Streetwise Professor

June 14, 2010

A Foolish Consistency

Filed under: Energy,Politics — The Professor @ 1:04 pm

Is the Hobgoblin of little minds, according to Emerson.  And if you want a pitch-perfect illustration of the kind of mind Emerson was disparaging, I present Obama:

“Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much,” Obama said. “Some of the same people who are saying the president needs to show leadership and solve this problem are some of the same folks who, just a few months ago, were saying this guy is trying to engineer a takeover of our society through the federal government that is going to restrict our freedoms.”

I mean, really.  Does this guy have the slightest clue?

When I complain when my waiter brings me a bowl of melted ice cream, am I guilty of an unpardonable inconsistency because I had earlier griped when he brought me a bowl of ice cold soup?  Because, of course, if I like warm soup consistency demands that I must therefore like my ice cream warm too, right?

Hardly.  The waiter screwed up twice.  He served the thing that should be cold hot and the thing that should be hot cold.  No tip for you, pal.  (And the absence of tipping might explain why service in France is so often has much in common with the performance of government small and large in the US.)

This is not rocket science, or advanced logic.

Government has some functions to perform, and some things it should keep its damn paws off of.  Just because people rightly point out that the government under Obama’s “leadership” has vastly expanded its reach beyond the things it can–or should–do, does not mean that they cannot with perfect intellectual consistency criticize the same “leader” when he, and the executive branch for which he is responsible, fail miserably to carry out their legitimate functions.   The people who do this have it exactly right–just as in the case of my hypothetical of the clueless–and tipless–waiter.

There is so much to say about the appalling response of the administration to the spill, but I’ll just limit myself to one: the fiasco over the report of experts that the administration used to justify a ban on drilling.  Except that experts never signed, never agreed to, and in fact object to, the paragraphs in the report that recommended the ban.

Am I imagining things, but didn’t Obama and many of his supporters excoriate the Bush administration for politicizing science?  Didn’t they pledge, sanctimoniously, that this administration would respect the independence of science, and restore it to its proper place in public policy?

What is this, if not an outrageous politicization of science, using extremely dishonest means–putting new, political opinions over the signatures of members of the National Academy of Engineering, opinions that the members never saw and in fact have criticized?

The politicization really isn’t a surprise from a gang dominated by Chicago pols. Nor should the smallness of Obama’s mind be surprising.  I am still mystified at the gushing encomiums to his intelligence.  What is the evidence for it?  None that I have seen over the past nearly three years since he catapulted to prominence in the primaries.  In his response to the criticism of his failures of doing too much in some things and too little in others, he has more in common with Homer Simpson than Einstein.  And Emerson had him pegged 169 years ago.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by . said: […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention -- — June 14, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  2. I am coming to agree with you that Obama is doing too little. He should put the BP bandits out of their misery by nationalizing their US assets to pay for the cleanup.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — June 14, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

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