Here's my latest depressing theory: Obama's going to win a second term. Why? 1. - Duh! - the complete lack of credible opposition. 2. Shale gas.
I wonder how many of you realize just what a game-changer shale gas is. It has, for example, turned the US from a net importer to a net exporter of gas - thus giving it more of that much coveted thing "energy security"; it has resulted in a collapse in US gas prices which, though not beneficial to the producer is a massive boon to the consumer (whether struggling individuals trying to keep up with their energy bills or companies struggling to make a profit in the grimmest economic climate since the Great Depression). It's cheap, it's abundant, it's (relatively) low-carbon...
And, just as he did with the killing of Bin Laden, Obama is going to steal all the credit it for it.
But m'learned colleague Christopher Booker smells a rat. He was unfortunate enough to have woken up in the middle of night and found himself accidentally listening to Potus's State of the Union Lie-Fest.
A later passage in Obama’s speech, when he hailed the way his country’s energy future has been transformed by the miracle of shale gas, met with a storm of applause. Not only would this give the US energy security for decades, creating 600,000 jobs, but it could now go all out to exploit its gas and oil reserves (more applause). Yet this was the man who in 2008 couldn’t stop talking about the threat of global warming, and was elected on a pledge to make the US only the second country in the world, after Britain, to commit to cutting its CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by 80 per cent within 40 years.
Even more telling than his audience’s response to this, however, was what happened when Obama referred briefly to the need to develop “clean energy on enough public land to power three million homes”. But no mention now of vast numbers of wind turbines – those props beside which he constantly chose to be filmed back in 2008. No harking back to his boast that “renewable energy” would create “four million jobs”. And even to this sole fleeting reminder of what, four years ago, was his flagship policy the response of Congress was a deafening silence.
I suppose we've always known that politicians lie. But since when was it OK for them to be quite so brazen about it?
Actually, I can answer that: it became OK when we started to let them get away with it. Will anyone in your toothless MSM actually call Obama on the vast gulf between what he claims to have done to the US energy industry (created jobs; encouraged new technologies) and what he has actually done (squandered billions on crony-capitalism disasters like Solyndra, carpeted the US with bird-chomping wind farms and useless solar arrays, cancelled Keystone XL, cost the economy billions....)? Course not. They're far too busy chastising Republicans (as I heard one ghastly blonde CNN presenter do the other day) for being insufficiently bi-partisan - ie not allowing Obama to railroad through more of his hard-left projects.
I still think the US economy is toast built as it is like most Western economies on a Ponzi scheme of inflated paper money. But I think what shale gas has done is to buy Obama time.
Cheer up, though, everyone. 2016 isn't that far away. And not all of us will be dead of poverty or civil unrest, by then. Just a few of us.