Obama's Clean Energy Ploy a Sucker's Game for GOP

Barack Obama has baited a trap for the GOP. The president announced that as a part of his clean energy initiative, he favored building two nuclear reactors at an existing nuclear power facility in Georgia and would commit $8 billion in loan guarantees to do so. If Senate Republicans in particular take the bait, they'll have been duped into backing the Mr. Obama's latest scheme to grow the national government into a leviathan -- the leviathan that the left and Mr. Obama hanker for. 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is a pretty wily customer. Though the senator praised Mr. Obama's call for the construction of the new nuclear reactors -- the first in thirty years, if built -- he knows that the president is dangling them to draw the GOP into supporting Mr. Obama's broader agenda to impose carbon taxes and to sink a lot more taxpayer money into renewable (green) energy development and jobs. 

It isn't Senator McConnell conservatives should fret over. It's the senator's squishier Republican colleagues who are Mr. Obama's chief target, particularly South Carolina's Lindsey Graham. The president needs to enlist Senator Graham and a couple of other Republican senators to 1) make a case for bipartisan support for the president's proposal and 2) give cover to wavering congressional Democrats who like their jobs and bennies and fear that the lack of GOP buy-in jeopardizes their futures. 

Reports out of Washington have Senator Graham, an on-the-record supporter of the global warming myth, deep in talks with liberal Democrats John Kerry and Joe Lieberman to concoct an energy bill compromise acceptable to some Republicans and most, if not all, Democrats. The trouble with this sort of grand bipartisan compromise is that the Democrats get what they want: bigger government, but not quite as big, though with a clear opening to grow in the coming years.

Word is that Senator Graham has taken the massive cap-and-tax mechanism off the table in his discussions with Senators Lieberman and Kerry. But so what? Democrats merely want to get the camel's nose under the tent. New and higher taxes will follow eventually.       

Senator Graham needs this message spliced into his DNA: Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid care less about issues than they do about using issues as portals to ram through bigger government. If these three Democratic leaders thought that taxing and regulating pony rides would be the handiest portal through which to convert government into something along the lines of France or Germany, then all three would be proposing the appropriate legislation in a heartbeat.     

Democrats were once typically shrewd. They used to be expert at co-opting Republicans into their efforts to expand government incrementally (think Social Security and Medicare). That sensible, if sly, approach went out the door with new, more radicalized Democratic congressional majorities and the ascension of Mr. Obama. But with the president sliding perilously in the polls and congressional Democrats careening toward a shellacking in November, incrementalism is back in vogue. Clean energy is a preview of the revived approach. 

Senator Graham's prize for going along with the Democrats on clean energy legislation is fleeting lionization by the mainstream media and the Democratic establishment. If Senator Graham cuts a clean energy deal that passes, we'll hear: "Graham, the statesman; Graham, the bridge-builder; Graham, the Republican who puts country first; Graham, the sane voice in the GOP wilderness." 

The South Carolina senator may also peel off Senators Snowe and Collins, two wobblies always searching for a reason to fall, in the process. John McCain is off the board unless the Arizona senator wants to put his reelection in further jeopardy. Senator McCain faces a bruising primary battle with former congressman and Phoenix talk show host J.D. Hayworth. Hayworth already has Senator McCain in his crosshairs for the latter's past support for cap-and-trade and other apostasies. The bet is that Senator McCain, like former Republican Senator Arlen Specter used to do, will aim to boost, not lower, his ACU rating for election purposes.

To know what a nonstarter the president's clean energy and green jobs initiative is, Senator Graham should reacquaint himself with the facts about Spain. Spain's socialist government pushed aggressively to put a lid on carbon consumption and subsidize the creation of green jobs. This effort has been a spectacular boondoggle, causing net job losses and costing Spanish taxpayers boatloads of dinero. The green jobs debacle, added to the Spanish government's general profligacy, is pushing Spain to the edge of insolvency.        

Senator Graham could do something other than lend his name and vote to a big-government energy initiative, whether the president's or something Graham himself has concocted with Senate Democrats. The senator could join with his conservative Republican colleagues to push more domestic coal, oil, and gas production (drill here, drill now) and nuclear energy, along with reasonable incentives for greater energy efficiencies and conservation and incentives to boost alternative energy research and development in the private sector.

