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Trick the Bumpkin: Democrats and the EPA

Today’s EPA decision to limit the emissions of coal-fired power plants was expected as part of the legacy stage of Obama’s presidency. Our side immediately rushed to declare that middle-class families will be hit with higher electric bills, that we face reduced economic growth, and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

However, today’s most important lesson isn’t that Obama is willing to wreck a sector of the economy in order to build the Tom Steyer Wing of the Obama Presidential Library. It’s that the liberal apparatus in the press, the vast constellation of left-wing advocacy groups, and the Democratic donor class are perfectly comfortable with lying to win, and that the rules they insist everyone else play by are tissue-thin political screens.

The coal- and energy-state Democrats they need to elect are engaged in a world-class spin job. Of course Mary Landrieu is lying. Of course Allison Lundergan Grimes is lying. Of course Nick Rahall and dozens of other coal-state Democrats are lying. They’re handmaidens of Obama and Reid, and everyone on their side knows it. They’d see coal workers lined up and shipped to Siberia before lifting a finger to really fight this President and his bully-boy White House. In the end, they’ll do worse than nothing to save the energy jobs Obama’s EPA rules will destroy, but they’ll put up a good front.

The astounding transparency of their media allies is also remarkable. Both traditional (to wit, liberal) and conservative media (to say nothing of the Tea Party) are quick to leap on transgressions from orthodoxy when dealing with a Republican. When it involves Democrats, as it does today, they’re praised for their cleverness, for their political acumen, and frankly, for their willingness to lie to the vulgar mouthbreathers they’re sadly fated to represent.

Watch for the form they’ve used on Keystone and other fronts, “I disagree with the EPA’s plan and if President Obama came down here to State X, I’d show him that coal jobs are the heart of America’s economy.” They know Obama is in on the joke. It’s a tell for the rubes at home still fooling themselves there’s any such thing as a moderate Democrat. It’s a broad wink to their liberal donor base in New York, Boston and Hollywood as they play a merry round of Trick the Bumpkin.

Few on the left — not the New York Times, not the chorus of advocacy-media types ready to scream themselves blue over Republican perfidy on climate change, not Tom Steyer, not even President Namecaller himself— will really attack them on it. Climate change is the urgent challenge of our time, the equivalent of war and genocide, and all non-believers must be mocked and reviled, and cast out from polite society, unless they’re Red State Democrats in tough races.

Democrats want to win first and foremost. Their amorality is delicious.

On the right, we’ve built a political ecosystem about absolute purity and orthodoxy that nationalizes issues the wrong way. In a nationalized campaign, you force the other guys to all play by your rules. Too often, we want candidates in Massachusetts to campaign on exactly the same policy positions as candidates in Alabama. Democrats understand that every state and district is unique.

It’s a regrettable downside of this fallen world, but often the people who can lie the longest with the straightest face are the ones who win elections. Without a hard, populist push-back from our side, this is one issue the Democrats should suffer for, but won’t.

  1. Stad

    Have you noticed that these new environmental laws or regulations regarding power plants use “efficency” as the criterion for moving forward with the left’s political goals?

    What if I passed a law that said “All electric power plants, light bulbs, and other electric devices must have an efficiency of 95% or more to combat global warming”?

    We would go back to living in caves.  These new regs are the same thing as Congress passing laws that go against the laws of physics.  Instead of saying “ban all incandescent light bulbs”, they pass a law saying “if a bulb doesn’t meet this standard, then it cannot be sold.”

    I wish these jerks in Congress would speak truth to the laws they pass.  I’m ready for a law called “The Cute Kitten and Puppy Act of 2014″.  Who could oppose that?  This law, which will have nothing to do with the title, would confine Harry Reid to a psychiatric ward for the rest of his life.

  2. Nick Stuart

    And in this corner, we have James Pethokoukis

    Poulous
    I’ll forbear to use the term “useful idiot” but I would be lying if I pretended it didn’t come to mind.

  3. raycon and lindacon

    Of course, as Ricochetti conservatives, we seek to counter the arguments of the left with logic.  And of course, nothing we might say has any impact at all.  That is because the left does not believe in their arguments, simply the ability to overpower their opposition.

