His First Rodeo?

Speaking at a $32,400 a plate fundraiser at Gordon Getty’s house in San Francisco earlier this week, President Obama commented on how “I’ve got some nicks and bruises to prove that I’ve been to this rodeo before,” as preface to explaining that while it’s fine to “hope,” actual change takes time.

Maybe this is standard boilerplate with the wealthy elite of San Francisco who are bitterly clinging to their progressive wisps.  But it’s more likely Bay Area crunchers would scratch their head and look at each other as if to ask—“What’s a rodeo?”  Or, “Why is Obama talking about this red state spectacle of animal cruelty?  He should stick with inappropriate remarks about California’s callipygian attorney general, Kamala Harris.”  Though as I’ve been pointing out all day, if Californians had had the good sense to elect my former roommate John Eastman instead, this wouldn’t have happened.

Anyway, Obama went on to say this:

“[N]othing worthwhile happens in six months or a year. It happens over decades.  It happens over generations.  Our job is not to do it by ourselves or get it all done in one year or one term or even necessarily in our lifetimes, but our job is to make sure that we’re pressing and pushing so that the whole country, over time, is moving in the right direction.”

Yet at a separate appearance earlier in the evening, Obama used the past-perfect verb tense:

 “We’ve been able to double fuel efficiency standards on cars.  We’ve been able to take mercury out of our air.  We have been able to reduce carbon emissions in this country and have made not only this a healthier place to live, but have also begun to address in a serious way one of the biggest challenges of our time, and that is the challenge of climate change.”

Funny thing about modern liberals.  They think simply passing a law or declaring something is as good as achieving the deed.  The fuel efficiency standards for cars won’t take effect—if they are actually implemented at all—for another ten years.  Mercury has been falling for years because of technology improvement; the Obama EPA’s mercury rules—on the drawing board since the Clinton administration—were yanked last year and are still on the drawing board, and will take years to take effect if and when they are finalized.  And the reduction in carbon emissions are entirely the result of changes in the marketplace (can you say “fracking”?) that Obama had nothing to do with.

It reminds me of something Leon Wieseltier observed in The New Republic back during the Clinton years that applies just as well to Obamaworld: “There is a certain sensibility, for which Mrs. Clinton’s generation is famous, and which she perfectly exemplifies, that hates being preceded.  Everything it experiences it experiences for the first time.  When it sees, there is light; and when it fails to see, the whole world is covered in darkness.”


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