It is now generally forgotten that one of the tangential threads that contributed to the Watergate scandal was the Nixon Administration’s intervention on milk prices and their favoritism toward ITT in an antitrust matter. With that in mind the story in today’s Washington Post on the Obama Administration’s politicization of energy policy ought to elevate the Solyndra syndrome (since it was not an isolated matter) into a full-blown political scandal. The program was, says the Post, “infused with politics at every level.” Keep in mind that the White House has been denying that politics played a role in Solyndra and other decisions. The Post has blown the lid sky high off of this lie. Perhaps we should start a betting pool on whether Stephen Chu or Eric Holder will be the first to go from Obama’s cabinet.
The complete story is devastating, but here’s a small sample:
Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.
The documents reviewed by The Post, which began examining the clean-technology program a year ago, provide a detailed look inside the day-to-day workings of the upper levels of the Obama administration. They also give an unprecedented glimpse into high-level maneuvering by politically connected clean-technology investors.
They show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the “optics” in Washington and the impact that the company’s failure could have on the president’s prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-energy technology.
“What’s so troubling is that politics seems to be the dominant factor,” said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group. “They’re not talking about what the taxpayers are losing; they’re not talking about the failure of the technology, whether we bet on the wrong horse. What they are talking about is ‘How are we going to manage this politically?’ ”