Obama's Fundamental Transformation of a Nation He Despises
Is it just incompetence, or is there something else going on here?
Obama's only real competence, it seems, lies in spying on Americans and imposing new restrictions on their liberty. This fact may be the key to understanding this president. He has shown himself sympathetic toward every anti-American dictator on the planet, warmly embracing Hugo Chávez, lifting travel restrictions to Castro's Cuba, and (when he thought no one could hear him) promising a cozy second term with President Putin.
Obama's love affair with Marxist tyrants has not earned him any favors -- not even the return of one globe-trotting traitor. The best he can do is issue a weak protest and direct his new secretary of state to remark that Hong Kong's and Russia's actions in regard to Snowden are really "disappointing." That kind of swagger should make the Chinese and Russian leadership wet their britches.
For his part, Obama has done nothing, perhaps because he is still in thrall of anyone who calls himself a Marxist. The only people he really distrusts are Americans, especially those patriotic Tea Party members who care about their country's future.
Does President Obama really hate the American people that much?
I think he does. He hates America as it is and as it has been, and, as he openly admits, he wants nothing less than to "fundamentally transform America." One does not completely transform a nation into the opposite of what it is unless one hates that nation as it is. That fact explains why Obama has done so little to protect America while doing so much to spy on, disparage, and attack ordinary Americans.
Obama seized on the financial crisis of 2008 as the pretext for passing a sweeping stimulus bill, the Dodd-Frank financial services regulation, and the seriously mislabeled "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Now, with the help of "extreme weather" coverage on every mainstream news service, he has been ginning up another crisis as the pretext for sweeping regulation of the entire economy. And just last week, in a speech at Georgetown University, he has announced what that regulation will cover.
It will cover just about everything. Every activity that uses energy, or that used energy in its manufacture or requires energy for its maintenance, will be regulated -- not by Congress but by the president directly.
That is the strategy behind Obama's new pronouncements on the "social cost" of carbon emissions. As Obama put it in his Georgetown speech, "the costs of these [climate] events can be measured." Nothing could justify the actual cost of Obama's new emissions push, which will raise the cost of electricity along with everything else from cars to refrigerators to new homes. But if the "social cost" of carbon emissions is factored in, suddenly the new guidelines are made to seem affordable.
But what is the "social cost" of carbon? It is the cost of future climate events that "might result" from increased carbon emissions. In fact, no one knows whether there actually will be more extreme weather events -- or even what constitutes such an event. Is a cold winter such an event? An abnormally wet spring? An average year, with its share of tornados and wildfires? The truth is that the president is engaging in pure speculation as the basis for policies that will cost hundreds of billions in spending and millions of new jobs.
As Obama himself pointed out at Georgetown, America's carbon emissions are "at the lowest levels in nearly 20 years." Yet, according to the president, it is in precisely in this period ("the last 15 years") that scientists have recorded rising temperatures. The president's science seems a bit confused.
It is all too much like Stalin's fascination with the pseudo-science of Trofim Lysenko. Stalin's faith in Lysenkoism set Soviet agriculture back decades. Yet Lysenko's theories of the heritability of acquired traits became the basis of Soviet agricultural policy -- just as the unproven science of global warming has become the basis of American energy policy under Obama.
Lysenkoism ended in disaster for the Soviet Union, and the science of global warming is leading the U.S. and western Europe toward a similar economic disaster. This year, California's Central Valley, which supplies much of America's fresh fruits and vegetables, will receive only 20% of its normal water allocation for fear of harming the Delta smelt. A president with real leadership qualities would suspend the efforts to save the smelt and save the humans instead. But this president is terrified of offending the environmental lobby. In fact, he wants to go farther. Why should farmers have any water at all if the smelt's future is at stake?
It's not difficult to see where the pseudo-science of global warming is taking us. Obama has already declared that, in effect, there shall be no new coal-fired power plants and that at least one third of existing coal-fired plants are to be shuttered in the near future, and all of them eventually in the carbon-free future he dreams of. He is preparing regulations that will make it impossible to produce efficient and economical full-size trucks in the numbers now needed to run our economy. His next step will likely be an assault on our nation's ability to produce shale gas through the safe technology of hydraulic fracturing.
And that's just the beginning of the total makeover that Obama has in mind for America. Did I mention persecution of journalists? Forced unionization of workplaces? Abortion on demand, funded by every employer? Racial discrimination in perpetuity against non-minorities? And environmental regulations as far as the eye can see, affecting every aspect of life?
From the flow per second of your morning shower to the temperature at which you set your thermometer at night, from the car you drive to what you eat, from where and how your children are educated to how you fund your retirement, Obama wants government to control every moment of your existence. Long ago, in a glorious revolution, Americans rejected this sort of tyranny when it was imposed on them by the British Crown. Our only chance now is at the ballot box in 2014 and 2016.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books on American politics and culture, including Heartland of the Imagination (2013).