Video: Obama promises to do something about climate change

posted at 3:51 pm on January 21, 2013 by Allahpundit

I thought the centerpiece of today’s speech would be amnesty, just because it’s the only liberal wishlist item on which he’s likely to achieve big things in his second term. Push immigration front and center today and then he could point back to it later for “legacy” enhancement, as proof that he kept his key inaugural promise. Instead, this. I guess it makes sense: Today was a day to make liberals feel good and one way to do that reliably is to talk about the fierce of urgency of now soon-ish on climate change. Per the NYT, soon-ish in this case means ignoring the democratic process in Congress and taking executive action, with new EPA regulations to cap emissions by coal-burning plants — and many, many lawsuits — to follow. In fairness to O, that’s smart from a legacy perspective too. There’s nothing committed partisans like more than to see a president on their side strong-arm their agenda into law, whether through or around the legislature, especially on an issue they consider of paramount, nation-threatening importance. This’ll earn him Great Man of History points with the liberal historians who’ll write his hagiographies in the future.

For the less liberal historians, the picture’s likely to look … more nuanced:

[W]hen Obama first took the oath of office, the nation’s total outstanding debt was $10.6 trillion. When he was sworn in Monday, it stood at $16.4 trillion – and the Congressional Budget Office sees additional deficits ranging from $6.9 trillion to $9.2 trillion over the next decade, depending on the baseline used. Obama didn’t come close to meeting his pledge to cut annual deficits in half by the end of his first term and still hasn’t offered a plan to reform the nation’s broken entitlement system. He has talked of making “modest adjustments” to entitlement programs while raising taxes only on the very rich, when any serious budget analysis shows that getting the debt under control will require either massive cuts to entitlement spending, huge tax increases on the middle class, or some combination of both.

This brings us to the two lines in Monday’s speech. He declared that, “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.” This is Barack Obama, bold leader speaking (with an extra twist of irony given that the signature legislative accomplishment of his first term was supposedly aimed at containing the growth of health care costs). Then, he said, “But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.” Translation: he isn’t going to do anything to seriously reform Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, and wants more economic stimulus spending, too. So, within a breath of calling for hard choices, he rejected the need for them. I can think of no more fitting summation of Obama’s presidency.

Me neither. Some presidents fail to achieve “greatness” not necessarily because they don’t have it in them but because they never face the sort of momentous crisis that offers an opportunity to demonstrate it. I recall reading somewhere that Bill Clinton once complained of that. The Cold War was over by the time he was sworn in and the war on terror was still years away (thanks in part to American inaction during Clinton’s presidency), so he’s remembered less for any “great” accomplishment than for momentarily reorienting Democrats away from Great Society statism. The twisted irony of Obama’s presidency, particularly in light of his emulation of Lincoln and Reagan, is that, like them, he does face a momentous crisis that requires leadership commensurate to the moment. He just doesn’t have it in him to lead on it, or maybe he’s too busy with other priorities. An economic rebound in his second term will delay the reckoning with entitlements for a few years longer so his legacy is probably safe in the near term, but if he doesn’t do something wildly unexpected in the next four years to deal seriously with mandatory spending, then his place in history is secure. He’s the guy who expanded health-care entitlements at a moment when Medicare spending was starting to go haywire, the guy who doubled down on the welfare state as the bill was coming due, the guy whose second-term agenda was even more aggressively liberal than his first despite trillions more in debt over four years. You wanted him, America, you got him. Good luck.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

O bama
F lukes
A merika

aka, Organizing for America

Global redistribution, no more or less, except for Obama and Al-Gore getting rich.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2013 at 3:54 PM

“Let me be clear”, “think about the children” and “focus like a laser” are all this vile piece of excrement can handle.

Flange on January 21, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Back to healing the world, are we ?

Who gave the stand down order for Benghazi ?

FlaMurph on January 21, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Kirstin Powers is always a dummy.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Wait, wasn’t the world supposed to be healing four years ago? The seas are receding, and CO2 levels are supposed to be dropping, and more people should be hugging trees and all that?

