Keystone XL and Obama's Subjugation Economics
Are there some days you want to say to liberals: "I want a divorce. You take both coasts, the college towns, and we'll divvy up the Blue States (or carve out regions within those states, lest conservatives are forsaken)."
President Barack Obama's decision to nix the Keystone XL pipeline was one of those days when divorce seemed more sensible than attempting reconciliation. The president's Keystone decision is yet another in a long train of affronts, insults, and harm that the left has inflicted on the American economy and the American worker. We're talking decades-worth of assaults on free enterprise and the enterprising -- you know, the enterprising: the men and women who create jobs.
What needs to be appreciated is that, concerning Keystone, Mr. Obama and the left aren't just blinkered ideologues with good intentions. Seriously, how can the president not know that stopping the Keystone XL pipeline will cost thousands of jobs along with many collateral economic benefits to the nation? Doesn't Keystone equal improved energy independence and doesn't that consideration cross Mr. Obama's radar? On both counts, yes. Mr. Obama isn't a useful idiot; he's a user of idiots.
What Mr. Obama and the left are engaged in is an ongoing war of aggression against the nation's Heartland and traditional America everywhere. The left's aim in stopping Keystone isn't primarily due to environmental concerns (easily refuted). Underlying the Keystone decision is politics and power.
Mr. Obama is pursuing subjugation economics to better serve the left's end, which is thorough political domination from sea to shining sea. Yes, Mr. Obama seeks to placate his party's environmentalist bloc for short term political need, but with Keystone, he's very deliberately picking winners and losers. Not incidentally, most of the losers are in red states or are part of the "old" economy (manufacturing, agriculture, heavy industries -- coal, oil, and natural gas included). There's some talk that Mr. Obama will approve a modified pipeline plan after the elections, but the claim is dubious.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Obama and the left favor the "new" economy -- the high tech and knowledge and information industries that populate the coasts, the college towns, and the nation's larger metropolises. Those regions and communities are where you'll find most of the Democratic Party's voter base.
But the left isn't laissez-faire when it comes to the new economy. The centerpiece of a radicalized America is government. Mr. Obama and the left want government to have the primary role in directing the new economy; it's a nonnegotiable condition of the left's support. In return, the new economy's enterprises receive favors in the way of subsidies, laws, and regulations beneficial to them. Let's not forget Mr. Obama's Solyndra scandal, which is an egregious example of favoritism.
New economy favoritism isn't entirely the case, you say? What about Mr. Obama's bailout of General Motors, which isn't exactly a Silicon Valley biotech concern? Three points. First, the bailout came on the condition that Uncle Sam exercise substantial control -- at least, initially -- of GM. That's a tradeoff the left is willing to make with any enterprise. Second, GM is one of Mr. Obama's useful idiots, having stepped up its emphasis on the star-crossed Chevy Volt. Hence, GM is helpful in advancing the left's environmental agenda. Third, Michigan has trended blue over the years; Detroit, a Democrat stronghold, is in GM's backyard.
Clearly, there's more on the president's and the left's agenda than economics. The left has long desired to radically alter the nation socially and culturally. Economics -- controlling the means of production -- is a leftist tenet and tool. When you control the means by which people create their livelihoods, you control them. No imperative for outright ownership of the means. Mid 20th century fascism certainly demonstrated what government control without ownership is all about. On a lesser scale, the EU is about the ceaseless governmental bureaucratization of European economies. Control is often preferable to ownership; the left gets to give the orders without the heavy lifting.
Make no mistake, there's malice toward flyover country Americans by the left. Flyover country is everything Mr. Obama doesn't want America to be anymore; the mores, beliefs, and values of traditional America are his real targets. Like most leftists, Mr. Obama seeks to strangle the greater portion of America that fails to conform.
Joel Kotkin, a superb analyst of demographic, social, and economic trends for Forbes, writes under the headline "In Keystone XL Rejection, We See Two Americas at War With Each Other." Kotkin's analysis of the Keystone issue is solid, but it generally assumes that class bias and short term political pressures are the chief culprits in the war that Kotkin describes.
The Obama administration has altered this tolerant regime [coexistence between the two large factions in America], generating intensifying conflict between the NIMBY America and its more blue-collar counterpart. The administration's move to block the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico represents a classic expression of this conflict. To appease largely urban environmentalists, the Obama team has squandered the potential for thousands of blue-collar jobs in the Heartland and the Gulf of Mexico.
First, the Forbes' headline is misleading. It's not that traditional America has gone to war. It's the statist elements in the nation that have made war on traditional America, and with no little success. Traditional Americans, in the main, welcome coexistence (with respect for rights and liberties as the basis). How many traditional Americans want to kill the high tech industry, versus Mr. Obama and the left, who want to deep-six the coal industry? How many traditional Americans are hostile to Apple?
The nation's new economy wealthy can nicely afford to embrace statism (since they factor into the nation's ruling class). Yet the conflict isn't quite as one-dimensional as don't-get-my-hands-dirty nouveau riche against Main Street America. The nouveau riche are a part of Mr. Obama's Useful Idiots corps, but they're not the generals. Those roles are reserved for Mr. Obama and his left-wing cohorts.
The Keystone XL pipeline cancellation by Mr. Obama is indicative of the left's long term effort to fundamentally change America... to make government the chief player in all facets of the nation's life and to give the power of government to the left indefinitely. If beating down traditional America -- destroying its businesses, industries, and ways of life - is necessary for supremacy, then by all means, Mr. Obama and the left are up to the task.
In the case of Keystone, that's unfortunate for hard-working Americans, who are tired of higher gas pump prices and oil dependence on the volatile Middle East -- and who'd more than welcome the jobs. But the left wants total victory; red-state America will shoulder the penalties and costs. Losers pay -- right?
When it comes to power and control, there's no compassion in Mr. Obama and the left for traditional America; there's just two words on Mr. Obama's lips: "No quarter."