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Obama's New Energy Policy: A Lesson in Stealth Socialism

President Barack Obama, facing political heat and plummeting poll numbers inevitably generated by rapidly rising gasoline and energy prices, is calling for a one-third reduction in oil imports over the next decade. How will this potentially laudable -- but likely farcical -- goal be accomplished?

By boosting domestic energy production, offering incentives to increase the use of biofuels and natural gas, and making cars and trucks more fuel-efficient.

According to the AP and Fox:

Obama long has said the U.S. needs to reduce its dependency on oil -- particularly from overseas sources -- for financial, security and environmental reasons. In his State of the Union address in January, he set a goal of having 80 percent of U.S. energy come from clean sources like wind, solar and nuclear by 2035.

But what about domestic oil production?

The administration says it still sees vast opportunities to expand on domestic oil and gas production. An Interior Department report released ahead of Obama's speech Wednesday said more than two-thirds of offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico are sitting idle, neither producing oil and gas nor being actively explored by the companies who hold the leases. The department said those leases could potentially hold more than 11 billion barrels of oil and 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

And what about nuclear energy?

Officials said Obama also would reaffirm his support for nuclear power, which has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks after an earthquake and tsunami in Japan severely damaged a nuclear power plant there.

One might initially be tempted to see this as an admission of past failings and the adoption of new, rational policies to lower energy prices for Americans, but it is no such thing. In Clintonian fashion, it depends on what the meaning of “boost” is, but this is primarily one of the oldest cons in the book: bait-and-switch.

Mr. Obama, as I’ve previously argued in these pages, is provably a socialist, but a particularly American kind: a stealth socialist. Stealth socialism is a matter of tactics. Stealth socialists, recognizing that an open Marxist agenda will never fly with the American people, adopt a patient, long-term strategy whereby they attain the same goals but through misrepresentation, misdirection, lies, and bait-and-switch. These are, coincidentally, the tactics of the con man. Having been a community organizer, Mr. Obama is particularly adept at these tactics and with the use of the primary vehicle for their implementation: rhetoric.

In Radical-In-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, Stanley Kurtz carefully and convincingly documents stealth socialism and Mr. Obama’s full immersion in it. Stealth socialists are careful never to allow themselves to be known as socialists, which is certainly Mr. Obama’s practice. Mr. Kurtz does what the media would not do in 2008, and still scrupulously avoids: he investigates and reports on Mr. Obama’s associations, motivations, and the truth of his policies.

Bait-and-switch, for those not familiar with the con man’s lexicon, is promising one thing but steering people into accepting another. A classic example is the appliance store that advertises an attractive microwave oven for $20, but when customers stream into the store, explains that the last of the $20 ovens (if such ovens ever existed) was just sold, and further explains that there are some wonderful $60 dollar ovens that are just as good. Having expended time, effort, and money, many people will be disposed to being steered to the more expensive product, which was the store’s dishonest intention all along.

The most egregious example of this execrable con is ObamaCare.

Misrepresentation? Mr. Obama promised a health care utopia that would not only insure tens of millions of the currently uninsured at no additional cost, but would improve health care in every way while costing less and simultaneously lowering the deficit. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen! Come on down to the BHO Discount Appliance Emporium for $20 health care with a $30 rebate! But act now! It’s going fast!

Misdirection? Large parts of the $20 health care oven don’t take effect until after the 2012 election cycle, and funding is frantically juggled into the future when the real economic bad news finally catches up and everyone is left with a far more expensive product, inferior to the product it replaced. The idea was that by imposing as much of ObamaCare as possible on the public for as long as possible, enough of the public would come to feel that they had too much invested to turn down the switch. This is the bait -- the building of such huge bureaucracies and such addiction in huge constituencies that it would be virtually impossible to shut the bureaucrats down and to wean the addicts off the drug, thus cementing the switch. The entire system is designed to fail, and to fail obviously, because the final goal -- intended all along -- is a single payer system and maximum control over the health and the very lives of Americans. This is classic stealth socialism.

Fortunately, economic reality has already begun to catch up with Mr. Obama, and even he and many members of his party and his supporters have had to admit the misdirection and misrepresentation. As Nancy Pelosi forecast, the bill was passed, and people have been finding out what’s in it. But to her surprise, they’re not taking the bait. The switch has been prematurely exposed by more than a thousand waivers (and counting), bad budget news, and exploding deficits. Even Democrats who voted for ObamaCare have had no choice but to admit the truth. Democrats such as former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh admitted that ObamaCare doesn’t address rising health care costs:

The real issue that was not addressed, Laura, that you’ve raised now, and I think appropriately, is the cost, the cost to both the government and to your listeners. We need to take steps now to get the costs of health care under control. That was not dealt with really in an aggressive way in this legislation. I think it now needs to be.