This week, the White House officially marked the one-year anniversary of the introduction of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan (and his accompanying grandiloquence, ugh), proudly touting the ostensible progress that the Obama administration has made on combating climate change even without Congress’s eager cooperation. It was the same tack Obama took in a speech to the ready-to-donate League of Conservation Voters last night — but there’s nothing like a little shared derision for Republican-obstructionism-cum-climate-change-“denialism” to really get the party started, via Politico:
President Barack Obama is letting his inner Don Rickles run free, mocking climate deniers as the crowd who used to think the moon was made out of cheese or spineless dopes who can’t or won’t listen to science even though the science is all overwhelmingly pointing in one direction. Their heads are in the sand. They are members of the Flat Earth Society.
For the White House it’s about getting the liberal base excited for the midterms. It’s a confidence that climate change has shifted in voters’ minds. It’s a broader play against congressional Republicans as obstructionists.
And for Obama, it’s a good time. Wednesday night, Obama ripped into his opponents in front of a League of Conservation Voters crowd so friendly that some were pumping their arms in the air as he spoke.
“It’s pretty rare that you encounter people who say that the problem of carbon pollution is not a problem,” Obama said. “In most communities and workplaces, they may not know how big a problem it is, they may not know exactly how it works, they may doubt they can do something about it. Generally they don’t just say, ‘No I don’t believe anything scientists say.’ Except, where?” he said, waiting for the more than accommodating crowd to call back, “Congress!” …
“In Congress,” he said. “Folks will tell you climate change is hoax or a fad or a plot. A liberal plot.”
You get the idea; it was a speech all about riling up the wealthy members of the eco-radical progressive base in the audience. With not much in the way of liberal legislation likely to get through Congress throughout the rest of his tenure, climate change is the second-term issue on which President Obama will be trying to hang his legacy-hat, particularly with executive-branch top-down regulations like the major rules for existing power plants that the EPA recently released. He did go on to warn that, “If we’re blithe about saying, ‘This is the crisis of our time,’ but we don’t acknowledge these legitimate concerns [about rising electricity prices] — we’ve got to shape our strategies to address the very real and legitimate concerns of working families” — but that would perhaps hit home a little more sincerely if his administration was actually doing more to address the very real and legitimate concerns of working families and if his major power-plant regulations were going to provide a little more bang for their buck. His administration isn’t, and the regulations won’t; and in the meantime, the progressive tendency to lump everyone who doesn’t automatically take at face value every dire prediction and subsequent big-government policy recommendation the green lobby can come up with into the category of “flat-earth, knuckle-dragging, conspiratorial deniers” is just counterproductive to their own cause.