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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.