Nethicus on January 21, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Seriously, has there ever been one as accomplished as Obama at setting up strawman arguments?

can_con on January 21, 2013 at 3:59 PM

“What ended the last Ice Age, Mr. President?” -Buck Ofama (R-Pennsyltucky)

Akzed on January 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Obama promises to do something about climate change

What’s he going to do? Disarm the sun?

Rovin on January 21, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Ending all of his long winded hot air speeches would be a start.

savage24 on January 21, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Whoopee!! Obama’s gonna take control of the climate! I can’t wait! (I’ll probably lose my sanity completely before the next four years are over)

TarheelBen on January 21, 2013 at 4:05 PM

If he thinks he’s Christ Incarnate, I’ll gladly pee on the floor and tell him to walk on that water.

Liam on January 21, 2013 at 4:05 PM

We can’t take coal fired plants off-line as fast as China puts’em on-line.
By the time Obama leaves office, there will be more coal burning going on than when he started.

Nothing he does will change this.

Jabberwock on January 21, 2013 at 4:08 PM

He created the Light, the Earth, and the Heaven! After that, stopping global warming is a small fish to fry.

Archivarix on January 21, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Video: Obama promises to do something about climate change

Carbon taxes, obviously.

These clowns are so transparently crooked, it’s amazing. What’s amusing in a sickening sort of way is how they’re hailed as Humanist saviors while they’re ripping off every buck they can get their hands on by whatever means they can dream up.

Times like these, I actually feel a little sorry for the deluded Libtards because they’re obviously not really very with it.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 21, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Yes he’s gonna cure the planet, work for “equality” for everyone by taking from the producers and giving to the takers, and fulfill the Constitution that all men are created equal to marry any man they want… So inspirational…

sandee on January 21, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Every time a Mexican drug cartel enforcer caps someone in the head with a bullet from a Fast and Furious gun, the environment dies a little more from the gunpowder residue.

Bishop on January 21, 2013 at 4:12 PM

He can’t balance the budget, but he can stop climate change. Truly amazing hubris.

We have four more years of this clown in office. I think I will turn my computer, TV and radio off for six days of each week. I just can’t take 24/7 news anymore.

SC.Charlie on January 21, 2013 at 4:12 PM

What’s he going to do? Disarm the sun?

Rovin on January 21, 2013 at 4:02 PM

It’s called “Star Control.” It started back in the 90s and looked something like this.

See? It even involves Brits. It’s Piers Morgan’s wet dream.

Stoic Patriot on January 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Save the Columbian Mammoth!!!

trigon on January 21, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Jabberwock on January 21, 2013 at 4:08 PM

You got that right. China and India are responsible for 75% of the currently planned 1200 coal fired energy plants. Almost 2 a week coming online for the next two decades.

can_con on January 21, 2013 at 4:14 PM

On the other hand, every time a few innocent Mexican bystanders get blown away in cartel shootouts they aren’t exhaling CO2, the bane of Mother Gaia, so there is that.

Bishop on January 21, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Carbon taxes, obviously.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 21, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Yes, the evils of carbon dioxide, which is the air we exhale. When combined with sunlight and water, it creates photosynthesis, which allows plants to grow. Carbon dioxide, one of the substances which makes life possible on this planet, has been declared a dangerous pollutant by the EPA. And since the left figured out how to measure it, they want to regulate it.

Historians will look back at this time as kind of dark age, when the human race just kind of freaked out and began howling at the moon about things like global warming.

TarheelBen on January 21, 2013 at 4:16 PM

O/T: Ted Cruz: Within minutes Obama tried to exploit the Newtown tragedy:

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/gop-senator-obama-tried-to-exploit-newtown-tragedy-within-minutes/

I like Cruz more every day as opposed to the “posers” the Hot Air RINOs fawn over because they have comb-overs or great pecs.

bw222 on January 21, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Every time a globalist liberal opens his scientically illiterate yap about global worming (by any silly name) they bring in severe cold.
Drudge is headlining the advent of -50 windchill coming our way.

The ice-fisherment of the world wish to personally thank you Obama.

Don L on January 21, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Calling Ted Cruz.

blatantblue on January 21, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Historians will look back at this time as kind of dark age, when the human race just kind of freaked out and began howling at the moon about things like global warming.

