No, I’m not referring to the new movie out starring Robin Williams, Seth Green and John Travolta!
Of the many reasons that I was opposed to John McCain’s nomination last year, one that stood out towards the top, was McCain’s position on Global Warming. You may remember that McCain was one of the authors of the Lieberman McCain Climate Stewardship Act, more commonly known as the McCain/Leiberman bill. The bill assumed that carbon dioxide was the cause for global warming. It further assumed that by limiting or capping the amount of carbon dioxide released, the earth would cease its warming trend. The method for “capping” the gas was to provide a series of disincentives for creating the gas through a mechanism known as cap and trade. Fortunately, the bill was unable to pass the Senate in 2003 and subsequent attempts to pass similar legislation have also failed in the Senate.
Earlier this year the House passed its version of Cap and Trade legislation. Thus far, the Senate has not offered a bill for debate that would marry with the House bill and allow Cap and Trade to move forward.
While Cap and Trade is generally not supported by Republicans because they know the global warming science is junk and that Cap and Trade is just one more way for government to regulate significant portions of our liberty, there are a few Republicans who have sided with the alarmists. Lindsey Graham has always looked to support Can and Trade and until recently, so did John McCain.
Huh? Until recently you say? Yup!
Politico is reporting that John McCain has done an about face on Cap and Trade:
McCain has emerged as a vocal opponent of the climate bill — a major reversal for the self-proclaimed maverick who once made defying his party on global warming a signature issue of his career.
McCain refers to the bill as “cap and tax,” calls the climate legislation that passed the House in June “a 1,400-page monstrosity” and dismisses a cap-and-trade proposal included in the White House budget as “a government slush fund.”
The Politico article goes on to attempt to figure out why McCain has changed. Most of the article is focused on McCain’s staff changes, arguing that the new staff doesn’t have the history or passion for the global warming issue. They get quotes from a professor, lobbyists, former aides and even Graham himself that express their confusion over McCain’s change in position.
Maybe, just maybe, I was wrong about McCain. Maybe, John McCain can be the Right’s most notable example of an old dog learning new tricks….maybe.
Most of the piece on the suggestive picture that McCain’s change is the oddity not that other folks who still buy into a theory who’s only truth is that by its perpetuation, Al Gore increases his income, are the oddity. However, in the near middle of the piece, as an almost throw away paragraph, The Politico hits on this:
Arizona politics could be another factor. Republicans hope to use the cap-and-trade bill to attack Democrats on economic issues by saying it will raise electricity costs for businesses and spike electric bills. Those attacks could resonate in Arizona, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
In a poll released by Rasmussen this week, McCain is leading J.D. Hayworth by only 2%, within the margin of error, in an Arizona Republican primary for McCain’s Senate seat. In an earlier poll, Rasmussen found that 61% of Arizona Republican voters believe that McCain had lost touch with the Republican party.
Learning new tricks? Probably. However, I don’t believe for a minute that the “new trick” is a core change in belief of global warming.
In last year’s Presidential election, McCain saw what happens when the Republican base abandons you. What was a problem in a Presidential election would be political death to McCain in an Arizona primary. With the rise of the teaparty movement and the subsequent desire for candidates who are more conservative, McCain has a problem. In a state where illegal immigration is a significant issue and you supported amnesty, where the independence of the wild west still lives and you supported McCain/Feingold to limit free speech, McCain has a problem. He can’t undo McCain/Feingold and no legislation is pending to “correct” his position on amnesty. John McCain has thrown Cap and Trade under the bus in an effort to establish some conservative bona fides and keep the the torches and pitchforks at bay.
Old dog and new tricks? Nope. Just the same old dog using the same old political tricks in an attempt to keep his cushy job!