The Competitive Enterprise Institute called President Obama’s War on Coal “Undemocratic, Bordering On Authoritarian, Disingenuous on Keystone”. But it might better be described as his knitting moment.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is almost certainly going to be defeated by an epic margin in the election to be held in next few months. Recently she played her last card by posing while knitting for the cover of a women’s magazine. Instead of inspiring sympathy it has elicited mockery.

In more benign times, in a political climate in which the Prime Minister was not under a constant state of siege, including from within her own party, the photo would be seen in an entirely different light.

But what Gillard has misjudged is that in the political climate of the day, the photo could not possibly be taken at face value, could not possibly convey the message that Gillard intended.


President Obama declared War on Coal because it’s the only war he can win. Like Gillard, he needs to remind the base there’s something he can actually do. Elsewhere it’s been hard luck. As Bret Stephens points out, the President has ushered in The Age of American Impotence.

Merely to get the Taliban to the table for a bogus peace process, the administration agreed at Pakistan’s urging to let Mullah Omar come to the table on his owns terms: no acceptance of the Afghan Constitution, no cease-fire with international forces, not even a formal pledge to never again allow Afghanistan to become a haven for international terrorism. The U.S. also agreed, according to Pakistani sources, to allow the terrorist Haqqani network—whose exploits include the 2011 siege of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul—a seat at the table.

And for his troubles President Obama gets a thank you attack from the Taliban. The Marc Thiessen at the Washington Post groans “The Taliban is playing Obama”.

Impotent abroad, omnipotent at home. If you can’t win the war without, win the war within.

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