Belmont Club

Missing the tide

HotAir notes that time and time wait for no man. Not even for the One.

Canada has patiently waited for Americans to help themselves improve our energy policy by installing a pipeline from Canada’s oil sands to our refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, but this week Prime Minister Stephen Harper signaled that their patience has limits. Speaking to CTV, Harper reminded the US that they have a very thirsty China as a potential customer, too.

Saudi Arabia, long the acknowledged King of Oil, is prepared to acknowledge America as an energy superpower.

Unconventional oil shifting the energy balance of power. … The speech by Saudi Aramco’s Chief Executive Khalid Al-Falih was the first from the oil exporter to acknowledge that unconventional oil was set to shift the energy balance of power and cut US dependence on Middle East crude. … A technology-led surge in North American shale gas production has created a global glut over the last few years which has reduced US reliance on Middle Eastern gas imports, forced exporters to look for new buyers and cut their revenues.

But the Saudis should not hasten to make their obeisance.  Whom they would bow to is out playing golf.

President Obama, who recently compared himself FDR, is at least partially correct in that they both lived in times of great opportunity. FDR was in office at a time when the rest of the industrialized world destroyed itself, leaving America the sole superpower. President Obama lives in world of similar chances. The European Union and the Middle East are busy committing suicide.  The difference that unlike FDR, Obama is busily trying to emulate their failure.

Not content with copying the failed welfare model of Europe, he seems determined to prevent the very thing that Saudi Arabia fears, the rise of America as a global energy superpower.  There seems no cliff over which he will not follow  Europe; no folly in the Arabia he is not eager to support.

The idea is to “lead from behind” and then pat oneself on the back.  As as one of Glenn Reynold’s commenters observes it seems like nobody is minding the store.

In all seriousness, Obama’s punting on Keystone is inexplicable. Does the White House really think that a decision in favor of the pipeline would be that politically damaging – when they can wrap a favorable decision in a jobs creation agenda while pointing to a map like the one you linked to yesterday? As inexplicable as that is, for the life of me, I can’t understand why Republicans – especially presidential candidates – aren’t hammering Obama every single day on this issue.

What? Does nothing make sense?

One unkind answer is that Washington operates without reference to reality. Nothing needs to make sense in a place that listens to its own voice, marches to its own drum and stews in its own intellectual waste. Consequently, the obvious never so. In fact the obvious is completely inexplicable.

As for reality, does it vote? Reality can go take a flying jump at a rolling donut for all that the entrenched politicians in Washington care. And in this respect the great tragedy of the Obama years may be this: at a time when it was possible to seize the future by simply not committing a blunder, it failed to clear even this low bar.

All FDR had to do to get ahead was stay sane in a crazy world. That is proving too hard a task for the administration, where the personal is political, the political is personal and the inexplicable is explicable.


"I didn't overpromise"

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