It’s not often that you feel bad for politicians, but when I received this latest e-mail from MoveOn.org, I certainly felt for Obama.
The e-mail, which criticizes Obama’s recent decision to block “crucial new protections against smog pollution,” even accuses Obama of repeating “discredited tea party talking points about environmental rules costing jobs.”
Read the portion of the e-mail reproduced below:
I have some tremendously upsetting news: Late Friday, President Obama overruled EPA science and blocked crucial new protections against smog pollution that have been years in the making.
The decision came after a major campaign by corporate polluters and Republicans to kill the rules. The result, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, is likely to be tens of thousands of premature deaths, as well as increased illness among seniors, kids with asthma, and people who have lung problems.
Worse, in announcing his decision, President Obama repeated discredited tea party talking points about environmental rules costing jobs. The reality is that these standards were the best thing for the economy and the environment. And clean air protections are the perfect issue to remind Americans that enforcing rules to protect citizens’ health and safety is one of the most important roles for our government.
With congressional Republicans planning a series of votes starting this week to block other health and environmental standards, we need to set the record straight, right away.
Will you write a letter to the editor of your local paper reminding folks that environmental protections like these smog rules protect our health AND strengthen our economy?
Our website will give you some tips and make it easy for you to submit the letter to a newspaper near you. And your letter will help persuade folks in your community that we shouldn’t be tearing our government down—we should be making it work.
President Obama tried to bury this news by announcing it hours before Labor Day weekend. But on Labor Day we need him standing up for the kinds of health and safety protections that working folks and labor unions have spent decades fighting for, not repeating Republican talking points about how we don’t need them.
What’s more, Nobel-Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman pointed out that this anti-smog rule would actually create clean energy jobs: “It would have forced firms to spend on upgrading or replacing equipment, helping to boost demand. Yes, it would have cost money—but that’s the point!”
Help push back against tea party Republicans’ message that we can’t afford to protect our health and safety.
While it’s natural for people within the same political party to disagree, what does it mean when a liberal, progressive group criticizes the incumbent president, who is in turn the most liberal, progressive candidate in the upcoming election?
In addition, rather than calling on people to lobby Obama on this issue, MoveOn calls for people to write letters to their newspapers explaining why smog rules are important (in effect arguing with Obama’s decision). Do tea partiers and conservatives view liberals’ criticism of Obama as support for their party?