The tide of opinion for the American electorate has clearly shifted over the past eighteen months. The tea party movement, conservatives and even libertarians have helped to harden opposition to the agenda of the Obama Administration and the Democrat controlled Congress. The next phase in the defeat of the statist agenda is getting blocks of the electorate to fundamentally shift its allegiances away from the Democrat party.
On the surface, this would appear to be doable as polling data is amply available illustrating the outright rejection of key elements of the Obama agenda. However, an example in our backyard here in Louisiana demonstrates just how difficult it is to change sentiment into long-term voting preferences.
As is acutely aware to those directly involved in the industry, the gulf oil and gas moratorium imposed and re-imposed by President Obama and Interior Secretary Salazar will likely lead to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in Louisiana. For those in the political class, the idea of Machiavellian decisions to achieve ideological and Electoral College advantage is not too difficult to conceive. One need only read biographies of LBJ to see recent history of gross manipulations of power for raw partisan political advantage.
What makes the moratorium unprecedented in modern US history is that the decision is being made without the support of science, without the support of a majority of the President’s working group on the spill and with the direct understanding that an entire region and economy will be decimated on the altar of ideology and the Electoral College.
Before the reader questions what is so earth shattering about this assessment of the moratorium, one must get into the mind of the average American, not the political junkie. I believe the view that the President and his Administration would implement a policy that would lay off tens of thousands of jobs and inflict great harm on a region and industry for ideological and Electoral College advantage is beyond the pale for average Americans. It just cuts against what Americans perceive to be possible in its elected leaders, this sort of thing happens with totalitarian dictators, not here in the US.
Unless and until the electorates’ views congeal into outrage about the willful decision to harm the lives of thousands of people in Louisiana, the Administration can continue marching on this destructive path. It is going to take some doing but our Congressional delegation on the GOP side is doing its job to inform the electorate. Congressman’s Cassidy’s performance on the issue in a House Committee last week, if viewed by most voters, would go a long way towards showing people just how far Democrats in Washington will go to turn south Louisiana into a dust bowl.
Just as it took over a year for average Americans to see and digest Obama policies before coming to the conclusion they were ruinous, it will take some time for people to truly grasp what this moratorium will do to Louisiana. The moratorium can be the catalyst for a rejection of Democrat policies at present via the November mid-term elections. However, once the reality of this savage moratorium is fully understood and felt, intense and focused efforts (already underway in Louisiana) can assure that this statist ideology will be rejected by a larger segment of the electorate since before the New Deal era. It is the challenge for the conservative coalition to make this case, especially to younger voters so we will not have to endure another round of disastrous policies until the next generation.