There has been a lot of discussion during the last three years regarding Obama's handling, if you will, of the economy. The left's view seems to be that Obama inherited a mess entirely of George W. Bush's making, and that but for Obama's herculean efforts and vision, America would have plunged into a Greater Depression. It looks like that line of thinking has finally hit the wall, as the CBO has acknowledged that the stimulus programs have a negative effect on long-term economic growth.
Meanwhile, on the right, the debate is whether Obama is simply ignorant and inept regarding the economy, or whether he is a sly fox who knows exactly what he is doing and his design is to weaken the economy and increase the number of Americans who are dependent upon the government. I have long believed that Obama falls into the latter category, and that part of his plan is to create a permanent bloc of democrat voters, and squeeze the country until we all give up and consign everything over to a larger federal government, resulting a giant social democracy. More on this in a future post.
Getting back to the present, Charles Krauthammer wrote a nice piece in Friday's WaPo about the Keystone XL Pipeline. It also addresses the schism between Obama's economic political decision-making. In short, Krauthammer observes that Obama realized that green lighting the pipeline would not garner him a single additional vote, but stalling it - no matter what the cost to our economy - could gain him the support of thousands of "environmentalists." The cost to our economy? Thousands of actual jobs; easy access (read: cheap) to oil (read: ENERGY that we don't have to buy from the Middle East). This decision was probably win-win for Obama - politically expedient AND curbs economic growth.
Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker takes up the same point with Obama's decision to halt shale gas drilling in Ohio. His colleague Steven Hayward carries that story a few yards farther in his post, Obama to Ohio: Drop Dead.