being in a state of ‘disavowal’. As you note, he surely understands the basic facts of global warming. But it’s as if he spends 15 minutes a day attending meetings reviewing those facts, and the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of each day doing his damndest to ignore these facts and continue to push the traditional views of what his Administration should be attending to. I think a large swath of the US population is in this state of disavowal as well: they know the dangers of Climate Change at some level of consciousness, yet they continually ignore those facts and run up their carbon footprints as if they have no such knowledge. Well, Obama is exhibiting this same disavowal writ large, you could say. He simply is not able to entertain the idea that on his watch there has to be not just some serious talk of what everyone has to give up—but that actual policies need to be enacted that entail some loss in order for the longer-term good for all to be achieved. He simply is unable to continence the idea that he won’t be able to push those policies that he thinks will make the nation, and especially the middle class, much better off economically right now. As with any other person in disavowal, consciously acknowledging this reality is—and my fear is that it will always be—simply too painful for him to engage in. For him personally, it would simply shatter his imagine of who and what he is, and so be too large a loss to contemplate. I hasten to add that I’m not claiming this is the only way to view his behavior. And I would not disagree that, given that he’s the POTUS, it’s perhaps closer to being merely descriptive than analytic, much less prescriptive. [It’s not exactly like we can drive by the White House and usher him to some sessions with a good psychoanalyst.] Obviously as well, the implications for Obama being in this state of disavowal are incalculably larger than for any other person. And therein lies the tragedy, of course.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        The reality of a staged, sham, Potemkin ‘democracy’ like the USA (and all capitalist states) is that no-one gets to even approach political power if they threaten the total control and prerogatives of the real rulers, the rich. Much time and effort is expended pretending that ‘the people rule, decide etc’, but once elected the President is a quasi-monarch, and the Congress serve their owner/contributors entirely. It is, in fact, an elected dictatorship, with the legal oversight effectively neutered by decades of brazen political appointments based on the judge’s ideology. The MSM is entirely Rightwing, the Internet, now a threat, will soon be defanged, almost certainly in the interests of the eternal ‘War on Terrorism’ and all decisions in the USA and the West as a whole are made by tiny cabals of the rich and their trusted consigliere. Nothing will or can be done over the constellation of crises, ecological, economic, social and geo-political while power resides in the hands of the current elite.

  15. tom says:

    Apparently, Obama does not actually believer that there both global warming can be addressed while addressing the economy at the same time. And why is the middle and lower class hurting so badly, anyway, when those at the top are prospering more than ever. If there is a tradeoff, go after them.

    • Mark E says:

      Since we *know* nothing grows forever….

      And we have a pretty good idea that unchecked climate change will bring down the economy anyway…..

      This order or priorities is delusional. What good does it do to grow the economy a little now, only to have it implode later?

      Food First!

      Obama should make the priority the security of our ability to grow food the old fashioned way (sweat not petrol). Lose the option of falling back on labor to feed ourselves and then we are well and truly lost.

  16. Joan Savage says:

    A year ago, NREL came out with a report on zero-net energy low-income housing project in Lafayette, Colorado.

    http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51450.pdf

    Back in the day, the political will behind other public works came from the dandy combination of construction jobs and human services. Is this so hard?

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      You forget the generalised, ineradicable and progressively worsening misanthropy of the Rightwing ruling elite. They hate, viscerally, anything that makes life better for the rabble.

  17. rollin says:

    Here is a site listing the accomplishments of the five most environmentally friendly presidents. Read and compare.
    http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/businesspolitics/the-5-most-environmentally-friendly-presidents-in-us-history/857

    Can the big O even hold a candle them, let alone light it?

  18. BillD says:

    Have to say that during the lead up to the election, I was shocked and angry when Democratic fund-raising literature asked me to rank the top 10 issues and climate change was not even a choice, but North Korea was. The only energy-related issue was framed as “energy independence.” Seems that now the president is spending is capital and efforts on gun control. Maybe it’s just the cool spring which again seems to be turning into a drought in my part of the Midwest. Then we have news media who are not knowledgeable enough to go against the ridiculous “no warming in x years meme.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      It’s called ‘framing the agenda’. In regard to opinion polls, an Australian invention, by creatures who once worked for Howard and now are said to be running Cameron’s hate campaign against the poor in the UK, is ‘push-polling’. There the polling question is deliberately contorted to push an ideological position, of the Right, of course. You’d possibly get a different answer if the question was, ‘Climate destabilisation will kill several billion people by the middle of this century. All those with children, please state whether this situation is, in your opinion, good, bad, or inconsequential’.

  19. fj says:

    Remembering being terribly disappointed what little President Jimmy Carter did for clean energy, sustainable development and the environment . . .

    . . . yet James Hansen greatly praised Carter’s considerable achievements dismantled by Ronald Reagan when he took office.

    While this may one example of historical myopia, President Obama is fully capable of doing a lot more.

  20. Daniel Coffey says:

    Will someone explain to me why President Obama gets so much grief and the environmental community that is systematically halting and delaying large-scale solar PV, wind and geothermal projects?

    When is the environmental community going to wake up that a great deal could be done if they stopoholic environmentalist community would cut loose the competition to oil, natural gas and coal. But that won’t happen because it is too difficult to look in the mirror and change; it’s much easier to say its all Obama’s fault.

    A little reality check is in order.

    • Mark E says:

      Because the enviro execs take salaries doing what the members want, and most members are NIMBY’s

      They are happy in their Polarfleece made in Asian sweatshops and driven to REI by deisel.

      So don’t you try to mess with the countrysie where they like to bike, because THEY are environmentalists!

      They should all read more Gandhi.

  21. Susan Anderson says:

    I do get tired of people not noticing that Jimmy Carter did his very best for the environment. His failure is an indicator of what happens to such people. Obama is much more savvy, but how he can reconcile his pig ignorance of global warming facts when he has daughters is beyond me.

    The denial line is very skillful, but you’d think somebody would have clued him in.

    Too bad he’s a lawyer – I can’t help thinking he’s hobnobbing with Revkin, as you can’t see any daylight between their positions. Compromise is no longer an option, but they don’t realize how bad things are.

    • rollin says:

      Your right Susan, Carter was one of the great presidents concerning the environment. He knew how to talk to Congressmen and get things done.
      Nixon was another great environmental president but his term got stained with war and watergate.
      Obama is just another politician, can’t be trusted. While America burns, floods and the people become destitute, he smiles and keeps on doing the back door thing. His big achievment might be a negative to XL, what is taking so long. Afraid to say no or dragging it out hoping we will go away?

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Obama plainly thinks that the money he is expecting to harvest upon retirement will protect him and his daughters when the days of horror and bitter regret are upon us. I’m convinced that the elite, whose hubris is substantial, all think along similar lines. It will just be the ‘useless eaters’ dying, so who gives a stuff, and get the butler to fetch another magnum of the Bollinger.

    • Susan Anderson says:

      I don’t think Obama’s quite that bad. Just got in the habit of being “the most important man in the world” and can’t seem to see how science works and how the lawyerly habit will not help him understand it better.