(I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!)
Within the last week or two, both the 43rd and 44th presidents of these here United States were back on the stump in anticipation of the November elections. Their return to politics breaks a seven decades-long practice of ex-presidents staying silent about the goings-on of their successors.
Like other presidential traditions in the age of Trump, the code of silence was destined to be broken. It is inconceivable that old number 45 could—upon his exit from office—control himself for as much as a New York minute before telling his successor how dull s/he is compared to his orangie-brilliance.
Bush and Obama are predictably being bashed about by the opposition press for their decisions. Vox’s Mathew Iglesias dismisses any suggestion that Bush has returned to politics to lead the Republican resistance. He chooses to believe that 43 has two missions. One is to raise money for Republican House and Senate candidates. The other is to convince Republicans in districts that swung against Trump to swallow their doubts and reelect a Congress that is determined to enable Trump — his corruption and…attacks on the rule of law. (emphasis added)
In today’s tit-for-tat world, Gary Locke of the Weekly Standard termed Obama’s speech at the University of Illinois the answer to the Democrat’s partisan prayers. According to Locke, Barack Obama finally did what Democratic activists had been desperately hoping he would do—he reproached his successor ahead of the midterm election. The speech for Locke was a long, discursive oration…[with] lots of impromptu gibes and derisive harrumphs that made the 44th president sound less like a retired statesman than a candidate vying for office. (emphasis added)
A more neutral observer would have judged Obama’s gibes much inferior to Trump’s harrumphs, while fairer assessments of two ex-presidents breaking with tradition might consider them motivated by more than mere partisanship. Have Bush and Obama returned to competitive politics to raise needed contributions and help their respective parties win in November? Undoubtedly, they have.
Politics, after all, is a game one pays to play. Having skin in the contest moves 43 and 44 from the sidelines to the field where they can speak more securely about the current state of America's public affairs.
(Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) proves global warming is a hoax.)
As it is written, so it shall not pass!
Spoiler Alert: From an environmental perspective, the Trump administration’s proposed replacement for the Clean Power Plan (CPP)—dubbed the Affordable Clean Energy plan (ACE)--stinks!
That’s just the beginning of the story. A story that once again ends with climate defenders and deniers duking it out in federal court over the next two to five years.
It should come as no surprise that the Trump administration has chosen to replace its predecessor’s Plan with one that does little, if any, good for the environment. ACE reflects the high value—political and economic—the Administration places on coal and other fossil fuels and the low regard in which it holds the clean energy and efficiency sectors.
The proposed plan continues White House efforts to buck an energy market moving on its own towards natural gas and renewables like solar and wind . A movement motivated more by economics than environmental regulation. ACE, for example, makes it easier to keep dirty-old coal-fired electric plants online. As one independent—but very politic—research company wrote:
ACE is a tepid pledge to fight climate change that’s actually a coal bailout.
Joel B. Stronberg
Joel Stronberg, MS, JD., of The JBS Group is a veteran clean energy policy analyst with over 30 years’ experience, based in Washington, DC.