Ed Driscoll

Speaking of the Cold Civil War...

Occupy Wall Street, which places the (willing) victims of Big Education against what Walter Russell Mead calls “Blue Wall Street,” is one blue on blue skirmish in the Cold Civil War. (Even if the participants are too ideologically brain-dead to update their scorecards.) The Keystone Pipeline is another. Or perhaps, to build on this Washington Examiner editorial, it’s a case of Big Blue Versus Big Green:

President Obama lamented recently that Americans have “lost our ambition, our — our imagination, and — and — our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge.” There are at least two facts that must be pointed out here. First, the Golden Gate Bridge was built by private enterprise, not government. If anything, government was the biggest obstacle to the bridge, thanks to opposition from the Department of Defense and the mistaken opinion of a San Francisco city engineer that the ground under the bay to be spanned would never support such a structure. It’s also worth noting here that Bank of America founder and president A.P. Giannini, a member of the much-maligned one percent, stepped forward at a critical moment after the Stock Market Crash of 1929 to provide critically needed private financing to complete the project. The bridge was finished in 1937, 16 years after architect Joseph Strauss first began the project. He completed the project $1.7 million under its total budget of $35 million.

Second, Obama is almost certainly correct in doubting that grand projects like the Golden Gate Bridge could be done today, but not for the reasons he would want to acknowledge. For proof, we need look no further than the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that TransCanada first proposed in 2008. The company wants to spend $7 billion in private capital to build the pipeline. It would transport crude oil produced in Canada’s Alberta tar sands region to refineries in Texas. Not only would U.S. dependence on OPEC nations for oil be significantly reduced, building the pipeline would also, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute, create as many as 435,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2035.

Naturally, President Punt will likely kick the football to after 2012.

And speaking of the Golden Gate Bridge, as the Examiner notes above, as with the Hoover Dam, it was actually private enterprise — certainly private money — that advanced the project. Naturally, that’s been all but forgotten in the rush to advance a left-wing agenda. (Though as I wrote before, Obama does have a certain amount of chutzpah to all but declare his core base of San Francisco elites as being bitter clingers themselves.)

Finally, when even Arianna Huffington can see through Obama’s rhetoric on this issue, you know he’s in trouble:

THIS WEEK’ HOST CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: There’s a bit of a, Arianna, a national sort of funk, isn’t there, to Niall’s (Ferguson) point?

HUFFINGTON: Well, I think what’s happening is there’s a sense of a bit of “Groundhog Day” feeling, that every Friday, the first Friday of each month, we get these jobs numbers and really nothing is fundamentally changing. And the most depressing thing is really what was in Ron Suskind’s book (“Confidence Men”), of Paul Volcker quoting Larry Summers, saying that politicians when it comes to reform just want to be caught trying.

And you saw that in your interview with John Boehner. He’s laminated proof of how he’s trying to create jobs. You see the president in front of crumbling bridges that have been crumbling ever since he’s been in the White House, but suddenly we’re getting closer to 2012 so he wants to be seen to be trying to create infrastructure jobs. But it’s all a show. And the American people sense it, that there is no real effort or will to create jobs, because there are many ideas out there about how it could be done, but it’s not happening.

Second look at Gingrich for Arianna? Kick it old school style, daaaaahling…