Ed Driscoll

One Cheer for Obama's Latest Malaise Moment

I’ve mentioned Obama’s latest malaise-themed quote in San Francisco previously this week, but Bryan Preston responds at the Tatler:

The president who says we’ve gone soft now says we lack ambition as a nation.

“We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge,” President Obama said at a fundraiser in San Francisco on Tuesday.

About that…Notice also that the only ambition Obama recognizes involves government spending to build stuff. He’s living 70 years in the past — he wants to be another FDR but we’ve already had one.


To be fair, let’s give Obama points for actually saying this in San Francisco, as it does take a certain amount of chutzpah to deliver your malaise speech in a city where they obviously have more important things to do than build and innovate. Though let’s take those points away; Obama is calling his leftwing base in San Francisco too soft; but also considers his fellow Democrats in Pennsylvania to be too bitter, religious, and heavily armed —  which “everybody knows is true,” the future president would subsequently add in his non-apology apology. (Victor Davis recently assembled “a tiny sampling” of those Americans “who have been on the receiving end of the president’s disdain.”)

While today’s self-described ‘progressives’ aren’t very good at building new things (just ask the president), they’ve become quite adept at destroying the monuments that the first generation of progressives built near the start of the 20th century:

First Elwha and Glines Canyon, and now Condit: The three largest dam removals ever in the country will be under way in Washington today, when contractors detonate 800 pounds of dynamite and blast the White Salmon River free.

“You hate to see it go; it’s good, carbon-free energy,” said Tom Hickey, senior engineer for hydro resources for PacifiCorp. But Condit Dam is only one of 47 projects in the company’s hydro fleet, Hickey said, and it has other sources of power from wind to coal.

Condit’s time simply had come.


In a post titled “Dammed If You Do,” Walter Russell Mead recently noted:

If you want a snapshot of the future of 20th century progressivism, look at the nation’s waterways. In the 19th and 20th centuries dams were a hallmark of progressive planning – using the resources and coordination of the government to build an infrastructure that would power industry, generate electricity, and create construction jobs. Now many of those dams are coming down.

As Kate McMillian writes at Small Dead Animals, “Civilizations Are Not Murdered — They commit suicide.”


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