The Corner

Re: He Who Pays the Piper

Jonathan: I don’t think there was a lot of daylight between the administration and the industry on the question of a unified national standard. Obama has been saying since he took office that he wanted “to avoid a patchwork system of emissions regulations.” What I’m saying is that the industry had no say about where the standard was set. Obama’s targets are much stricter than anything the industry would have accepted two years ago. Industry leaders put up a huge fight over less-strict standards in the 2007 energy bill, and that fight took place the summer after the Court handed down Mass. v. EPA.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m fully cognizant of what a terrible decision that was, thanks to your lucid explications of the case on NRO; it definitely made new regulations inevitable. But I’m just not buying the idea that getting a unified national standard was some great victory for the auto industry. The automakers didn’t have to negotiate for that; Obama wanted it, too. It wasn’t a concession the industry won in exchange for stricter targets; Obama set the targets where he wanted them and the automakers accepted it because they are politically powerless right now. They have zero clout. What I’m saying is that it points to a larger concern, which is that we are running out of industries that can effectively lobby against dirigisme, because the government is running so many industries.

Most Popular

PC Culture

‘White Women’ Becomes a Disparaging Term

Using “white men” as a putdown is no longer extreme enough for the Left. Now it is moving on to doing the same for “white women.” How rapidly this transpired. It was less than two years ago that the approximately 98.7 percent of white women working in media who were openly rooting for Hillary Clinton ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World Keeps Not Ending

We were not supposed to have made it this far. George Orwell saw night descending on us in 1984. Orwell was, on paper, a radical, but in his heart he was an old-fashioned English liberal. He dreamed of socialism but feared socialists. He feared them because he knew them. I was in the sixth grade in 1984, but I ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Beatification of Beto

The media’s treatment of Texas Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke wasn’t the most egregiously unfair coverage of the past year -- that would be the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh -- but it ranks among 2018’s most annoying. The endless glowing profiles of O’Rourke in every publication from Vanity Fair to ... Read More

A Free People Must Be Virtuous

Dear Reader (Even those of you who didn’t seem to notice or care that I failed to file this “news”letter on Friday), So I’m sitting here at Gate C6 at O’Hare waiting for my flight home. I am weary, pressed for time, in desperate need of a shower, and filled with a great sense of dread for the work ... Read More