- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 26, 2010




On some days, Barack Obama shoulda stood in bed. The new year has brought him a succession of days like that. Let us count the reasons why: Scott Brown, Ben Bernanke, his sinking poll numbers, continuing bad economic news and the health care debacle. He insists he won’t hit the reset button, probably because he can’t find it.

Certain of his friends argue that it’s time to give up on health care, and, like Bill Clinton, move on to something else. “Climate change” (which is what we’re supposed to call global warming now) has been nominated as the topic to make everyone forget about health care “reform.” The president himself is trying to rally Democrats ready to bail. Hang on, help is coming.

One Democratic congressman who bailed on Monday, Rep. Marion Berry of Arkansas, says enough already. He says he and certain of his colleagues tried to tell the White House that they were making the same mistake Bill Clinton made, of forcing unpopular legislation on voters who wouldn’t take it any more, leading to the Big Blow-Out of ‘94. “They just kept telling us how good it was going to be,” says the retiring Mr. Berry. “The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, ‘Well, the big difference here and in ‘94 was you’ve got me.’ We’re going to see how much difference that makes now.”

“That woman, Miss Lewinsky” famously called Bubba “the big He.” Barack Obama clearly doesn’t like advice that he fashion himself after Bubba for a campaign to remake himself in the image of an effective president, but he has already succeeded Bubba in his own mind as “the big He.” Like Monica Lewinsky’s original big He, the current president imagines that his talent is the size of his ego and he’s big enough to speak things into existence. (Whether he’s an authentic Bible scholar is open to argument but he has clearly read the Book of Genesis.)

One by one, the president’s promised initiatives have come on bad days. The so-called card-check legislation, which would have enabled union organizers to bypass secret elections and obtain union certification by intimidating enough workers to merely sign cards saying they want to organize a local, is dead in the Senate. “Stimulus,” as the Democrats define it, has become a dirty word. So has “Bernanke.” But nothing illustrates how dramatically a scam can collapse like the “consensus” that the globe is about to go on the boil and only earthly governments can do something about it. The “consensus” has melted over a fire crackling with fakery and wild exaggeration. The admonition, credited to the late Daniel Moynihan, that everyone is entitled to his own opinion but no one is entitled to his own facts, never got through to the global warming fanatics. Last year’s scandal, that certain learned professors got caught making up stuff to support their theories of rising global temperatures, was followed last week by the revelation that the United Nations agency on climate science had made up the story that the glaciers in the Himalayas would melt by the year 2035, flooding vast areas of India and the Asian subcontinent.

The report of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose work we were encouraged by Al Gore and his collaborators to treat as revealed Gospel, was not peer-reviewed science, but a newspaper interview with a climate scientist with a bridge to sell. The chairman of the U.N. panel, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, now concedes that the tale of the melting glaciers had “no scientific basis.” This is quite a comedown for Dr. Pachauri, who earlier dismissed as “voodoo science” the assertion by India’s leading scholar on glaciers that the glaciers would not in fact melt by 2035. The scholar, Dr. Vijay Kumar Raina, said some glaciers were “retreating” but that was nothing out of the ordinary. Glaciers have always retreated, followed by reforming.

But not to worry. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the vice chairman of the U.N. panel, said the revelations of lies and frauds in the panel’s work did nothing to undermine the research that the climate is warming and humans are responsible. “I don’t see how one mistake in a 3,000-page report can damage the credibility of the report.” (“Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”)

President Obama no doubt recognizes this attitude. He has been back on the campaign trail, promising to fight on for all the things the public is shouting at him, loud and clear, that they don’t want. Bedtime never looked so good.

Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

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