Published On: Sun, Jan 22nd, 2012

The Keystone Pipeline and the Costa Concordia

It is hard not to notice the resemblance between the Captain of the US ship of state and the Captain of the Costa Concordia. Both men made a decision to please their most dedicated fans without regard for the possible consequences.

In the case of Captain Obama, he chose to please the most fanatic of his environmental alarmists by cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline. That pipe line would bring Canadian oil to the United States which could replace oil imported from Venezuela whose leader is an enemy, and oil from Nigeria which is unstable at best.

Captain Francesco Schettino chose to showboat with the luxury liner he commanded to please his friends by sailing close to the island of Giglio and managed to drive his ship onto the rocks. His subsequent actions proved his inadequacy to captain a bathtub toy boat.

It is impossible to know what really went through the minds of these two men as they made their fateful decisions, but one thing is clear: both men displayed an inordinate amount of arrogance in placing their own desires above the needs of the people who counted on them to demonstrate real leadership. The narcissism displayed by each of these men is palpable. Their ability to ignore the needs of the people whom they were supposed to serve is almost sociopathic.

Obama's Sinking Ship

Why are the passengers so dumb? (cartoon originally appeared in the California Political Review)

The consequences of Captain Schettino’s decision to put his ship in harms way were consequential. As of this date there are 13 known dead and 21 missing passengers. The Captain’s actions after the grounding were so disgraceful and cowardly that he may well face jail time. The actions of the Captain and crew of the Costa Concordia, with some exceptions, were a far cry from those of the Captain and crew of the Titanic 100 years ago. It would appear that our society has gone from a policy of women and children first to one of every man for himself.

The consequences of Barack Obama’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline may not have cost any lives, but the decision insults a faithful ally and may force Canada to re-direct the pipeline to their west coast in order to ship the oil that had been destined for Texas refineries to China instead. In a time when sources of oil in the Middle East are threatened by the actions of a rogue Iran which is seeking a nuclear weapon to threaten it’s neighbors, Barack Obama seems intent on preventing the development of domestic oil production for the United States or even getting it from a friendly neighbor. There can be no rational reason for Obama’s stance. One must conclude that his decisions are purely political and are an attempt to pander to his leftist base which wants nothing more than the decline of the United States.

So, we have two men with the responsibility and authority to serve and protect the people placed in their care. Both men chose to use that authority to serve their own ends. We know the consequences of the ship Captain’s selfish decisions. We have yet to see the full consequences for the United States of the decision made by Barack Obama to place his need for re-election above the energy needs of 313 million Americans.

About the Author

- Paul Bianco, retired from a career in sales, now spends his spare time as a gadfly on the many political blogs. Paul says he is just going through a phase, but that phase seems to have lasted two decades. Paul's conservative political philosophy was formed well before conservative talk radio and Fox News came along. Paul remembers the days when conservatives like William F Buckley Jr were voices in the wilderness "standing athwart history, yelling stop!" From time to time Paul contributes some of the insights he has gained from observing politics for so many years, and hopes that readers will be entertained and perhaps even enlightened.