Day 30: POTUS

In the wake of President Obama’s fine SOTU speech and his epic spanking of the House Republicans, I thought I’d send him a fax/letter combo. Some diarists at Kos were pointing out, rather ruefully, that while he’d called for nuclear power, offshore drilling and “clean coal” in the SOTU address, he didn’t mention the “C” word. Which, of course, has been entirely stigmatized by its association with Jimmy Carter and his cardigan sweater in the attention-deficit-raddled minds of our punditocracy.

So I thought I’d bring it up.

Dear President Obama,

Congratulations on a brilliantly delivered State of the Union address, and on an equally brilliant exchange with the House Republicans. Your words on “tone” were entirely correct. Sadly, I have grave doubts that you will ever find the Republicans to be any more than a Disloyal Opposition; the habit of rhetorical posturing in the service of partisan political maneuvering is too deeply ingrained in them for your polite admonitions to have much effect. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, and I’m grateful to you for trying.

I write today, however, to urge you to use the Presidential “bully pulpit” to educate Americans about the importance of energy conservation as one of the most important ways of expanding our energy resources. While it’s a decidedly “unsexy” word, especially when compared with “drilling,” conservation will probably be the single biggest contributor to our nation’s energy reserves. The proper approach to this is to call on the nation to “eliminate waste.”

Just as you propose eliminating wasteful policies, programs and spending, so too should our citizenry be actively engaged in finding new ways to eliminate wasteful energy use. Local, regional, statewide and national competitions for energy-saving ideas could be incorporated into school science fairs and community events; citizen-generated proposals could be given prominence on a dedicated White House website. Let’s harness the vast ingenuity of the American people to make our energy usage leaner and more efficient. We could reduce our CO2 emissions, our particulate pollution, and our energy expenses — without affecting our lifestyles noticeably (granted, much in our lifestyles should probably be sacrificed for the greater good — but that’s for another letter).

Thank you for all you do.

Yours sincerely,

Warren Senders

Have you written your president today?

Well, at least his aides will get a good laugh with the double entendre. Maybe that’ll prompt someone to pass it along to the man himself.


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