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Obama’s Fantasy Islands

Wednesday, June 18, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Yesterday I played a number of selections from a single Obama speech made in Pennsylvania over the weekend, excerpts which confirmed the growing sense that Obama has been swimming in the nonsense of the left for so long that he cannot cover it over even for the general election campaign.

It seems he really, really believes a lot of nonsense.

In the course of a single speech Obama asserted that offshore oil exploration would –in the very best scenario– take five years to drive down the cost of gas 3 or 4 cents, but that an investment of 250 billion dollars five years ago would have produced an engine that didn’t require fossil fuels.

Obama asserted that we could move to 40 MPG fuel standards for cars, and at another point asserted that the technology existed for 100 MPG cars, even as he asserted that exploration on the outer continental shelf and Alaska would cause permanent environmental damage.

Obama extolled a high school he had visited that –he firmly stated– was majority Hispanic, and which had gone from a 50% drop-out rate to a 100% graduation and college enrollment rate in one year by using an Afro-American centric curriculum that focused on African music, then blues and jazz. Obama held out this school as an example of what could be achieved when students “were engaged in a curriculum that was interesting to them and seemed relevant to them.”

The school he visited is Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts (here’s a report of the speech Obama gave.) “MESA”, as it is called, is indeed sending all of its class of 2008 to college next year. Obama was simply wrong to assert that the previous year had seen a drop-out rate of 50% for a predecessor school, and neglected to tell the Pennsylvania audience that the graduating class totalled 44 students, that the school and district were special projects of the Gates Foundation, and that a sister school to MESA failed. I cannot find any evidence online to back-up Obama’s claim that the school is majority Hispanic, and I can’t find any details on the African-American-centric curriculum that Obama credits with fueling the school’s success.

It is at best a mangled and exaggerated tall tale, at worst another in Obama’s now well-documented pattern of inventing the facts and stories he needs for whatever policy position he is pushing at that moment. Whether it is the success of the Kennedy-Khrushchev Vienna summit or the idea that the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg validated the Supreme Court’s decision on habeas rights for Gitmo prisoners, science fiction automobile engines just over the horizon or oil prices unrelated to oil production, Senator Obama glides along on a cushion of fantasy and made-up facts. MSM either doesn’t know enough to call him on his serial absurdities or doesn’t notice them because of their collective swoon.

But the pattern reflects a life lived in the world of the left where facts just don’t matter much when it comes to policy. When you are just building a career for yourself out of nonsense peddled to voters who want to believe tall tales, the cost is limited.

But as president, the toll brought about by a chief executive completely given over to the idea that if enough people repeat fantasy the fantasy will come true would be enormous.

In one speech, Obama visited his fantasy islands of education and energy policy. We can only hope he keeps talking and that MSM starts listening closely and checking his stories.

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