Wash Post: Solyndra was all about Politics, not Policy

Bob Beauprez
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Posted: Dec 27, 2011 12:01 AM

The Solyndra scandal continues to fester and haunt the Obama Administration, as even some of the most ardent supporters of the Administration have become harsh critics.  The following statement is particularly profound considering that among the multitude of reliably liberal outlets in the mainstream media, few are more dependable champions of the liberal Democrats and their agenda than the Washington Post.    

“Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal ­e-mails.”

Politics, in fact, trumped the stated objectives of job creation and the supposedly “greater good” of green energy at every turn. 

The Washington Post review of the Solyndra scandal concluded that the Obama Administration was continually concerned about political “optics” and re-election consequences rather than good government policy.  (Full article link here) From pressuring the DOE for approval of the $500 million loan for Solyndra to coincide with a big photo op for Joe Biden to a carefully orchestrated two hour elbow-to-elbow dinner between Barack Obama and George Kaiser, the billionaire principal Solyndra investor, the White House staff was driven by the ‘’president’s prospects for a second term,” according to the WaPo.  “Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-energy technology,” according to the lengthy feature article.

In particular, the plight of the 1100 Solyndra workers seemed to be a non-issue.   “It’s not about the people; it’s politics,” the WaPo quotes ex-Solyndra employee Linda Sterio as saying.  Sterio says she learned of her plight and the company’s collapse by listening to a newscast.  Only recently did she also find out that the Obama Administration had known of the perilous financial condition of the company long before its public demise.   “We all feel betrayed,” she said. 

The loan to Solyndra was part of Obama’s Economic Stimulus spending extravaganza.  Yet, Obama apparently accepts no responsibility for the debacle, or for the 1100 displaced workers.  In a recent interview with Steve Kroft for the CBS News program 60 Minutes, Kroft pressed Obama to respond to criticism that the Stimulus hadn’t worked as the President had promised.   Appearing insulted by the question and the inference, Obama shot back, “We did all the right things.”  

Setting aside for a moment the arrogance of that assertion, it really can only make sense in one perverted context; that the “right thing” for the Administration to do was focus entirely and at any cost to the taxpayer on the re-election of Barack Obama.