John Ransom

Dear Comrade Obama,

Thanks for nothing. Really.

No website, no stimulus, no green energy-- no real energy-- no healthcare, no foreign policy, no jobs, no security, no recovery.

If Comrade Obama isn’t going to use our domestic energy supply, can the rest of us borrow it for a while? --A. Lincoln (paraphrased)

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was plagued by generals who wouldn’t act, who wouldn’t fight battles, develop plans, or win victories despite his reliance on the some of the best students of war the country had produced thus far. The United States military academy produced for the Northern armies a series of technically competent engineer-generals, who were often reluctant to fight to the finish, or even fight at all. The most maddening case was that of General George B. McClellan.

Known as Little Mac, McClellan was popular with his soldiers in the Army of the Potomac because he looked after their needs, he was a terrific administrator, but above all, he made his troops feel like real soldiers.

His one great defect was a big one though: He wouldn’t fight. And when forced to fight, he fought so pusillanimously that it vexed Lincoln to distraction. Some even questioned whether McClellan had political motives for not fighting vigorously. His later demonstrated sympathy for the rebels and his campaign for president on a “negotiated peace” platform do give one pause.

During one particularly galling stretch of inactivity when Lincoln couldn’t even get McClellan to inform him, as president and commander in chief, of the general’s plan to attack the enemy, Lincoln asked some of his other military advisors if they though thought he could borrow the Army of the Potomac for a little while since General McClellan wasn’t using it.

Lincoln’s point was that it did the country no good to develop the resource of a competent army if it wasn’t going to be employed effectively.

The same can be said about the strongest resources our country has today. Where we have plenty, many politicians see only poverty and want; where we have want and poverty, some politicians see only votes.

This is certainly true of our energy policy, which has been based on false assumptions, outright lies, political calculation, and a reckless disregard for the American economy.

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.

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