The Republican Party claims to stand for principles. Amongst the principles they claim to stand for are limited government, personal liberty and free markets. However, too many in the Republican Party believe that principles are not absolute. They believe that principles can, shall we say, be flexible. The rationale of these Republicans is that limited government is good, if I’m not in power, personal liberty is good unless my party says otherwise and free markets are good unless our party says there’s a problem. Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota is a perfect example of one of these flexibly principled Republicans.
As a result of Governor Sanford’s confusing personal life, there have been several articles this weekend promoting Pawlenty as a rising spokesperson, perhaps even now, a strong contender for the 2012 Presidential bid…yeah, whatever. I don’t know if it’s some of that thinking or just because he’s a lame duck Governor and is working on his next meal ticket but, Pawlenty is quickly becoming to Governor’s what Michele Bachmann is for the House of Representatives; in the media all the time talking about things that they shouldn’t be talking about.
A perfect example showing Pawlenty in the media saying things he shouldn’t and showing his flexible principles, was his appearance on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” On the show, Pawlenty argued that the recently passed cap and trade bill was bad policy. OK, I’m with him so far. It’s when he tells us why it’s bad policy that I give him my patented “Ron Paul talking about the gold standard” look. According to American Pravda’s version of the interview, here’s why Pawlenty believes Cap and Trade is bad policy:
In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning, the Republican governor said he shares the goal of reducing pollution and emissions. But he says the best way to do that is through conservation, more fuel-efficient vehicles and improving base-load power with nuclear energy.
Pawlenty says the cap and trade emissions regime in the bill would send U.S. jobs to other countries.
Funny, in 2007 the Minnesota Legislature passed a renewable energy bill. That bill requires that energy producers in the state generate specific and increasing percentages of their energy through things like wind, solar or hydrogen. The mandates are high enough that it will make Minnesota the state with the most renewable generated energy in the nation. An amendment to remove Minnesota’s restriction on nuclear plants,
the only State one of a few, with Wisconsin being another, to have such a restriction, failed. Likewise, an amendment to waive the renewable requirements if they cost more than 10% more than existing methods also failed. Finally, the bill contained a provision that allows utilities that exceed their required amounts of renewable energy to sell credits to other utilities. Sounds a bit like the sale of carbon credits doesn’t it?
Governor Pawlenty signed this bill and in many corners, was seen as a cheer leader for the bill. Today, he decries a national version of what he gladly burdened Minnesotans with just two years ago.
To too many Republicans like Pawlenty, principles only matter when it’s not their ox being gored.
Revisions/extensions (8:37 am 6/29/2009, steveegg) - Made a correction, as Wisconsin also has a complete moratorium on new nuclear power plants.