Sunday, March 18, 2012

Obama is No Rutherford B. Hayes

President Obama's gas price/energy policy panic continued apace this week, with president's noted remarks depicting Republican proponents of domestic oil production as backward-looking Luddites.

The president's penchant for arrogant and ill-informed sarcasm was on full display, as he declared that oil drilling advocates are the modern equivalent of "flat earth society" members. With haughty disdain, Obama compared those who favor more energy production to his oh-so-pathetic predecessor Rutherford B. Hayes, whom Obama slandered as an anti-technologist who thought that the telephone was a useless invention. "That's why he's not on Mount Rushmore!" Hilarious!

As is so typical of Obama's endless three years of blather, this latest speech is shallow, narcissistic and intellectually false. For starters, press reports immediately debunked his cheap shots at a long-dead president about whom most people know very little. In fact, Hayes enthusiastically installed a telephone at the White House (assigned telephone number "1") and was a friend of Thomas Edison and a supporter of Edison's work. Hayes never questioned the telephone's utility. Obama, rhetorical heir to Cicero, blithely attributed words to Hayes that he never spoke.

And what gall. This from a man who has, more than once, explained our economic troubles by citing the invention of ATMs and airport kiosks--technological advances that put people out of work. One wonders if Obama would have been a fan of Edison, like Hayes, when the light bulb was forcing lay-offs in the lamplighter industry. Certainly not if the lamplighters had a union.

Moreover, the president's general vision for the country is utterly backward looking. He bemoans advances and globalization. He speaks longingly for the days of the unionized, industrial economy of the early and mid-20th century when sons could aspire to have the same assembly-line or steel mill jobs as their fathers held. Dare to dream!

All in all, Obama believes in a 1930s, big government, managed economy--a model that has slowly been abandoned around the world and now, where it exists, is collapsing under its own weight.

Ah, but regardless, the president sees himself as a man of the future. He doesn't favor more production of the substances that actually power homes and automobiles (though, while disparaging production, he simultaneously tells us he has increased it to record levels. So is that good or bad?). He not only favors "green energy", but he insists that the government subsidize and manage its production.

The president seems not to notice or care that his "investments" in solar and wind and algae have flopped. He still maintains that if you oppose larding tax dollars on to unproven companies that frequently go bankrupt, you are a fool and a Luddite. Indeed, why not "invest" in a flying car company or one that is working on a Star Trek-type transporter. We could "beam" millions to work! We wouldn't even need cars--and the government could still keep GM going just for the helluva it! It's iconic! I'm sure Newt Gingrich's moon colony could use a few taxpayer backed loans.

No one is supposed to question Obama's incredible intellect. But the more he speaks, one certainly has to question whether the president has really thought through his positions on various issues. It is increasingly apparent that Obama is blinded by his assumptions and prone to arrogantly dismiss any dissenting view. This narcissism leads him to intellectually confused and ultimately ridiculous positions that, I believe, ultimately will cause the end his presidency this fall.

If only Obama would emulate, rather than mock, Rutherford B. Hayes. After all, Hayes kept his promise not to seek a second term.

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