The Western Strategy


The Idaho Statesman reports:

Protesters in Idaho and all around the country suggest President Barack Obama is waging war on capitalism, gun ownership and even small-town values.

But no one is accusing him of assaulting the traditional resource values of the American West—not even the Idaho Cattle Association, which was ready for the fight after Obama was elected last November….In fact, in the most high-profile Western decisions so far—on wolves and salmon—the Obama administration followed the lead of Republican George W. Bush.

It was a stark difference from the start of the past two Democratic administrations.

Jimmy Carter attempted to kill Western water projects in his first year. Clinton sought sweeping grazing and mining reform.

But nine months into his first year, Obama has avoided the anger often generated by Democrats on Western land and wildlife policies.

"The Obama people have learned from Clinton's first 90 days," said Idaho Democratic U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick.

Read the whole thing here. From a libertarian perspective, this is a mixed bag—it's good to avoid new regulations, not so good to keep those subsidies in place. But it certainly suggests the Democrats are taking their western strategy as seriously in office as they did on the campaign trail. Whether that's good for liberty remains an open question.