The conservative approach to energy production won't win plaudits from liberals or their handmaidens in the fossil media. In fact, the mainstream media and liberals will continue to unload on the conservative approach with both barrels. But commonsense Americans -- a majority -- will know the real deal when they see it. Americans want energy at fair costs, and they want the nation to have greater energy independence. A conservative energy plan provides both with the critical benefit of keeping the big government wolf well away from the door. Senator Graham should take note.
Barack Obama has baited a trap for the GOP. The president announced that as a part of his clean energy initiative, he favored building two nuclear reactors at an existing nuclear power facility in Georgia and would commit $8 billion in loan guarantees to do so. If Senate Republicans in particular take the bait, they'll have been duped into backing the Mr. Obama's latest scheme to grow the national government into a leviathan -- the leviathan that the left and Mr. Obama hanker for. 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is a pretty wily customer. Though the senator praised Mr. Obama's call for the construction of the new nuclear reactors -- the first in thirty years, if built -- he knows that the president is dangling them to draw the GOP into supporting Mr. Obama's broader agenda to impose carbon taxes and to sink a lot more taxpayer money into renewable (green) energy development and jobs. 

It isn't Senator McConnell conservatives should fret over. It's the senator's squishier Republican colleagues who are Mr. Obama's chief target, particularly South Carolina's Lindsey Graham. The president needs to enlist Senator Graham and a couple of other Republican senators to 1) make a case for bipartisan support for the president's proposal and 2) give cover to wavering congressional Democrats who like their jobs and bennies and fear that the lack of GOP buy-in jeopardizes their futures. 

Reports out of Washington have Senator Graham, an on-the-record supporter of the global warming myth, deep in talks with liberal Democrats John Kerry and Joe Lieberman to concoct an energy bill compromise acceptable to some Republicans and most, if not all, Democrats. The trouble with this sort of grand bipartisan compromise is that the Democrats get what they want: bigger government, but not quite as big, though with a clear opening to grow in the coming years.

Word is that Senator Graham has taken the massive cap-and-tax mechanism off the table in his discussions with Senators Lieberman and Kerry. But so what? Democrats merely want to get the camel's nose under the tent. New and higher taxes will follow eventually.       

Senator Graham needs this message spliced into his DNA: Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid care less about issues than they do about using issues as portals to ram through bigger government. If these three Democratic leaders thought that taxing and regulating pony rides would be the handiest portal through which to convert government into something along the lines of France or Germany, then all three would be proposing the appropriate legislation in a heartbeat.     

Democrats were once typically shrewd. They used to be expert at co-opting Republicans into their efforts to expand government incrementally (think Social Security and Medicare). That sensible, if sly, approach went out the door with new, more radicalized Democratic congressional majorities and the ascension of Mr. Obama. But with the president sliding perilously in the polls and congressional Democrats careening toward a shellacking in November, incrementalism is back in vogue. Clean energy is a preview of the revived approach. 

Senator Graham's prize for going along with the Democrats on clean energy legislation is fleeting lionization by the mainstream media and the Democratic establishment. If Senator Graham cuts a clean energy deal that passes, we'll hear: "Graham, the statesman; Graham, the bridge-builder; Graham, the Republican who puts country first; Graham, the sane voice in the GOP wilderness." 

The South Carolina senator may also peel off Senators Snowe and Collins, two wobblies always searching for a reason to fall, in the process. John McCain is off the board unless the Arizona senator wants to put his reelection in further jeopardy. Senator McCain faces a bruising primary battle with former congressman and Phoenix talk show host J.D. Hayworth. Hayworth already has Senator McCain in his crosshairs for the latter's past support for cap-and-trade and other apostasies. The bet is that Senator McCain, like former Republican Senator Arlen Specter used to do, will aim to boost, not lower, his ACU rating for election purposes.

To know what a nonstarter the president's clean energy and green jobs initiative is, Senator Graham should reacquaint himself with the facts about Spain. Spain's socialist government pushed aggressively to put a lid on carbon consumption and subsidize the creation of green jobs. This effort has been a spectacular boondoggle, causing net job losses and costing Spanish taxpayers boatloads of dinero. The green jobs debacle, added to the Spanish government's general profligacy, is pushing Spain to the edge of insolvency.        

Senator Graham could do something other than lend his name and vote to a big-government energy initiative, whether the president's or something Graham himself has concocted with Senate Democrats. The senator could join with his conservative Republican colleagues to push more domestic coal, oil, and gas production (drill here, drill now) and nuclear energy, along with reasonable incentives for greater energy efficiencies and conservation and incentives to boost alternative energy research and development in the private sector.

The conservative approach to energy production won't win plaudits from liberals or their handmaidens in the fossil media. In fact, the mainstream media and liberals will continue to unload on the conservative approach with both barrels. But commonsense Americans -- a majority -- will know the real deal when they see it. Americans want energy at fair costs, and they want the nation to have greater energy independence. A conservative energy plan provides both with the critical benefit of keeping the big government wolf well away from the door. Senator Graham should take note.