Irony, Part 2

Irony? Hypocrisy? Or just another case of "Do as I say, and not as I do"? Come on, President Obama, don't make this so easy!

On the campaign trail, Obama admonished us about being environmentally-conscious:

Pitching his message to Oregon's environmentally-conscious voters, Obama called on the United States to "lead by example" on global warming, and develop new technologies at home which could be exported to developing countries.

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.

"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added.

I don't know. It kind of seems like it is happening - right from our own leadership. Is this really the same man who has cranked up the thermostat in the White House?

Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat. “He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”

Huh. Now I have to admit that I am no "environmentalist". I keep my thermostat down low, but it is not out of a concern for the environment or setting an example for the rest of the world. It's because I pay the bill, and I know how much turning the heat up or down a degree does to my bottom line. So my house is as cold as we can stand it in the winter and as hot as we can stand it in the summer. Of course, Obama is not paying his electric bill - I am - so I can see why this incentive to turn the heat down doesn't apply.

But still, wasn't his point that we should "sacrifice" and "lead by example"? I guess that doesn't apply to him.

(Come on, even you liberals have to admit this one is better than Al Gore and his electricity-guzzling mansion.)


big.bald.dave said...

It works both ways, Stephanie - if his thermostat is sitting at 75 instead of 72 in the dead of winter, he probably won't mind if the A/C is on a little less in the summer, which would SAVE energy and money. Frankly, I feel lame even defending him on this - you conservatives will find a way to criticize anything the man does or says. Gore is another story - that house of his is relatively blatant hypocrisy.

Stephanie said...

Actually, BBD, I'm pleased with a couple of things Obama (& co) have done so far. I'm planning to write a post about it once I get a couple more. :)

ivotedobama said...

Perhaps he IS the guy footing the bill. I read the most interesting thing about who pays for what at the White House. I don't know how reliable it is, but it's at least interesting:

Stephanie said...

That's interesting, ivotedobama. Honestly, I'm surprised that the President's family might pay for their own food. I really wouldn't mind paying for it within reason. But, I highly doubt that they pay any utility bill for the White House, particularly the Oval Office, where business is conducted.

President Barack H. Obama said...

If the way I use my thermostat in the WH is the best you can do, then I'd say I'm off to a great start.

Carry on!

The Faithful Dissident said...

Stephanie, isn't it easier to turn down your thermostat in the winter when you live in TX than in DC? :)

I admit that if I could, I'd like to have the house at a toasty 25 C (sorry, you'll have to do the conversion to Fahrenheit yourself :) all winter long. But I realize that it's a waste of money and energy, so we keep it "comfortable" but not "toasty." We're really really stingy with lights. We usually pretty much just sit in the dark, except for a reading lamp (energy saver bulbs, of course:), and we try our darndest to not let any appliances be on when they're not being used. We moved into town so we could both walk and take the train to work, so we use the car maybe once a week. We walk to the store unless we're buying anything big. At work I'm constantly turning off lights. I don't wash most of our clothes in warm water. But I have to admit, the toughest part for me is turning down the heat. It's the last thing to go, but the cost of electricity is a good motivator to turn it down as much as I can bear.

BBD has a good point about A/C. I'm always freezing, which means that I don't like A/C. Nobody in Norway has A/C in private homes anyways (it rarely gets hot enough to warrant it), but where I come from in Canada it was like Florida during the summer: hot and sticky. If you don't have A/C, you could seriously die (especially babies and old people). But because I like it warm, I wouldn't have the A/C running as much as most people.

So I guess I can sympathize with Obama wanting a warm house. I will say this, though, what was with all those huge SUV's and limos on inauguration day?

Another thing I was wondering. On inauguration day, they showed Bush getting on Air Force 1 (which now has another name, "Special Mission something"). Does he get to keep it? Or did I misunderstand that? Is Obama going to get a new Air Force 1? Either way, I think it's crazy. If Bush keeps it, what the heck does he need with a 747? If Obama gets it back, why can't he scale down to a smaller plane? Yes, I know that they have to take a lot of people and stuff with them on trips. But a 747? C'mon!

