Obummer! I am really mad now. This decision by the Obomber of Afghanistan to drill offshore for oil is really an Obomination.
I'm not quite sure why the oil decision got me madder than the nuclear one which is the issue I work on (i.e. against). I suppose when Obamatomic came out on February 15 requesting $54.5 billion in federal loan guarantees for new reactors (triple what Bush got), it was a sort of shrug moment. Inevitable. Obama was the Senator from Illinois, the state with the most reactors 11 in the country. He was paid handsomely to get into the White House by Exelon, the Chicago-based and biggest nuclear utility in the country. Exelon CEO, John Rowe (now on Energy Secretary Chu's Blue Ribbon Commission), knew Obama was his man (his chief lobbyist, Elizabeth Moler, said of Obama, "we are proud to be the President's utility.")
The Obama inner circle friends of Exelon and/or nuclear power ensured a pro-nuclear stance. We're talking Rahm Emanuel who practically invented Exelon and was made a millionaire; Exelon paid consultant, David Axelrod; Exelon bundlers, Frank M. Clark and John W. Rodgers; Moler; nuclear booster,Carol Browner; campaign energy advisor Jason Grumet whose day job board chair is Rowe; and lately appointed Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner and ex-DOE nuclear man, Bill Magwood, not to mention Chu himself, and NASA's James Hansen. Even science advisor John Holdren, luke warm on nuclear expansion, thinks Rowe is a "true leader."
Enviros felt thrown under the bus by the nuclear decision. We got thrown again over offshore oil. "Clean coal," as oxymoronic as "safe nuclear", is probably next. But if you are wondering how Obama will frame that announcement, just check the previous two speeches and write the next one yourself.
On awarding $8 billion in nuclear loan guarantees for two new reactors to the Vogtle plant in Georgia, Obama said: "On an issue which affects our economy, our security and the future of our planet, we cannot continue to be mired in the same old debates between left and right, between environmentalists and entrepreneurs."
Then on March 31, calling for offshore oil drilling, he said: "Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates between right and left, between business leaders and environmentalists, between those who would claim drilling is a cure all and those who would claim it has no place. Because this issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles over and over again."
No prizes for guessing the speechwriter was the same both times. The bad news is, that speechwriter is probably the President himself.
The dismissal of "tired debate" is troubling. No, scratch that, it's downright alarming. The dialogue about whether expanding nuclear and drilling for oil is environmentally-sound, and even moral, is over as far at the White House is concerned. The wagging tongues of truth must be silenced in favor of corporate necessity that being to make huge profits and damn the torpedoes and all that live in the sea or dwell near nuclear power plants these latter being mainly people of color and low-income and therefore of no concern to the White House. But hey, wait a minute, aren't these the very people who voted a man of mixed race into office so that their voices would finally be heard?
Not surprisingly, therefore, there has been quite a justifiable cacophony of dissenting voices across the blogosphere lately, wondering just who it was we did elect to the White House? Some Obama voters are feeling not just disillusioned but really angry at these apparent betrayals from the self-appointed agent of "change". Progressives are more vehemently mad at Obama than they were at Bush because we expected the worst from W, and the best from OB. There is nothing worse than being let down by your heroes. (Although, of course, it happens all the time see OJ Simpson, Tiger Woods, John Edwards, Brittany Spears etc). Which is why buying into a Messianic cult-like status attributed to another human being is probably unwise.
I'm not an angry Obama voter because I put my x next to the name of Ralph Nader who saw all this coming. But I'm still angry and disappointed. Although I have never liked the word "hope" a weak and namby-pamby sort of wishful thinking concept. No, don't hope, get out there and make it happen. Just don't expect your President to lead the way.