TarheelBen on January 21, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Sorry, but the human race isn’t –just the communists, their UN friends, and opportunistic immoral politicians who will use any means to an end–(wealth and power)

Don L on January 21, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Worst Ever™

Bmore on January 21, 2013 at 4:27 PM

And after six days of assiduously saving Earth from soaring seas, Bush and the NRA, on Sunday Lord God Obama, instead of resting, called forth His Son the Great Te’o of Our Lady of Immaculate Deception and said “together let Us bring light to a dark, dishonest world. Together We shall prevail.”

MaiDee on January 21, 2013 at 4:27 PM

obamanites trashing the environment – in the name of their “lord and savior”.

http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2013/01/21/todays-inauguration-brought-to-you-by/

Pork-Chop on January 21, 2013 at 4:28 PM

If all libs would simply stop that constant breathing in and out, I’m sure it would help global warming er, climate change.

ghostwalker1 on January 21, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Obama and his communists could not get the carbon tax pass when they controlled Congress with super majorities in 2009-2010 and there is no way in hell that they are going to get it now… More red meat rhetoric for his stupid communist base…

mnjg on January 21, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Some presidents fail to achieve “greatness” not necessarily because … You wanted him, America, you got him. Good luck.

That paragraph so succinctly and eloquently sums up Obummer & his likely legacy — some of your best writing, ever, AP! Thanks.

KS Rex on January 21, 2013 at 4:34 PM

It’s called “Star Control.” It started back in the 90s and looked something like this.

Stoic Patriot on January 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Don’t tell me that I’m not the last Earthling who remembers that game.

Archivarix on January 21, 2013 at 4:35 PM

How the hell does this moron rate this office?

Cleombrotus on January 21, 2013 at 4:35 PM

How the h___ does this moron rate this office?

Cleombrotus on January 21, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Because of the millions of fellow morons who, anticipating free things and/or to get “revenge” on conservatives, voted for him.

KS Rex on January 21, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Man wants to fix the earth @ can’t even come up with a budget.

RdLake on January 21, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Maybe he should focus first on doing something about changing the climate in his Chicago re: gun violence. Remember, if even just one life can be saved…and all that jazz.

Christien on January 21, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Man wants to fix the earth @ can’t even come up with a budget.

RdLake on January 21, 2013 at 4:58 PM

He came up with budgets. The last three times, the Dem-controlled Senate rejected them all. Unanimously.

Liam on January 21, 2013 at 5:01 PM

How the h___ does this moron rate this office?

Cleombrotus on January 21, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Because the GOP establishment thought Obama is so awesome that only another anti-gun statist just like him, the guy Obama stole a lot of his worst ideas from, could possibly beat him.

FloatingRock on January 21, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Obummer must have been a fan of Nero. I think they have a lot in common and Obummer will do for this country what Nero did for Rome. Of course, it’s all for the children, the poor, the middle class. What a maroon!!

Deano1952 on January 21, 2013 at 5:08 PM

I’m a big believer in climate change.

When I woke up today it was a little foggy. Cold, but no snow. As the day went on it got lighter and lighter outside. More and more clouds and temp rose several.. I mean literally… several degrees. I don’t mean just a half degree like Al Gore said would cause oceans to rise.. this was several degrees. And I don’t understand why the earth didn’t shake. But, anyhow, Now.. it’s snowing and the temp fell again. It’s actually colder outside now than it was when I woke up. And it appears to be getting darker again.

Say whatever you want, but the climate around my town has changed over and over today. It changed a lot yesterday too. I’m a believer. Climate change is real. I don’t know how anyone can argue it.
Why our town isn’t filled with scientists in hazard suits or something studying this I just do not understand.

We must give Obama full dictatorial powers to stop all this climate change. I can’t wait to see sunny skies all day every day.

JellyToast on January 21, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Four more years of listening to this show pony campaign is absolutely too much. Maybe it’s best to go low-information. Being truly informed may make you sick.

salem on January 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM

there’s always a tell in a scam.

In the eco-fascist scam the tell is nukes. The Luddite left will wring its hands over the Japan nuclear plant which was comissioned in 1967 …. just 22 years after the atomic bomb was exploded.

We hare now nearly 60 years down the road from 1967. Our Lords and Ladies of the press corps spend their days dreaming of a single party state running the country, and writing barry letters every day.