    When do we quit this childish game of sophistry?  We might not have Hitler and the Japanese as opposition, but we are fools if we do not recognize the battle we are in.

  4. Randy Weivoda

    Here is what I want to know.  Let’s say that Plan A is that the country follows Obama’s plan and the electric generation industry cuts CO2 by 30% by 2030.  Plan B is that there are no new regulations on CO2, which is not to say that there won’t be any reductions as power plants may switch to better, cleaner technology because they choose to rather than being forced to.

    By the year 2050 or 2075 or 2100, according to the computer models what will the difference be in global temperature between Plan A and Plan B?  I’m not saying I have any confidence in the models, but I’m nevertheless curious how much difference the models predict there will be.

  5. SParker

    Randy Weivoda:

    Here is what I want to know. Let’s say that Plan A is that the country follows Obama’s plan and the electric generation industry cuts CO2 by 30% by 2030. Plan B is that there are no new regulations on CO2, which is not to say that there won’t be any reductions as power plants may switch to better, cleaner technology because they choose to rather than being forced to.

    By the year 2050 or 2075 or 2100, according to the computer models what will the difference be in global temperature between Plan A and Plan B? I’m not saying I have any confidence in the models, but I’m nevertheless curious how much difference the models predict there will be.

     None seems like the reasonable guess.  Symbolism has been conceded and “leadership by example” uttered .  The question is how much it costs to do nothing.  I’m reassured by Tim Worstall’s analysis at Forbes that–absent acceleration of the EPA plan–that’s also zero.  I think this is just how we do the rain dance in the 21st century.

  6. James Stack

    Very well written. Thanks for clarity.  The whole damned thing is depressing. The waffling and me-tooism on “our” side is stupefying. Peta-whositz being perfect example.

  7. Mark

    Randy Weivoda:

    By the year 2050 or 2075 or 2100, according to the computer models what will the difference be in global temperature between Plan A and Plan B?

     Even if you accept the UN IPCC claims and the accuracy of its models, reducing CO2 emissions by the US utility industry by 30% will have a negligible (one that cannot be measured) impact on temperatures.  Two things to keep in mind, one minor and one major.  The minor one is that the baseline for the proposed regulations is 2005 and CO2 emissions are already more than 10% lower now than they were at that time so there is not actually an additional 30% required.

    The major one is that the profile of global CO2 emissions is much different than it was in the 1990s.  Today, China’s emissions equal those of the US and EU combined.  That increase, and increases elsewhere in the developing world overwhelm any reductions like those proposed by the Administration.

    In sum, the Administration’s proposal is, to quote Animal House, a “stupid and useless gesture” that will have no impact on the problem it is supposed to be solving.

  8. Randy Weivoda

    Mark:

    In sum, the Administration’s proposal is, to quote Animal House, a “stupid and useless gesture” that will have no impact on the problem it is supposed to be solving.

    That’s about what I figured.  Since I asked the question I saw a guy on TV who is a science reporter for the New York Times, which is not exactly a hotbed of climate denialism.  He said that implementing this measure would mean temperatures 4/100 of 1 degree cooler by the year 2100.  I’d sure like to see a reporter ask the president why we should all pay more for electricity to make the Earth 0.04 degrees cooler 86 years from now.

    To shift gears somewhat, I saw an ad this morning by the American Lung Association.  It showed a kid in bed struggling to breathe while the narrator talked about how we’ve stopped polluters from polluting the air with lead, mercury, and so on.  The ad says now we need to stop those polluters from emitting all that CO2 pollution.  This is total garbage, trying to convince people that CO2 is the same sort of pollutant.  No more donations to them!

  9. drlorentz

    Nick Stuart:

    And in this corner, we have James Pethokoukis

    I’ll forbear to use the term “useful idiot” but I would be lying if I pretended it didn’t come to mind.

     Mr. Pethokoukis has been strangely silent on that thread. Do you think we might have scared him off? Or perhaps he’s steering clear of the right-wing loons there.

  10. Jim Lion

    We need to push back with an absolute disregard for the authority of the EPA. States need to stand up for their sovereignty and say “go *&@& yourself” to the Feds. You want to win this thing, it won’t happen in DC.

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