Caught In The Sunlight

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President Barack Obama tours the Solyndra solar panel company in Fremont, Calif., in 2010.

On the scale of Presidential scandals, I would hardly rank the unfolding “Solyndra-Gate” at the top of the list. I’m not even sure it holds the top spot on President Barack Obama’s personal disgrace chart. The growing pile of evidence indicating Obama either did know or should have known about improper ties between his Administration and the Democratic fat-wallet – and the evil genius behind Solyndra – George Kaiser doesn’t reveal any murder victims; meaning it places second in my book to the still-unfolding Operation Fast and Furious debacle.

But the Solyndra bankruptcy did manage to flush a half-billion taxpayer dollars down the drain, so it certainly merits examination. Consider it: Solyndra chewed up $500 million. For what Obama burned on his accomplices’ failed solar experiment, he could have simply given every (legal) American about $1.65. To put it another way: For the cost of the Solyndra scam, we could all enjoy a soft drink and a lottery ticket. The soft drink is more refreshing than photovoltaic cells; and the lottery ticket would be more likely to pay off.

Assessing blame for Solyndra is a fool’s errand; mostly because Solyndra is simply the latest example of the scams politicians have foisted on the taxpayers since well before President Warren Harding got his Teapot Domed in 1923. The question betrayed by Obama’s “Solyndra-gate” is not how the Washington elite managed to flimflam the taxpayers again, but why.

The answer comprises more than the usual “because we can” which normally motivates the wire-pullers we foolishly keep dispatching to Washington. The roots of Solyndra-gate are firmly embedded in the pseudoscientific manure intellectual cult leader Al Gore has been shoveling since he wandered off his daddy’s tobacco farm and invented the Internet: so-called global warming. Actually, we have been swallowing the various iterations of “green living” for about 50 years at this point — generally to the detriment of improved economies, better living and enhanced opportunity for everyone except the snail darter and the guy who prints those “think globally, act locally” bumper stickers.

Rachel Carson’s seminal eco-babble Silent Spring certainly provoked the world to cut back on sending the noble mosquito to that great bayou in the sky; and we had to consign only a few million Third World children to the land of the eternal Deep Woods Off®. Of course, given American liberals’ distaste for dark-skinned tykes, I suppose they consider the saving of the most annoying bug on the planet a moral victory. Drawing a line from Carson to lunatics like Al Gore and on to Solyndra-gate requires far less time than, say, sitting through Gore’s Inconvenient Slide Show.

The Obama Administration appears to have willfully ignored a series of red flags in order to rescue Solyndra. Department of Energy emails (which have been partially redacted) reveal that at least one official warned that Obama’s Presidency could end up trapped in the Solyndra coffin: “Questions will be asked as to why the administration made a bad investment, not just once (which could hopefully be explained as part of the challenge of supporting innovative technologies), but twice (which could easily be portrayed as bad judgment, or worse)… The timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up.” God forbid anyone worry about the 1,100 jobs, half-a-billion dollars in taxpayer money and time wasted. I wonder how far down the liberal list those minor points might be found.

Solyndra-gate is purely bad governance spurred on by global warming hysteria and political paybacks. What people miss while focusing on the 1,100 Americans who just received their pink slips, the half-a-billion in taxpayer dollars which just went up in a cloud of carbon-neutral exhaust and President Obama’s latest adventure in stupidity is the human cost of the global warming industry. Barack Obama invested a huge pile of our money in a bad scheme based on even worse reasoning: junk science combined with good, old-fashioned back-scratching. As the economy sputters like a Government Motors bailout-mobile, Obama is playing footsie with liberal moneybag types like George Kaiser. Real people really suffer real consequences when crackpot scientific theories meet greedy liberal politicians, but they are never the ones who deserve them.

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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