The Faithful Dissident said...

I just remembered something. In "The Audacity of Hope" Obama mentions that when he was in the White House once, he thought that even though it was a really nice place, it looked like it would be drafty in the winter. I guess he found that to be true. :)

TradConserv said...

I'm sorry but does anyone here really find this to be AT ALL relevant? Really?

We've got 2 wars, no long term energy policy, rapidly rising health care costs, crumbling schools, and economy which, if it had a sound, would sound like a flushing toilet, and Stephanie is worried about the TEMPERATURE IN THE OVAL OFFICE?

This is why nothing got done in the past 8 years. Conservatives can't focus on anything other than tax cuts for the wealthy, saving babies and hating gays, and attacking liberals. Expand your world view and post something relevant.

Stephanie said...

Sigh. TradConserv, you are being intentionally obtuse to ignore the larger picture. Allow me to spell it out for you.

One particularly annoying aspect of liberal elites (not necessarily all liberals, but liberal elites are easy to catch on it because they are so public in their cries for their causes) is their hypocrisy. An entire book has documented examples.

One obvious, documented example is that, while liberals call on all of "us" to give more to help the poor, they actually give less to charities. Here's an op-ed by a liberal columnist in the NY times calling out his fellow liberals on this particular hypocrisy:

Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.

Other research has reached similar conclusions. The “generosity index” from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while Northeastern states are least likely to do so.

The upshot is that Democrats, who speak passionately about the hungry and homeless, personally fork over less money to charity than Republicans — the ones who try to cut health insurance for children.

“When I started doing research on charity,” Mr. Brooks wrote, “I expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views.” . . .

When liberals see the data on giving, they tend to protest that conservatives look good only because they shower dollars on churches — that a fair amount of that money isn’t helping the poor, but simply constructing lavish spires.

It’s true that religion is the essential reason conservatives give more, and religious liberals are as generous as religious conservatives. Among the stingiest of the stingy are secular conservatives.

According to Google’s figures, if donations to all religious organizations are excluded, liberals give slightly more to charity than conservatives do. But Mr. Brooks says that if measuring by the percentage of income given, conservatives are more generous than liberals even to secular causes . . .

Another example is the hypocrisy related to the environment (like Al Gore). I wouldn't have even given a second thought to Obama's temperature in the White House when I read the article. Here in America, we are allowed to make our own choices to keep ourselves comfortable. I stand up for his right to be comfortable, and I except that he'll stand up for my same right.

However, I remembered this particular speech and how people were saying things like, "What is he going to do? Lock all our thermostats?" It's an understandable concern. Liberals like to use government coersion to force their ideals onto the rest of society.

With that kind of a speech, I expected he would demonstrate his "leadership" in this area. Sure, keeping your temperature where you like it is comfortable, but it's not sacrifice. I'll remember this when he starts calling for sacrifice again. I suppose I'll just . . . laugh.

Stephanie said...

Another thing that makes this story so "ironic" is Obama's reaction to schools closing in Washington DC this week after the ice storms:

"Can I make a comment that is unrelated to the economy, very quickly?" Obama asked at the White House on Wednesday. "My children's school was canceled today because of what—some ice?"

As reporters and business leaders laughed, Obama added: "As my children pointed out, in Chicago, school is never canceled.

"In fact, my 7-year-old [Sasha] pointed out that you'd go outside for recess in weather like this. ... You wouldn't even stay indoors. So it's—I don't know. We're going to have to try to apply some flinty Chicago toughness to this town."

This from the "Hawaiian" who keeps his office warm enough to grow orchids?

But, seriously, President Obama, we've got 2 wars, no long term energy policy, rapidly rising health care costs, crumbling schools, and economy which, if it had a sound, would sound like a flushing toilet, and you are worried about SCHOOL CLOSING IN WASHINGTON DC OVER ICE? Expand your world view and comment on something relevant.

