Low-Energy Joe

Low-Energy Joe
President Joe Biden walks on the South Lawn of the White House after stepping off Marine One in Washington on Feb. 14, 2022. Biden returned to Washington after spending the weekend at Camp David. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)
Roger Kimball

“Energy,” quoth William Blake, “is eternal delight.”

Blake was right about that, and it’s worth noting that the observation is true in more senses than one, as anyone who can pronounce the words “gas prices,” “fracking,” “inflation,” “Russia,” or “Ukraine” will understand.

And the contrary is also true: A lack of energy is eternal pain.

No one in the Biden administration seems to be a reader of Blake.

According to the surreal Jen Psaki, press secretary to His Vacancy, Joe Biden, “Green Energy, Not Keystone Pipeline, Will Solve Problem of Reliance on Russian Oil.”

Sad, isn’t it?

When Donald Trump left office, America wasn’t only energy independent, it was a net exporter of energy. One of the first things Biden did upon taking office was to sign on to the green “climate change” agenda.

He shut down the Keystone XL pipeline, thereby losing a mighty source of energy, and tossing thousands of workers out of a job.

He touted wind power, solar power, and battery power over “fossil fuel,” which he disparaged as dirty and politically incorrect.

Nuclear power, too, he sidelined, not because it was unclean, but because the green lobby, to which he is beholden, doesn’t like it.

Now America has been reduced to begging the Saudis for oil.

I am not sure when Vladimir Putin’s birthday is, but Joe Biden could hardly have given him a more welcome gift.

Not only has it sent gas prices in the U.S. soaring—some places are seeing $7 per gallon prices—but has had the effect of shoveling money into Russian coffers. Just the thing, Comrade, if you are going to invade a country, or want to lord it over your neighbors who are dependent on your natural gas.

I have often observed that the modern world has made things difficult for satirists.

The realities of modern life outrun satire and make it indistinguishable from sober documentary.

What could a Juvenal, a Jonathan Swift, an Evelyn Waugh do with a society that is so thoroughly self-satirizing as ours?

Satire depends upon a recognizable distance between reality and the caricatured or satirized exaggeration.

Consider John Kerry, the first (and, Deo volente, the last) “United States special presidential envoy for climate.”

When Russia began its invasion of Ukraine last week, Kerry was on the case, expressing his deep concern that “the Ukraine crisis” might “distract the world from the climate crisis while having massive emissions consequences.”

I had to check that this bijou wasn’t from The Babylon Bee or some other source of satire.

Nope. Kerry really said that.

What he said was solemnly reported. He was vigorously criticized, but not laughed out of office—which would have been the only adequate response.

It gets even better.

Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine isn’t quite the “shock and awe” blitzkrieg he had anticipated.

The Ukrainians are putting up a much stiffer resistance than expected, although motorists cheerfully offer directions to crews of tanks that have broken down.

The “international community,” too, has been posturing vigorously on behalf of Ukraine and against the mean, nasty dictator Putin.

Various economic sanctions have been imposed, and most Western countries are clicking their tongues in disapproval.

This has led Putin to rattle his nuclear saber, putting Russia’s formidable nuclear forces on high alert.

Result? Comedy hour in our federal government.

Responding to Putin’s threat, Ready.gov, “An official website of the United States government,” has released a helpful bulletin in case you find yourself in the midst of a nuclear explosion.

“Get inside the nearest building to avoid radiation,” they advise.

Okay. What then?

Try this on for size: “Try to maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who are not part of your household. If possible, wear a mask if you’re sheltering with people who are not a part of your household.”

Really. You can’t make it up.

Donald Trump used to make fun of Jeb Bush, calling him “low-energy Jeb.” The epithet stuck, and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone chiseled it onto Jeb’s headstone.

But at least Jeb, though an indigenous swamp creature of impressive tenure, was reasonably coherent.

Trump’s label really fits Joe Biden much more completely.

Biden is “low energy” in about 18 different senses.

Observers of what is unfolding in the faraway land of Ukraine can be forgiven for asking this simple but piercing question: Had Donald Trump’s energy policies been left in place, would Putin have been emboldened to attack Ukraine?

I leave out of account the hypocritical posturing by spokesmen who think that Ukraine should be part of NATO, a moribund pact whose pertinence came to an end when the Soviet Union ended.

Meanwhile, newly minted Ukrainian apologists are swooning over pictures of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in military garb. There he is “on the front lines, fighting for his people” after the Russian invasion, says social media.

Tod bad the pictures are several months old.
Meanwhile, Biden has charged that delusional Americans are merely imagining inflation.
As one wit observed, you might with more justice say that Biden is “imagining cognition.”

A young and silly William Wordsworth, recalling how the beginning of the French Revolution impressed him, said:

“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!”

That dream didn’t turn out so well, either.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “Where Next? Western Civilization at the Crossroads.”