Ugggggghhh … It’s really a shame, because Obama is plainly very charismatic and bright, but I really can’t consider him seriously for the nomination at this point. He’s just whiffing so badly and unseriously on the two issues I take most seriously: Global warming and health care.
Look, if you’re saying the words “CO2 reduction” and “coal” in the same sentence … well, you better have a reaaaallly good story to tell. But read this post from the enviro-website Grist, Get a load of what Obama’s peddling: More government support and subsidies for Coal-To-Liquid technology that provides hardly any less CO2 emission than gasoline. Great, huh?
This is from the LA Times article to which Grist refers — I love a nicely pointed juxtaposition of facts, don’t you?
Obama, who is sponsoring separate legislation to cap carbon dioxide emissions, said his support for coal fuel depended on finding a way to remove the greenhouse gases emitted in production.
“If it is used simply to compound the problem of greenhouse gases, then it’s not going to be a credible strategy,” he said.
The bill does not require that the fuel be produced without increasing greenhouse gas emissions, though it does offer tax incentives to encourage the use of technology that captures carbon dioxide.
So, he’s not going to mandate that the fuel be made without greenhouse emissions, but he’ll provide incentives. And that’s good enough for him? I’m sorry, Barack, but that’s pathetic. You really just don’t seem to get it.
Now, regarding health care, it’s nice that Obama promises “universal health care by the end of his first term”. Sounds nice, and it’s great that we’ve come so far in the acceptable rhetoric, even since 2004. But what’s he got?
In his book, The Audacity of Hope, and in a series of speeches and public events Barack Obama has outlined specific principles for providing affordable and comprehensive coverage and for improving quality of care and reducing of costs for everyone. These include tackling medical inflation and spiraling health care costs, developing new mechanisms to extend portable, affordable coverage, and reforming health care delivery so that it emphasizes prevention and efficiency.
However, every election year, people offer comprehensive health care plans, and they never go anywhere. They die in Washington. So one of the things Barack Obama wants to do in this campaign is not only roll out policy plans, but also build a real movement for change.
As a first step, Barack Obama wants to hear from you. He is hosting a series of community discussions around the country … [zzzzzzzzz]
A better sleep aid is not available without prescription, folks. He’s going to “build a movement for change” … by not saying anything substantive. Somehow he’s going to get universal health care without making anyone mad.
[Obama] has no plan, but he is going to be conducting roundtables! A new kind of campaign, with a new kind of table. Roundtable is his answer to just about everything.
A Swampland correspondent paraphrases one exchange:
Karen Tumulty: Will you need to raise taxes?
Obama: Did you not hear me? THESE TABLES ARE ROUND.
Yeah, he’s a smart, charismatic guy, which is better than dumb and off-putting … but what else? Is this leadership? Or does it sound like garden-variety pandering and obfuscation?
Barack — time to fix it. (Please, tell me I’m being too harsh.)