March 22 2012
Just when you think President Obama has exhausted the list of people and inanimate objects (ATM machines) to be blamed for the economic failures of his presidency, he surprises you:
President Obama denied culpability for the failure of solar firm Solyndra in a radio interview on Tuesday, instead pinning the blame on Congress and the Chinese.
The loans initiative used to finance Solyndra was “not our program,” he told American Public Media in response to question about Solyndra’s bankruptcy and subsequent controversy.
“Understand, this was not our program per se,” Obama said. “Congress–Democrats and Republicans–put together a loan guarantee program…to help start-up companies get to scale.”
It is that per se that somehow most deliciously captures our leader's method of evading responsibility.
But the rest of us remember only too well that it was Energy Secretary David Chu who decided in favor of guaranteeing the $535 million loan to Solyndra, despite warning signs that the project was heading for bankruptcy. And FactCheck.org notes, “Solyndra’s loan guarantee came under another program created by the president’s 2009 stimulus for companies developing ‘commercially available technologies.’”
It is interesting that the man who doesn’t take responsibility for failure has no shame taking credit for an extension of the Keystone XL pipeline project that he unilaterally killed. As you may know, he has announced that his administration is allowing work to move forward on the southern half of the pipeline.
TransCanada announced weeks ago that it was planning to start building the southern half of the pipeline by late spring or early summer at the latest. It doesn’t even need approval from the State Department to do so because no international boundary is implicated. All it needs are regulatory approvals from whichever federal agencies are in charge here. (Bureaucracy being what it is, no one’s quite sure yet who that might be.) All The One is doing here is making sure there’s a little less red tape in the way of a project that’s already a fait accompli.
It should bother us all that the most powerful man in the world vacilates between presenting himself as a hapless pawn of circumstances beyond his control and grandiosity.
As much as I deplore to loss of money to taxpapers occasioned by the Solyndra loan, I’d almost admire a president who he could say, “Yes, we are responsible, and we blew it.”
(For an another interesting example of delusional thinking, see Secretary Chu grading himself for his investing prowess, including Solyndra.)