The Obama administration grows stranger by the day. It has become a “Where’s Waldo?” administration.
The disaster in Japan goes from bad to worse to worser every day. Entire villages and towns have been demolished by the 9.1 earthquake and the 32-ft tsunami. Thousands are reported dead, with more thousands missing. Radiation is leaking from explosions of several units in the Fukushima nuclear plant. There is human suffering on a scale unprecedented since World War II.
What is Obama’s reaction? A strangely affect-less statement, read from a prepared script (that someone else wrote for him), displaying not a whiff of emotion, even less of anguished empathy:
Empathy — the ability to put ourselves in someone’s shoes and feel the emotions they’re feeling — is what makes us human. Psychologists have found that sociopaths/psychopaths (now called by the PC name of “anti-social personality disorder”) lack empathy. I worry about a person who does not have empathy, especially if this individual is president, commander-in-chief, and the most powerful man in the world.
But Obama had no problem showing plenty of affect as he yucks it up at the Gridiron dinner. Well, at least he’s being consistent. As oil spewed from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico last year, Obama also yucked it up at the White House Correspondents’ dinner.
That’s what we get for electing a joker to the White House.
Now, with radiation leaking from Japan’s exploded nuclear reactors and rising concerns of an imminent core meltdown, Americans are more and more worried that the radiation will be carried by the jet stream to the U.S. west coast. The MSM are scrambling around, consulting this nuclear expert and that nuclear scientist….
Amidst this confusing mess of fears and uncertainty, the man who should know is strangely Missing In Action.
That man is Secretary of Energy, physicist Dr. Steven Chu, the winner of a 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics and a vocal supporter of nuclear energy. Chu is an advocate for more research into alternative energy and nuclear power, arguing that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combat global warming. As Iain Murray wrote in “Japan’s Nuclear Crisis. Where Is Steven Chu?,” March 14, 2011: (h/t my friend Sol)
He has the authority and the credibility to be all over our airwaves and the Internet telling Americans that their nuclear installations are safe and this terrible but extraordinary incident is no reason to slow down our move to speed up new nuclear construction. Yet he is absent without trace.
Americans expect leadership from their leaders. Chu has the track record to provide it in this case, yet he is failing to do so. If he is being hamstrung by special-interest pressure within the administration, one would expect that to be a resigning matter. I fear it is more likely that he has succumbed to pressure from his erstwhile allies, the greens, and is simply displaying a lack of backbone.
Yet he should consider what this means for his own plans. The administration’s energy plan, based on the EPA’s draconian regulations against greenhouse gas emitters, depends on a hundred new nuclear power plants being built. The administration knows that that powering America by wind and solar energy is as likely as extracting sunlight from cucumbers, which is why nuclear figures so heavily in the plan. If that option is now off the table — and the Left has been so successful in its opportunistic framing of this issue that it might well be — then there is a massive gap in the plan that can only be filled by coal or natural gas. Secretary Chu will be forced to argue that, if there is a nuclear ban, then the EPA’s beloved greenhouse-gas regulations will also have to be taken off the table. This is a circle that simply cannot be squared.
Again, it is up to Steven Chu to provide leadership here. It is his job to be realistic about America’s energy needs. If he fails to perform his duty, the American people must demand someone who is up to the job.