Our National Review pal Rich Lowry writes today that the spectacular collapse of Solyndra is Obama’s Enron, but I think it is much more analogous to the collapse of Lincoln Savings in the late 1980s and will have the same effect on the politics of “green energy” that Lincoln Savings had on the politics of the savings and loan industry, and for the exact same reason: the political connections of Charles Keating then, and Obama donors and appointees in the case of Solyndra now, add the specter of political corruption and insider manipulation along with large taxpayer losses (looks like taxpayers will be out more than $500 million for Solyndra). The Los Angeles Times takes note of all this today in a clear-headed and surprisingly bracing editorial:
When Solyndra, a Bay Area maker of industrial solar panels, announced plans to file for bankruptcy protection Wednesday, it wasn’t just a blow for the company’s 1,100 laid-off employees or the investors who have pumped millions into the venture. It called into question the Obama administration’s entire clean-energy stimulus program. . .
That’s especially troubling because Solyndra is backed by one of Obama’s key fundraisers, George Kaiser of Tulsa. . .
Two important questions are raised by Solyndra’s failure: Should the government be in the business of picking winners and losers by providing loan guarantees to risky energy ventures? And is Obama using stimulus funds to reward his political contributors? . . .
To the second question, we’d like to see the results of the House energy committee’s investigation. . . if there’s evidence that political rather than business considerations played a role in funding decisions, Obama will have much to answer for.
The Times is fairly conventional mainstream liberal, and if you’re losing them. . .
UPDATE: ABC News is reporting that there is evidence of White House favoritism in the granting of Solyndra’s loan guarantee, with White House officials “personally involved” in the decision. Turns out ABC has been on this story for months. Can you say “special counsel”?