The route to power in the era of Generation Greed has been to promise something for nothing, and to provide handy rationalizations to feed the entitlement of those receiving it. So Republicans have handed out tax breaks and promised to cut “spending,” but in fact have increased spending on everyone other than the poor, minorities, immigrants, and those living in older central cities. And so the Democrats promise fiscal and environmental sustainability, without any sacrifice or any inconvenience for anyone other than “the corporations” or “the rich.” In the end both parties sacrifice the future, and the children and grandchildren who will live in it. For Democrats and the environment, you saw this in former Vice President Al Gore’s run for President in 2000, when he did his best to hide his environmental credentials. And now you see it in the debate over an energy policy, in which the Democratic Congress may be poised to do to President Obama’s number one priority, self described, what a previous Democratic Congress did to former President Carter’s number one priority: energy.
I believe this is not only a crime but also a blunder, because politics are changing. Not everyone in Generation Greed is greedy, just the majority of those who make the most noise. And everyone younger is having their future destroyed by inaction, not just in an environmental sense, which not everyone can agree on, but in a national security and economic sense, because of the effect of our dependence on foreign oil. I believe a key moment in the last Presidential campaign occurred when candidates Clinton and McCain proposed the usual pandering give away – suspending the gas tax – and President Obama called it what it was. Apparently the Democrats still need to learn what that meant. So, apparently, does President Obama.