This is the hill to die on?
Yeah, I’m not exactly thrilled with President Obama rolling back the EPA’s tougher smog regulations either, folks. But there’s a difference between constructive criticism of the President’s policies, and firebagger nonsense like this. The President’s environmental record is rock solid, and Renee Schoof’s piece at McClatchy this weekend is exactly what the anti-Obama left wants…along with Republicans who don’t have to lift a finger to attack the President and demoralize the left. We’ll do it ourselves. After all, President Obama is apparently the worse environmental Chief Executive of our age:
“The White House is siding with corporate polluters over the American people,” Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke said in a statement. “The Clean Air Act clearly requires the Environmental Protection Agency to set protective standards against smog — based on science and the law. The White House now has polluted that process with politics.”
Really? Because a prudent observer would have figured out that Republicans made the protecting the environment political years ago, not to mention corporations themselves. But it’s President Obama’s fault. And the NRDC’s statement implies that President Obama has eliminated protective standards completely, not kept them as is. It’s almost like they want you to believe that the President has weakened existing standards, which he has not done…but it sure gives the NRDC political ammo to fundraise, doesn’t it? God forbid anyone play politics with the environment.
Oh, but it gets worse in the article.
The retreat on the ozone standard is the latest decision Obama has made that appears to be a capitulation to Republicans, sparking growing disenchantment among his base.
In December, he agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. In April, he reached a deal to avert a government shutdown by agreeing to GOP demands for budget cuts. In early August, he signed a deal to lift the nation’s debt ceiling and avoid a credit default, though the agreement doesn’t guarantee that spending cuts will be balanced by tax increases, as he had insisted.
And this is a McClatchy news article saying this, not an opinion piece, not a Daily Beast article, not George Will or MoDo the Red or Bobo in a weekend op-ed dump, not an FDL diarist, not a FOX Nation screamer or a Breitbart hit job…but a regular McClatchy national news article from their DC bureau saying this. The message is clear: Boy, why should you bother voting, Democrats? You should stay home and teach Obama a lesson. He has disappointed you! The news says he has, so it must be true! Behold the liberal media!
And then to top it off there’s more firebagging.
“Many MoveOn members are wondering today how they can ever work for President Obama’s re-election or make the case for him to their neighbors, when he does something like this after extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and giving in to tea party demands on the debt deal,” said Justin Ruben, the executive director of the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org, which backed Obama in 2008.
Hey, it’s like MoveOn.org would be happier with a Republican in the White House to focus on. I wonder if MoveOn.org will still back President Obama in 2012. You’d like to think they would be able to recognize the reasons why the President did what he did, but they have an awfully funny way of showing it.
Here’s why the anti-Obama left is ready to stay home:
The 2008 rule put the ozone level at 75 parts per billion. The EPA in January 2010 proposed setting it at 60 to 70 parts per billion, the range recommended by its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee. The final rule was never released. The White House Office of Management and Budget had been reviewing it.
And for leaving it at 75 ppb, we’re ready to hand the country over to the GOP, who will almost certainly eliminate the 75 ppb limit as too hard on businesses and kill the Clean Air Act completely. Republicans threatened to wipe out the legislation totally within the first few days of taking over the House…which they did because Democrats stayed home in 2010 in order to “teach President Obama a lesson.” When firebaggers do the same in 2012 and Republicans get the votes they need, the lesson they will teach President Obama is “You can’t count on us, we’re in it for ourselves.”
And finally, Matt Osborne reminds us that this President has gone above and beyond on auto industry mileage and emissions standards.
Obama is a transportation progressive. Why should the White House choose to fight costly battles over EPA regulations, tar sands pipelines, or offshore drilling when they can win policy battles that reduce consumption? This is not eleventy-dimensional chess. It is not apologetics. It is solid policy.
One may still save thousands of lives from smog without new EPA regulations, as transportation policy is intimately linked to public health. Less smog from tailpipes means less smog-related illness.
Nor is this a sop to conservative framing. Indeed, the White House has produced a consistently progressive and aggressive transportation reform policy, standing firm behind rule changes that encourage walkable streets and bike lanes.
The administration still wants high speed rail, which would reduce highway and airport congestion and the emissions that come from them.
The “laserlike jobs focus” of the president’s speech this week will include plenty of transportation and infrastructure spending in this line, both vital to reducing emissions. This is a major progressive priority.
But no, Obama failed us, so you should stay home so President Perry scraps all of these green transportation initiatives the last week of January, 2013. That’ll advance the progressive agenda for sure, right?