Political Hay

Birds of a Feather

When it comes to confronting the nation's energy crisis, Barack Obama suffers from Jimmy Carter Malaise.

By 8.6.08

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As is by now apparent, Barack Obama and his crack team of foreign policy experts have proven themselves totally tone-deaf when it comes to understanding the American people and their views toward the rest of the world. His campaign's strategy to convince voters that the way to win their hearts is to cozy up to those who hold them in disdain has resulted in a dip in his poll numbers.

So, having failed to impress any of those who have not already succumbed to the constant Obama-beat of the mainstream media, Barry and the boys have decided to tackle the energy crisis. Their grand plan predictably calls for a reduction in consumption, government investment into the development of alternative fuels, and windfall profit taxes on the evil oil companies. He has also lectured us on the need to turn down our thermostats and pay close attention to the air pressure in our tires.

Now, if all of this seems vaguely familiar, it should. Nearly 30 years ago, another Democrat tackled another energy crisis in eerily similar language. Up to now, only their foreign policy skills have been compared, but these two doves have much more in common than their woeful understanding of the Islamist threat.

So go and get your cardigan out of mothballs and take this little quiz, keeping in mind that the following quotes are taken from a single speech Obama made in Lansing, Michigan this week and one that Jimmy Carter delivered in July of 1979 to cheer the country during our "crisis of confidence." Was it Barack Obama or Jimmy Carter who said:

1) "Our economy is in turmoil and our families are struggling with rising costs and falling incomes; with lost jobs and lost homes and lost faith in the American Dream."

2) "We've always had a faith that the days of our children would be better than our own. Our people are losing that faith, not only in government itself but in the ability as citizens to serve as the ultimate rulers and shapers of our democracy."

3) "In little more than two decades we've gone from a position of energy independence to one in which almost half the oil we use comes from foreign countries, at prices that are going through the roof."

4) "Back then, we imported about a third of our oil. Now, we import more than half."

5) "Will we allow ourselves to be held hostage to the whims of tyrants and dictators who control the world's oil wells?"

6) "Our excessive dependence on OPEC has already taken a tremendous toll on our economy and our people."

7) "These efforts will cost money, a lot of money, and that is why Congress must enact the windfall profits tax without delay. It will be money well spent. Unlike the billions of dollars that we ship to foreign countries to pay for foreign oil, these funds will be paid by Americans to Americans."

8) "I believe we should immediately give every working family in America a $1,000 energy rebate, and we should pay for it with part of the record profits that the oil companies are making right now."

9) "In just ten years, these steps will produce enough renewable energy to replace all the oil we import from the Middle East."

10) "I am tonight setting the further goal of cutting our dependence on foreign oil by one-half by the end of the next decade."

11) "Think about how World War II forced us to transform a peacetime economy still climbing out of Depression into an Arsenal of Democracy that could wage war across three continents."

12) "Just as a similar synthetic rubber corporation helped us win World War II, so will we mobilize American determination and ability to win the energy war."

13) "I'll also extend the Production Tax Credit for five years to encourage the production of renewable energy like wind power, solar power, and geothermal energy."

14) "I am asking for the most massive peacetime commitment of funds and resources in our nation's history to develop America's own alternative sources of fuel -- from coal, from oil shale, from plant products for gasohol, from unconventional gas, from the sun."

15) "Think about when the scientists and engineers told John F. Kennedy that they had no idea how to put a man on the moon, he told them they would find a way."

16) "We ourselves are the same Americans who just ten years ago put a man on the Moon."

17) "We will set a goal of making our new buildings 50 percent more efficient over the next four years."

18) "I'm asking Congress to mandate, to require as a matter of law, that our nation's utility companies cut their massive use of oil by 50 percent within the next decade and switch to other fuels, especially coal, our most abundant energy source."

19) "And we'll invest in the technology that will allow us to use more coal, America's most abundant energy source...

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About the Author

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut (mailbox@lisafab.com).