Thuggery

15 12 2009

I wanted to say something about this when it came out but I didn’t have the time.

The EPA issued its endangerment finding for carbon dioxide last week.  It wasn’t really a surprise; after all, with the Defenders of Gaia meeting in Copenhagen, there couldn’t have been a more dramatic or politically convenient time to make the announcement (even though it was all just a big coincidence).  So no big shock here; I’m pretty much just to the point where I laugh and shake my head instead of flipping out and launching into some long invective directed at Henry Waxman or Lisa Jackson.

THIS IMAGE REQUIRED IN ANY ARTICLE DISCUSSING CARBON EMISSIONS (despite the billowing clouds being water vapor, not invisible CO2)

With the Climategate debacle unfolding and a notable lack of tangible economic recovery (a decrease in the rate of job loss still means…job loss, no matter what the GDP did last quarter), plus a lack of apocalyptic warming, it seems like the green movement might have peaked.  So this whole EPA endangerment finding might not really amount to all that much, or at least not for very long.

No, much like everything else going on in DC these days, the method used to impose controlling restrictions or pass ridiculous legislation is more important than the substance.

You may recall that Cap and Trade squeezed through the House earlier this summer, but hasn’t been heard of since.  That’s because the Senate, which is already having a hard enough time desperately trying to wrangle up the votes for some or any health care reform, hasn’t had the time or political will to take that devastating piece of anti-progress legislation on.

Normally, we’d see this as a good thing; government has slowed down to focus on one important issue instead of blindly passing the ruling party’s laundry list of progressive legislation.  But that’s not good enough for the current administration, which must perceive its mandate from heaven slipping away on a daily basis.

So instead of the legislative mechanisms designed to prevent nonsensical and destructive laws from getting passed functioning as they should, we’ve got Obama out front and center acting like the thug Chicago politician that he is.  In statements issued by the Administration, he has made it clear that if Congress is not able to come up with some satisfactory carbon emissions regulation scheme (like the “market based” cap and trade bill dead in the Senate) he will be forced to let the rabid eco-facists at the EPA break some fingers.

At least Don Corleone didn't need a teleprompter.

And that would be terrible.  After all, it’s not like he appointed the EPA head or anything—he’s really just trying to protect the economy from something much, much worse than cap and trade, which is sadly necessary.  That is not Checks and Balances in action.  It’s Baseball Bats and Pipe Wrenches.  It’s the Executive Branch using unconstitutional power to run roughshod over the Legislative Branch, or at least using the threat of doing so to coerce Congress to act.

This is a political reality that certainly did not have it’s roots in the Obama Administration; the Executive Branch’s usurpation of power has been going on for decades.  The EPA endangerment finding and its implications, however, is a great if frightening example, and one that promises to crush the economy if not stopped.  Fortunately, Congress still controls budgeting; if the EPA goes off the rails, it can always be starved out of existence.

But that will require voters to elect Congressmen with guts, since most of those in charge seem to be utterly lacking in that area.  Until that happens, we’ll be stuck with a bunch of thugs running the country.  But is there really anything new and unsurprising about that?

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2 responses

16 12 2009
Enviro Engineer

Ouch Kozak. I think I’m going to go back in time and de-pledge you so I won’t have to be subjected to this filth where you go and soil one of the few good agencies within the US federal government (and the one I (and my parents) happen to work for, FYI). I’d like to think that DHS, OMB, etc. do some far, far worse things than the EPA. Regardless of what you think about the tactics currently employed by Obama and Jackson to go out and regulate GHG’s (among other things), at least the EPA is doing *something* now to protect the air you breath. That’s a hell of a lot more than you could say when we were under the Bush administration.

16 12 2009
Graham Kozak

For the record, I’m not personally attacking the employees of the agency (though even you have to admit that there are outright fanatics in many high places no matter how good people are in the rank and file), and clearly I stated that the method here is far more important than any particular regulations.

The fact is, executive overreach completely short-circuits the rather delicate machine that is our government—it’s using a bludgeon to advance an agenda that should really be dealt with by the legislative branch.

And why does everything have to involve Bush? Consolidation of executive power has been going on for decades (something I also pointed out). It’s not right no matter who does it.

In fact, Bush was often accused (by liberals and libertarians alike) of running roughshod over the democratic process. Sounds like a good enough reason for Obama to continue the trend, as long as it’s for a reason you deem to be just, right? You forget that to many, the threat of terrorism was enough to justify tremendous overreach and questionable activities on the part of the DHS.

This is really no different; to you, the threat of climate change caused by carbon dioxide is as real as any hyped-up threat of terrorism to others. Neither threat justifies the kind of thuggery that executive agencies of all stripes are more than willing to use whenever they get the chance. Like it or not, the legislative process and the division of powers is meant to prevent this from happening, even if it means slowing down progress on a cause you feel to be crucially important.

I’m glad you actually take the time to read what I write and feel passionate enough about the issue to respond, but please at least try to understand what I’m saying (since you seem to have missed the point) and address those points without resorting to personal attacks.

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