Simply speaking, the country can not handle the truth. We have a scared infantile elite class that will be happy to be walled off from the lumpen proletariat that they hate so much. The elites know they will be taken care of…and that’s all they care about.

r keller on January 21, 2013 at 5:13 PM

So, this guy, this buddy of William Ayers, this no grade fraud, he thinks his own CO2 will save him if he just blows his bs hard enough.

With the truth only one web search away there is little chance the the deamon of the Real History will let this compond-liar get away with is carney midway con.

http://www.wattsupwiththat.com

So, easy, yet not even on the Hot Air has http://www.wattsupwiththat as a link.

Not up on any Republican Party sites,,, strange seems to many.

Facts will count up no matter what the two party evil money cult does with the lie based operation they have ongoing.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 21, 2013 at 5:18 PM

JellyToast on January 21, 2013 at 5:11 PM

It changed a little in London, too.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/9814618/Its-snowing-and-it-really-feels-like-the-start-of-a-mini-ice-age.html

scalleywag on January 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Obama is so intellectually challenged.He is simply an idiot.

pat on January 21, 2013 at 5:35 PM

President Barack Obama is pledging to respond to what he calls “the threat of climate change.” He says that failing to do so would be a betrayal of the nation’s children, and of future generations. (Jan. 21)

The president is a flim flam man. A snake oil salesman. He’s not going to make good on any of his pledges, they’re all pie in the sky statements given to make a good speech. He could care less about the “nation’s children”…if he did he’d be more worried about removing the mountain of debt he’s buried them under for decades to come. Climate change won’t kill them, they’ll be starved to death under Chines ruled work camps long before the sun burns them up.

scalleywag on January 21, 2013 at 5:43 PM

The best thing the president could do for climate change is to force his pet moron at the DOJ to prosecute all who began and have profited from the climate hoax.

But that won’t weaken the U.S. and enslave the world, so it probably won’t happen…

ROCnPhilly on January 21, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Obummer must have been a fan of Nero. I think they have a lot in common and Obummer will do for this country what Nero did for Rome. Of course, it’s all for the children, the poor, the middle class. What a maroon!!

Deano1952 on January 21, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Of the Roman Emperors, I consider Obama to be much more of a modern day Diocletian wanna-be than a Nero.

ROCnPhilly on January 21, 2013 at 6:08 PM

scalleywag on January 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

JNova also has a good piece on the “mini ice age” affecting London. An excerpt:

Mark the moment. This is unusual.

Firstly, it’s not just anyone, but Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, personality, and potential Tory leader in the UK… Secondly, he’s confident, brazen and unapologetic, saying:

Something is up with our winter weather. By my calculations, this is now the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow; and by unusual I mean snow of a kind that I don’t remember from my childhood…Of course it still seems a bit nuts to talk of the encroachment of a mini ice age. But it doesn’t seem as nuts as it did five years ago. I look at the snowy waste outside, and I have an open mind.

This is exactly the kind of “emperor has no clothes” article which will cut through… He is staring straight at the people who say “warming causes cooling” and saying “I don’t think so.”

anotherJoe on January 21, 2013 at 6:17 PM

You are missing the obvious. Obummer is going to do something that will change the climate (it doesn’t matter what), then he will say that in fact it worked because – tada – global warming will is over. In fact it might soon be revealed that certain steps and procedures that Obama insisted on 15 years ago is what is responsible for the temperatures being stable for the last 15 years.

See he can claim credit for saving the planet. They all think the planet needed saving, so he can say he saved the planet and then point to all the evidence that says we are about to go into a cooling period, well because of him. Win win

odannyboy on January 21, 2013 at 6:21 PM

he does face a momentous crisis that requires leadership commensurate to the moment. He just doesn’t have it in him to lead on it, or maybe he’s too busy with other priorities.

My theory? Obama’s just too lazy to lead.

16MPG on January 21, 2013 at 6:25 PM

So now that Gays and climate Change are all taken care of…. time to party!

Opinionnation on January 21, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Will he ask AlGore to help? After All, AlGore is the real ex-spurt.

And now that Al sold his propaganda network to the muslim propaganda network, he should have some free time.

LegendHasIt on January 21, 2013 at 7:34 PM