Ed Driscoll

The Bonfire of the Obama Vanities

As Mark Steyn writes in his weekly column:

Two years ago this week, then Sen. Obama declared that his very nomination as Democratic Party presidential candidate (never mind his election, or inauguration) marked the moment when “our planet began to heal” and “the rise of the oceans began to slow.”

“Well, when you anoint yourself King Canute,” remarked Charles Krauthammer the other day, “you mustn’t be surprised when your subjects expect you to command the tides.”

Meanwhile, back in the real world, far from the imaginary heights of Mount Obama:

Almost every problem we face today arises from the vanity of Big Government. Why has BP got oil wells 5,000 feet underwater in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico? Because government regulated them off-land, off-coast, and ever deeper into the briny.

True, BP went along. Its initials stand for “British Petroleum”. You may not be aware of that if you’ve seen any of their commercials in recent years: “BP — Beyond Petroleum.” They were an oil company ashamed of their product, and advertising only how anxious they were to get with the environmental program. And a fat lot of good that did them.

BP, not to mention its customers, would have been better to push back against government policies that drive energy suppliers into ever more unpredictable terrain in order to protect the Alaskan breeding grounds of the world’s largest mosquito herd. Instead, we’ll do the opposite. There’ll be even more government protection of “the environment,” and even more government regulation of the oil industry, and BP will be drilling for oil in that Icelandic volcano.

It’s the same in Europe. Greece’s problem isn’t so very difficult to diagnose. Like many western nations, its government has spent tomorrow today. As in New York and California, public-sector unions have looted the future. This is the entirely foreseeable consequence of government policy.

So what’s the solution? The international bailout (including a hefty contribution by U.S. taxpayers) is a massive subsidy to the Greeks to carry on doing all the stuff that’s got ’em into their present mess. The European motive for doing this is to “save the euro” — a currency whose very existence is a monument to the unbounded narcissism of government.

The euro notes are decorated by scenic views of handsome Renaissance, Gothic and classical edifices — just like the White House on U.S. currency. The only difference is that the European buildings do not exist in what we used to call the real world. They’re entirely fictional. That’s Big Government: Even if you don’t build it, they’ll still come. If you invent a currency for a united Europe, a united Europe is sure to follow.

The princelings of the new ruling class rarely have to live with the consequences of their narcissism. Nancy Pelosi can monkey with your health care, but hers will still be grand. Greek bureaucrats can regulate your business into the ground, but they’ll still have their pensions and benefits.

And when the cakes are burning to a crisp, King Barack the Verbose won’t be in the peasant hovel with you but off giving a critically-acclaimed speech about how the world works best when we all get an equal slice of the pie.

Or as John McCain said on Friday, “There are legitimate questions as to whether he’s out of his depth or not.”

Hey, McCain tried to warn you, America:

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Update: A light bulb begins to flicker inside the brain of one the biggest rubes. Given that it’s one of those fluorescent Al Gore twisty bulbs, it’s still isn’t 100 percent on yet, but give it time. Say, right around 2013, 2019, or so.

Update: Power Line asks the 6.4 trillion dollar question.