What good is a rallying cry, wonders Time, if the audience doesn’t know what it’s being rallied to do? This is basically a rerun of his widely panned Oval Office speech — so widely, in fact, that now just 32 percent believe Obama has a plan for dealing with the spill — pared down to three minutes or so for easy digestion by O-bots. Now, as then, he offers no specifics on what he has in mind by way of a new “clean energy” paradigm, but does it matter? It’s a pipe dream anyway:

Just once, it would be nice if a president would level with Americans on energy. Barack Obama isn’t that president. His speech the other night was about political damage control — his own. It was full of misinformation and mythology. Obama held out a gleaming vision of an America that would convert to the “clean” energy of, presumably, wind, solar and biomass. It isn’t going to happen for many, many decades, if ever…

Obama has made vilification of oil and the oil industry a rhetorical mainstay. This is intellectually shallow, if politically understandable. “Clean energy” won’t displace oil or achieve huge reductions in greenhouse gas emissions — for example, the 83 percent cut by 2050 from 2005 levels included in last year’s House climate change legislation. Barring major technological advances (say, low-cost “carbon capture” to pump CO 2 into the ground) or an implausibly massive shift to nuclear power, this simply won’t happen. It’s a pipedream. In the EIA’s “reference case” projection, CO 2 emissions in 2035 are 8.7 percent higher than in 2008…

Meanwhile, it’s imperative to tap domestic oil and natural gas. This creates jobs and limits our dependence on insecure imports. Drilling advances have opened vast reserves of natural gas trapped in shale (“shale gas”). Human error and corner-cutting by BP seem the main causes of the spill. Given the industry’s previously strong safety record, Obama’s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling isn’t justified and should be shortened. It’s not industry lobbyists that sustain fossil fuels but the reality that they’re economically and socially necessary. A candid president would have said so.

Matt Welch made the same point a few days ago at Reason. Louisiana’s oil industry is challenging the feds’ drilling moratorium in court, with an assist from Bobby Jindal; a decision from the district court is due Wednesday, although it’s bound to be appealed either way. In the meantime, pity the poor Obama supporter who’s watching this and wondering if he/she is simply supposed to sign on to whatever deal can be struck between Democrats and Republicans, whether or not it contains lefty hobbyhorses like cap-and-trade. Answer: Er, yeah, that’s precisely what you’re supposed to do, just like you did for ObamaCare. What good is a cult that isn’t willing to blindly follow the leader?

Exit question: Whom will Democrats scapegoat — besides Republicans, I mean — if the great energy compromise fails to impress the left? Hmmmmm.