'Chops Licking,' Then and Now
"President Obama today accused Republicans of 'licking their chops' at soaring gas prices, while admitting his administration has no 'silver bullet' to ease pain at the pump," Bridget Johnson writes at the PJ Tatler:
Obama gave a talk on energy issues on a visit to the University of Miami’s industrial energy-efficiency center. He then attended a fundraiser at the Biltmore with Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
“Just like last year, gas prices are climbing across the country – except this time, even earlier. And that hurts everyone – everyone who owns a car; everyone who owns a business,” Obama said.
“Now, some politicians always see this as a political opportunity. You’re shocked, I know. Last week, the lead of one news story said, ‘Gasoline prices are on the rise, and Republicans are licking their chops.’ Only in politics do people greet bad news so enthusiastically. You pay more, and they’re licking their chops?” he added.
Gee, as the above video highlights, I can remember a politician who licking his own chops to see higher energy prices himself in 2008 -- and several big media outlets on both coasts who also supported the idea of themselves:
Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.
As Daniel Henniger writes at the Wall Street Journal, welcome to "Obama's Virtual Economy:"
If you were a president who for three years presided over an economy with more than 13 million unemployed, a growth rate gasping around 2%, an historic credit downgrade and underwater home mortgages drifting like icebergs toward the American Titanic, what would you do?
You'd do what Barack Obama's done: Reboot.
With his recently announced campaign platform—An Economy Built to Last—President Obama has essentially constructed a virtual economy. Instead of the economy we all live in, he's making one up and inviting us to pretend we are living in it. Welcome to the Sim City Economy.
Sim City, one of the most popular products ever in the imaginary world of video games, lets players bring to life towns of their own devising in great detail. It's endless fun, fiddling with the dials on the real world.
Especially when, as Henninger wrote last year, for Obama, the private economy has always been an intellectual abstraction. Except that, as VDH wrote this morning, "The Obama administration’s real problem is existential: What if it gets what it wants, but then finds that either it or the country really is uncomfortable with what it got?"
Michael Ramirez of Investor's Business Daily illustrated the Mobius Loop the president's epistemically closed worldview nicely back in 2009: