Among the Intellectualoids

The Oilers vs. The Stealers

More confiscatory socialism from the White House. 

By 6.17.10

Barack Obama's soulful strolls along the stained beaches of Louisiana in recent days have looked about as authentic as the photographs of Richard Nixon walking San Clemente Beach in dress shoes. Ostensibly crouching down to investigate tar balls, Obama was more likely reviewing in his mind the shards of his presidency.

Even his tense apologists at MSNBC appear to be losing heart, comparing him to Jimmy Carter. Yes, Chris Matthews "went there." Apparently, Matthews' fabled Obama-induced restless leg syndrome has started up again, but this time as a kick rather than a tickle.

Matthews feels no thrill up it from Obama's proud and repeated references to Energy Secretary Steven Chu as a "Nobel Prize-winning physicist." Who cares? says Matthews; the boast is "ludicrous" and beside the point, since Chu didn't win the prize for any clever methods to plug gushing wells.

The loyalty to such talking points among Obama administration officials would make the Bolsheviks proud. White House environmental adviser Carol Browner, appearing on Hardball before Obama's Tuesday speech, paid the now-compulsory homage to Chu as a "Nobel Prize-winning scientist." She insisted that he "has played a hugely important" role in the crisis and seemed peeved at Matthews' Pavlovian anger about the matter.

Let's not forget that Obama, for his part, is a Nobel Prize-winning politician. Still, the collective mental power of these two Nobel Prize winners has yet to fasten upon a solution, not even the temporary one of letting Nobel-respecting Scandinavians clean up the mess (the Dutch and Norway governments have reportedly offered their oil clean-up expertise to nonresponsive Obama administration officials).

Matthews' flagging spirits pepped up a bit when he remembered that his documentary on "The Rise of the New Right" was set to appear on Wednesday evening. From his grave tone, one would think he had done a documentary on The Rise of the Third Reich. Matthews and his colleagues at MSNBC are still coming to terms with the sobering knowledge that America has more than one political party, and that someone, somewhere, at any given moment of the day in the hinterlands of America, might be speaking ill of liberalism.

It is inconceivable to Matthews that any responsible American could regard Obama as "tyrannical." But Obama's knee-jerk confiscatory socialism this week provided fresh proof of it. Obama now moves to mop up the Gulf spill with a shredded Constitution. His demand that BP essentially hand over a blank check to the U.S. government has all the legality of a car-jacking.

The Democrats don't even bother to conceal the crassness of this demand, saying casually that they will manufacture the legal authority for the shakedown sometime in the future. Just seize the money, their attitude goes, and we'll write the "legislation" to justify the theft later.

Were the British Empire that fought the War of 1812 still around, America might be looking at a War of 2012. Instead, a rattled BP appears willing to fork over much more money than it will owe, including money for "lost wages" due to the president's own panicky moratorium. BP obviously invited all of this through its gross incompetence, but what if the same "lost wages" standard applied to the Obama administration? It, too, is busy destroying the "way of life" for workers in multiple industries, but in its case that's not even an accident; it is a deliberate plan.

Which federal government office should coal and oil rig workers show up at to retrieve their lost wages once Obama's energy laws crippling those industries pass? Obama offers these workers the consolation of a "clean energy" job in the future. That's very thoughtful of him. These workers can look forward to the prospect of a job, or at the very least a generous interview opportunity for a job, at wind farms several states away from their homes maybe a decade from now.

Once again, the Obama administration illustrates that the greatest threat to the economy comes not from the environment but from environmentalists. Hurricanes and oil spills cost workers far fewer jobs than do the policies of trendy pantheism. Environmentalists are even a danger to each other, as the allegedly adulterous affair involving Al Gore and fellow enviro Laurie David (comedian Larry David's ex-wife) comically suggested this week.

Gore's nocturnal patterns have piqued the interest of, if not the Discovery Channel. But should questions persist, Gore could always fall back upon Larry David's own defense against adultery charges in an old episode of his show Curb Your Enthusiasm, a defense some might find plausible in Gore's case. I am not "cool" enough to have an affair, David's character explains to his wife in the episode. You are right, she finally agrees. You wouldn't be "good at it."

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About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author of No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.