The Wizzle said...

Bleh. This is silly.

But if I don't like the nitpicking I guess I should do a post of my own - on something that actually matters!

Ah, tomorrow, tomorrow.

Stephanie said...

BTW, Washington DC public schools were not cancelled because of ice - just the $28,000/year private school that the Obama girls go to.

A call to the public school system in Washington revealed that they were open that same day.

”D.C. Public Schools’ first priority is to open schools to fulfill our obligation to educate our students whenever possible,” according to Jennifer Calloway, assistant press secretary of the District of Columbia Public School System, in a written statement. “We remain sensitive to the needs of families who are not able to arrange childcare when schools must unexpectedly close and the children who depend on a healthy meal from DCPS.”

That actually makes the rest of Obama's comments about the ice and Washington even funnier:

"Are you saying these guys are wimps?" a reporter asked the prez.

"I'm saying that when it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things," Obama clarified.

Seems to me that MOST of the folks in Washington handle things just fine. Open mouth - insert food, President Obama.

Sorry if I'm just being "silly", but I haven't had this much fun in politics in a LONG time. It's like a regular comedy routine these days.

Stephanie said...

Argh - Open mouth - insert foot

The Wizzle said...

Open mouth, insert food! Ha! :)

See, I don't find this nearly as funny as George W.'s daily manhandling of the English language. I'm gonna miss that!

And I'm a big supporter of public education, but if I lived in DC and I had money, you bet my kids would be in private school.

RAP08 said...

Yes, forgot about the thermostat. I just hope he has his staff check the tire pressure in his motorcade before driving anywhere. :)

Stella said...

It has been a bit of a rocky start, hasn't it?

mfranti said...

why do you use the "environmentalist" as a dirt word?

Stephanie said...

mfranti, you mean when I said this? Now I have to admit that I am no "environmentalist".

I meant that I don't decrease the quality of life for my family out of concern for nebulous causes like "global warming". We practice and teach our children to be good stewards. We "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" and "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without". But, I wouldn't do something like turn the thermostat down to an unnecessarily low degree that freezes my children out of concern for the "environment".

mfranti said...

global warming is 'nebulous' ?

sorry to be so blunt..but you have no idea what you are talking about.


and what you think you know...based on your readings of-who knows what- is supported/financed by big corporate interests that are making too much money at the present to have to change their current ways of doing business.

but i'm not going to debate it with you because you don't want to hear it. you don't want to know that the earth has over 6.7 billion people on it. you don't want to know that you take from the majority of that 6.7billion figure to support your very cushioned american life. no you don't.

just about every issue you people bitch about, for example linked to the environment.

and when you realize how vulnerable our food supply is, how fragile our very comfortable lifestyles are, you wont be flippantly using the term "environmentalist" as tho it were a dirty word.


an environmentalist who's dedicating her life to saving our species.

Stephanie said...

Well, mfranti, we are all entitled to our own opinions (particularly on this site - hence the subtitle "Mormons from ALL sides"), so thank you for sharing yours. I respect that you are so passionate about your cause - it is just not one of mine.

: ) Paula said...

Mormon from Hawaii talkin' here. Your post on thermostat settings is so manini. Manini means nit-picking about something of no real consequence. Fact. Winter sucks. I moved to a four seasons location after growing up and spending 6 married years in Hawaii. I think people who live in cold weather have no idea how wonderful their lives could be if they moved to a less insane climate. Every February I've lived in a four seasons location I've had a quazi-mental breakdown incorporating the following themes: why it's still so freezing, why do we live here, and how could so many humans be this insane. Let the man be comfortable in his own office in winter. He's the dude that won the election. It's not like he's a mailroom worker. Would you really expect your president to work in a cold-to-him office?

Stephanie said...

Paula, if he's asking that if me, then yes (even if I am the mailroom worker).