Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Fierce Urgency of Waiting Around for 100% Consensus

Thomas Friedman is not displeased with the Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade legislation that just passed the House of Representatives, but he notes it faces forbidding political obstacles:

We need Republicans who believe in fiscal conservatism and conservation joining this legislation in the Senate. We want a bill that transforms the whole country not one that just threads a political needle. I also hope we will hear more from President Obama. Something feels very calculating in how he has approached this bill ... He is going to have to mobilize the whole country to pressure the Senate — by educating Americans, with speech after speech, about the opportunities and necessities of a serious climate/energy bill. If he is not ready to risk failure by going all out, failure will be the most likely result.
Sure. Definitely. We need Republicans who acknowledge and attempt to respond to reality, but what we have is overgrown toddlers who worship money, throw poo-flinging snits over the sexual morality of others, and walk around with an invisible countdown timer ticking down the hours until they're discovered with someone else's wife, a prostitute, a Very Special Airport Stall Buddy, or worse.

And yes, we need a President Obama willing to be more forceful in response to climate change, but what we have is someone who has probably already scheduled a White House press event with polar bears, people from barely-above-sea-level places, and other stakeholders (i.e., human beings who want a foreseeably habitable planet) in which he'll explain he's really, totally, fearlessly on their side but might alienate lying cranks or inconvenience the petrochemical industries if he does anything that a complete chickenshit wouldn't do.

"Audacity" is one word for it, I suppose.

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