“We live in a Newtonian world of Einsteinian physics ruled by Frankenstein logic.” – David Russell
Incompetence or malice? This question is consistently posed to us by readers responding to the staggering idiocy of our political class, especially as it pertains to energy policy. Perverse though it might sound, many would be more comfortable if the unworkable policies and unscientific nonsense emanating from our elected officials were part of some dark and purposeful criminal conspiracy. This, with hope as a concession, offers the possibility that the source coordinates of the enemy might eventually face discovery – a necessity for ejecting “it” from the captain’s chair. The pervasiveness of the alternative is too scary to ponder.
Last September, our favorite feline friend and fellow Substacker el gato malo penned a brilliant essay, titled “gato’s postulate,” that tackled this question directly (and contained a leading candidate for the best run-on sentence published on Substack in 2022.):
“i’ve been musing of late about just how it came to pass that the entirety of western governance seems to have become bereft of reality and competence and generally run by people who appear to be about as smart as a soup sandwich and yet have managed to accrue not only such intense confidence in their own planning ability and vision but in addition gained access to the levers of power to impose their addled ideas upon the rest of us while aided and abetted by a cheer-leader class that eggs them ever onward.”
El gato’s penetrating logical analyses are always highly engaging in their soundness and novelty, and this piece is no different. He begins with an axiom – “gato’s law” – which few could disagree with: “as soon as you allow politicians to determine that which is bought or sold, the first thing bought and sold will always be politicians.” He then uses deductive reasoning to carry the reader over the threshold through nine propositions that land squarely at his sobering conclusion:
“a democratic government powerful enough to dictate that which is bought and sold will inevitably devolve into rule by rube.”
In essence, el gato’s postulate is a blend of the incompetence and malice hypotheses. In a corrupt system, leaders who achieve political power are selected for their unique combination of fervor and ignorance. They genuinely believe that they know better, and they absolutely are that dumb.
Last week, Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm declared her candidacy for Rube of the Year™ before the Senate Armed Services committee (emphasis added throughout):
“Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Wednesday that she supports efforts from the Biden administration to require the U.S. military to implement an all-electric vehicle fleet by 2030, telling lawmakers that she believes ‘we can get there.’
Granholm's remarks came during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing following questions from Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, who asked the Biden administration official whether she supports the military's adoption of an ‘EV fleet by 2030.’
‘I do, and I think we can get there, as well,’ Granholm said. ‘I do think that reducing our reliance on the volatility of globally traded fossil fuels where we know that global events like the war in Ukraine can jack up prices for people back home… does not contribute to energy security.’”
The position of Energy Secretary for the United States is a serious one. When the person holding that position vocalizes support for material changes to how the country’s military mobilizes, it should be equally as serious. And yet, there is nothing serious in these insane utterances. How bonkers is this idea? Let’s have some fun at Granholm’s expense.