Victory in the Battle of Solyndra

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 28 2012 1:48 PM

Victory in the Battle of Solyndra

Democrats are seriously grooving on a Darren Samuelsohn article, chained behind a Politico Pro paywall, about the slow fade of the Solyndra scandal. Here's the part Democrats like.

"Is there a criminal activity? Perhaps not," Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told POLITICO after last Tuesday’s showdown with Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "Is there a political influence and connections? Perhaps not. Did they bend the rules for an agenda, an agenda not covered within the statute? Absolutely."
Advertisement

In so many words: "We got nothin'." No heads will roll. There's nothing to roll them with. But in the next graf, Samuelsohn gets at something important: Republicans have "turned Solyndra into a four-letter word, vilified the Nobel laureate Chu and left a popular DOE program in shambles."

Yes, and this was just the most visible part of a three-year effort to toxify the newest version of environmentalism—the "green jobs" version. It started by poking holes in the stimulus. It continued with the defenestration of Van Jones, a "green socialist" (according to critics, who could cite Jones's old confessions of radicalism). The Solyndra story, which is coming up on a year anniversary, hasn't shown up in polling yet. The last polls I see, from September, show opinions of "clean energy" pretty much unmoved. But those polls predate a multi-million dollar campaign by Americans for Prosperity that hyped the scandal, and a long Republican primary campaign where Solyndra was a shorthand for "liberal morons are throwing money at solar while your gas bill goes up." I'm not ready to call this a Republican win, but it's been a smart, concerted campaign against something that was wholly uncontroversial three years ago.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 8:07 AM The Dark Side of Techtopia
  Life
Quora
Oct. 2 2014 8:27 AM How Do Teachers Kill the Joy of Reading for Students?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 2 2014 7:30 AM What Put the Man in the Moon in the Moon?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?