In the wake of the growing Solyndra scandal, the Obama administration is playing the familiar card that its inside deal-making and cronyism really amount to nothing more than bureaucratic mistakes that should be blamed on his Republican predecessor. Like the Black Panther case dismissal, left-wing spinmeisters are pinning the Solyndra loan guarantee on the career federal employees the Obama administration pressured. In this case, they also blame President George W. Bush.
“The loan guarantee decision was merit-based and made by career staffers at DOE (Department of Energy),” said White House spokesman Eric Schultz. “And the process for this particular loan guarantee began under President Bush.”
The decision to blame federal employees recalls Obama’s dismissal of the Black Panther voter intimidation case. Obama’s Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez may have perjured himself when he told the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights the decision amounted to nothing more than “a case of career people disagreeing with career people.” Judicial Watch subsequently proved substantial pressure from two Obama political appointees, Steve Rosenbaum and Sam Hirsch.
The idea that President Bush is responsible for Solyndra’s loan mess is more laughable. The loan process did indeed begin under President Bush, where it was also rejected. Although he raised the possibility of a loan guarantee, career analysts unanimously vetoed the idea in the last days of his administration. It took Obama to push through the crony deal on behalf of his campaign bundler, George Kaiser, and to restructure the loan deal in apparent violation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 when Solyndra seemed in danger of bankruptcy earlier this year.
Obama looked at the $535 million loan guarantee as a payback for a political crony but also a way to pump federal money into the economy and, through the miracle of Keynesianism, put Americans to work. However, his green energy investment has been a bust for American taxpayers and workers. Bloomberg reports, “Solyndra is the third U.S. solar manufacturer to fail in a month as falling panel prices and weak global demand are driving a wave of industry consolidation.”
Indeed, Solyndra is not the only stimulus recipient to declare bankruptcy. The deceased company is joined by four other green energy firms: Evergreen Solar Inc., SpectraWatt, Mountain Plaza Inc., and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Co.
All of this bears out Sarah Palin’s contention that the Obama administration is engaged in “crony capitalism on steroids.”
What has the Obama administration learned from this massive squandering of taxpayer money? Nothing. Daniel Poneman, Obama’s Deputy Secretary of Energy, faulted China in a USA Today op-ed (in which he also blamed dipping sales on “short-term softening demand”). China certainly subsidizes its green energy sector, and Congressional Democrats such as Ron Wyden and Steny Hoyer have recommended taking action before the World Trade Organization. Poneman, however, recommends taxpayers make steeper “investments” in the administration’s preferred clientele. “Government support has an important role to play in developing new industries and emerging technologies,” he beamed.
Schultz agreed, “As the Department of Energy has made clear, they have always recognized that not every one of the innovative companies helped would succeed, but we can’t stop investing in game-changing technologies that are key to America’s leadership in the global economy.”
Coming from a White House drunk on spending, his words do not sound like a statement of resolve so much as the admission of an addict desperately in need of going cold turkey.