This is the cozy mansion New York Times‘ columnist Tom Friedman calls home:
Judging by its size, it probably has a carbon footprint roughly equal to a small nation’s:
As the July edition of the Washingtonian Magazine notes, Friedman lives in “a palatial 11,400-square-foot house, now valued at $9.3 million, on a 7½-acre parcel just blocks from I-495 and Bethesda Country Club.” He “married into one of the 100 richest families in the country” – the Bucksbaums, whose real-estate Empire is valued at $2.7 billion.
Heating and cleaning the pool alone probably consume enough energy to power a factory. The picture above is somewhat out of date, so things may have changed, but I’ll note that Friedman’s solar panels are, well, conspicuously absent.
All of which makes it screamingly funny when Friedman, after a first paragraph so profoundly ignorant its laughable (I’ll get back to it later), offers the following idea as a means for the Tea Partiers to gain the New York Times‘ seal of approval:
But should the Tea Partiers actually aspire to break out of that range, attract lots of young people and become something more than just entertainment for Fox News, I have a suggestion:
Become the Green Tea Party.
I’d be happy to design the T-shirt logo and write the manifesto. The logo is easy. It would show young Americans throwing barrels of oil imported from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia into Boston Harbor.
The manifesto is easy, too: “We, the Green Tea Party, believe that the most effective way to advance America’s national security and economic vitality would be to impose a $10 “Patriot Fee” on every barrel of imported oil, with all proceeds going to pay down our national debt.”
Friedman is right that America shouldn’t be dependent on foreign oil, but he seems to have forgotten that it’s his own party (and his own paper) that has made it virtually impossible for America (a) to drill, (b) to process oil shale or (c) to produce meaningful nuclear power. Instead, he’s hooked his wagon to solar and wind energy, both of which are incapable of servicing America’s energy needs. This means that Friedman wants to make us economically suffer by taxing us even more, without enabling us to have any viable energy alternatives. (He also thinks a carbon tax is a hunky dory idea.)
A $10 a barrel tax and a carbon tax may be irrelevant to a man living off of “one of the 100 richest families in the country,” but it will destroy America’s industry and, frankly, every thing else but for her wealthiest class. In other words, Friedman has neatly spelled out the recipe for an economic meltdown similar to Zimbabwe’s and one that will leave the same outcome: a poverty stricken nation, centered around a small, fabulously wealthy (and, inevitably, corrupt) ruling class. We already know which niche Friedman has carved out for himself.
But really, what can one expect from a man who shows his profound ignorance and sneering disdain for America — not to mention his shallow intellectual dilettantism — in his very first paragraph. (See, I promised I’d get back to it.) I usually wait until deep within my posts to sound this stupid:
I’ve been trying to understand the Tea Party Movement. Sounds like a lot of angry people who want to get the government out of their lives and cut both taxes and the deficit. Nothing wrong with that — although one does wonder where they were in the Bush years. Never mind. I’m sure like all such protest movements the Tea Partiers will get their 10 to 20 percent of the vote.
That paragraph has just got everything one would expect from someone living and work in the one of the ritziest, and most liberal, parts of the world. In mere sentences, we get oozing condescension for the foolish, impenetrable masses; contempt for the anger that sees people taking to the street, Constitutions in hand, protesting a rapacious federal government; and, of course, the inevitable attack on George Bush.
As to that last point (“where the heck were they during the Bush presidency?”) I think this simple chart is a good starting point for explaining where these same frustrated (as opposed to angry) people were before Obama; or, more accurately, why they weren’t taking to the street to protest government overreach:
Need I say more? No, I don’t think so.
UPDATE: Turns out — no big shock here — that Friedman’s not the only green colored hypocrite.