Maybe it makes me a bad person, but I’m experiencing some schadenfreude when it comes to former President Barack Obama’s struggles to get his library built in Chicago.
So far his efforts to build on the site of Chicago’s historic Jackson Park (home of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, an event probably more important than you realize) have been derailed by obstinate protesters. Government red tape. The potential for lengthy and costly litigation.
It’s almost like he’s trying to build a pipeline or something.
That’s only partly a joke.
Remember that it was the Obama administration which used and abused federal regulatory powers to turn the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline into political football. In fact, it was Obama’s obstruction of that pipeline which inspired the violent, unlawful activists who descended on North Dakota to try and block the Dakota Access Pipeline.
While those people terrorized the south central part of our state, President Obama refused to act. He allowed them to use federal land for their camps illegally. He refused to take decisive action on the pipeline one way or another, which let a very ugly and very violent situation linger for months.
During Obama’s time in office pipeline companies who followed all the rules, who sought to abide by the byzantine maze of state and federal regulations which govern the building of something like an interstate pipeline, found themselves mired in a political swamp of Obama’s making.
It was unconscionable.
So while I’m not a fan of excessive red tape, or lawsuits which seek to pervert the regulatory process in pursuit of political goals, I’m also having a hard time feeling bad for Obama and his efforts to build his library.