I’ll admit it: it took me an embarrassingly long time to thoroughly read the candidates’ platforms. Reruns of The Office seemed more pressing than civic engagement after a long day. Both platforms contained the expected myriad of inconsistencies, but two stood out to me as being particularly ludicrous.
In the post-Gore era, we’ve come to expect democrats to lead the march for environmental issues. President Obama’s energy policy is lackluster at best as it relates to environmental standards. The tagline for his environmental policy is “investing in clean, American-made energy”, though his energy policies don’t seem to reflect this. Granted, he has had some victories in the environmental arena, namely including clean energy in the stimulus bill, supporting high speed rail, and mobilizing the EPA to enact stricter standards on industrial pollution. Despite these victories, however, his “all of the above” energy approach isn’t exactly awe-inspiring. This approach involves measures like increasing oil and natural gas production at home and paving the way for so-called clean coal, in addition to predictable (and not particularly bold) plans for sustainable energy.
First, clean coal isn’t clean–this truth has been exposed time and time again. Even when taking out of consideration carbon dioxide emissions, coal ash is very loosely regulated and is harmful when disposed. If President Obama is serious about promoting clean forms of energy, clean coal should be excluded from the mix.
Second, Obama’s provisions for increased oil and natural gas production domestically are disappointing. Natural gas isn’t clean, and it’s obvious that oil is not, either. Furthermore, President Obama has proposed drilling “everywhere we can”, even though reports have found that this will likely not even pay off long-term.
Don’t get me wrong–I think that Obama’s environmental plans are preferable to Mitt Romney’s (which include approving the harmful Keystone XL pipeline). However, I don’t think that President Obama’s plan is bold enough to make a difference in the larger climate change and energy independence goals.
Romney’s Marriage Stance
Mitt Romney loves the 10th Amendment so much he probably has a tattoo of it on his left bicep (because that’s how we show love, right?). It states that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”. He has championed the 10th in his stances on many issues, from immigration to health care.
In the values section of his website, he proposes a constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. I know what you’re thinking: that this isn’t inconsistent because he believes that marriage should be a power of the federal government, which he seeks to enumerate in the constitution; this would work with, not against, the 10th amendment. You’re right. However, his rationale for supporting the 10th amendment as vehemently as he does and his desire to amend the constitution in this way are inconsistent.
Romney’s reason for disagreeing with Obamacare even when he passed the legislation which was the model for this plan in Massachusetts was that policy shouldn’t be one size fits all, “the right answer for every state is to determine what’s right for those states…”. For someone so psyched about self-determination in an individual state, why call for a federal constitutional amendment, which would decrease the freedom of the state to make a decision? This tramples legislation (both for and against “traditional marriage”) which is already enacted in numerous states.
In full disclosure, the reason I disagree with Romney’s position on marriage has nothing to do with states’ rights. But let’s use consistent reasoning, shall we? You can’t ride two horses with one ass.
Currently listening to: Without You — Motley Crue