The Big O stiffs three college kids from Unity, Maine...
... when all they wanted to do was return the solar panels Ronald Reagan removed from the White House roof, and get them re-installed -- for free! No meeting. No dice. Nada. But a bureaucrat graciously handed them a brochure!
Obama just takes every possible opportunity to piss on what used to be called his base, doesn't he?
Congratulations to Mainers Jean Altomare, Amanda Nelson, and Jamie Nemecek -- You did the right thing. Now, if only we could get a President who would. (Of course, the fact that Altomare, Nelson, and Nemecek are all women wouldn't have anything to do with the White House not taking them seriously. Right?)
Bill McKibben concludes his description of this sad affair:
On October 10th, we’re having our great global work party, and ever since Obama stiffed us, registrations for its events have been soaring. Last week, with the heads of Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network, I issued a call for ideas about how to mount a campaign of civil disobedience around climate. Not a series of stunts, but a real campaign. At coal plants, and drilling sites — and at the places where our politicians do their work.
NOTE And their professor at Unity College weighs in here. You'd have to be a Mainer to know, but Unity College and Unity Maine are extremely cool places. They're an epicenter for sustainable agriculture, organic seeds, permaculture, and every possible thing that marginal people -- and that could include a lot more of us than we think -- are going to need to survive, and even prosper if the metric isn't money. With this gesture, Obama didn't just piss on all the vulnerable youth and first-timers who believed in Axelrod's hope and change shtick; this isn't about demographics. He directed his fragrant, steaming, golden boy stream right at the one of the epicenters of the Third Force in American politics. So, so stupid, in the particular way that really bright insiders can be stupid.
UPDATE The reaction at Eschaton:
When I first heard about the "Solar on the White House" project earlier this summer I was excited, but quickly grew more ambivalent. My first reaction was "what a great way to promote solar energy," but I grew sympathetic to the perspective that this country is so crazy that if Obama put solar PV or thermal on the White House we would indeed be treated to an endless and unhelpful summer of Obama = Carter freakout, as well as a serious and sober national debate about how solar energy is really the purview of hippies and communists.
Reminds me of the old Garrison Keillor riff: "Why not shy rights, pretty soon?" How does enabling the crazy put a stop to it, eh? (And "unhelpful" is absolutely classic insider-ese...)