Precious little, it turns out, in a decidedly uncool SOTU.
I try very hard to like Barack Obama. And sometimes he helps me out. For example, at the beginning of his State of the Union address yesterday, he made what seemed to me to be some sense about the budget. And he offered excellent free advice to the GOP. Why, he asked, should we hamstring all of our other attempts to work on the budget crisis because some of the GOP are trying to protect the tax breaks of the very richest among us? Why is the GOP going to the mat to defend the richest people in the country — and he might have added, “Most of whom are liberals in New York and L.A. and the Silicon Valley, who don’t vote Republican anyway?”
That made sense, at least to me.
But he soon wandered off the reservation of rationality and into two adjoining realms: the commonplace perpetual fantasies of liberals and his own special fantasyland.
Let’s start with the worst part of the speech: the part about what the liberals used to call global warming and now, since they can’t back up that “global” part, call “climate change.”
Mr. Obama asked the audience, in essence, “Are you so stupid that you think it’s just coincidence that this country had some unusually hot years recently, and also had a big storm called Sandy, and also had some big brush fires? Or do you agree with me that it’s the result of a conspiracy by American industry? And don’t you think I should bypass Congress to assault the problem from the White House?”
Well, as a matter of fact, “NO.”
First, as to the science: for him to pick a few data points — temperatures in the U.S., a drought, and a big storm — out of literally trillions of data points of weather all around the globe for all of the earth’s history, and ask us to disregard everything but those three data points, is silly.
Yes, the USA has been warmer than usual lately, but many parts of the earth were cooler than usual. Yes, there were some big brush fires lately, but this is largely because of U.S. government policies that prevent thinning of forests by cutting down dead, tinder dry trees. Mr. Obama apparently thinks those fires were caused by uniquely severe droughts. But there is no evidence of that at all. We have had far drier years in many regions of this country over the past century long ago than we have had in recent years.
And yes, the big storm, Sandy, was a terrible storm and innocent people suffered terribly. But we have had far worse hurricanes, even in the northeast, within the past hundred years. A big storm in one small region of the globe is not an unusual event, even if that region is where Mr Obama’s most fervent media and finance supporters live.
The unusual event is Mr. Obama taking these data points and ignoring the other data, especially what effect on climate the immense dumping of pollutants into the air by China, India, Brazil, and Russia might have. Whatever changes we make in the USA will be nothing in the global balance of pollution compared with what China alone is forcing into our atmosphere. If we are absolutely certain that industrial and transportation effluence should be curbed (and I think it should, mostly for pulmonary reasons), we are just whistling past the graveyard unless we get the BRIC countries on track.
But what’s far worse in Mr. Obama’s contempt for the Constitution. If Congress does not want to act on a problem, the Constitution does not say that the legislative power defaults to the Executive. Congress would then have spoken and Mr. Obama cannot simply override it and the law. Mr. Obama apparently thinks he has legislative power. He doesn’t.
Was Mr Obama really a professor of Constitutional Law or was that just some fantasy gift title from Harvard Law School?
Mr. Obama is also living in a dream world about al Qaeda. What on earth is he smoking to believe that al Qaeda as we knew it is shattered? They are still powerful in Pakistan, will soon be in the saddle again in Afghanistan, are big players in Libya, Tunisia, Syria, and immense players in Mali. They are in Indonesia. They were in a few caves in Afghanistan when they created the worst civilian mass murder in U.S. history. Now they’re all over the world and show no signs at all of going away? What is Mr Obama talking about?
Likewise, why is he bragging about the U.S. leaving Afghanistan? Yes, our involvement in that war will be over, I guess. But we certainly will not be leaving with anything like a victory. It certainly is not solely Mr. Obama’s fault that his predecessor used up too much effort in Iraq and allowed the Taliban to regroup and grow strong again in Afghanistan. But we are not leaving Afghanistan in good shape at all, and the massacre of the Afghans who believed in us will be fearful after we leave, I fear. (I hope and pray I am wrong.)
What is Mr. Obama talking about when he says he is going to keep the U.S. military as strong as ever when he is in the process of deep defense cuts? I don’t blame him for those cuts: the GOP forced this in many ways. But why would Mr Obama brag about a super defense as he cuts defense?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online