Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 27, 2009

WHEN INARTICULATENESS PAYS OFF.... I have no way of knowing if every anecdote from Matt Latimer's "Speechless" is accurate. For that matter, it's certainly possible that some are true and some are less true.

But Eric Zimmermann highlighted a story that that certainly seems plausible. It's about a speech in which then-President George W. Bush decided to endorse a cap-and-trade policy in a high-profile speech, but no one could figure out exactly what he meant.

Connaughton, Bolten and others wanted the president to give a climate change speech. They thought that it would make our allies in Europe happy, and they were constantly pushing the president to the left on the issue. The small but merry band of conservatives in the White House -- who were suspicious of climate change and the movement behind it -- were opposed to any shift in our policy. They were adamantly against any speech supporting a cap-and-trade policy -- a mandate on business to curb their CO2 emissions.

At one point, the words cap and trade were put into the climate change speech, with the president expressing his support for the policy. Then somehow this leaked to the conservative press. Republicans on the outside of the White House sent furious objections, and the words were removed. But only those words. The rest of the speech endorsing that policy remained. After days and days of postponements and fights, the president finally gave the speech. Conservatives in the West Wing were deflated by their loss in the policy battle.

And then something miraculous happened. Because the speech had been so parsed and litigated, no one could quite understand what the president was saying. The press therefore assumed nothing had really changed. So the next day the media reported that the president had in fact come out against cap and trade. A White House spokesman even said that the words cap and trade had never been included in any drafts of the speech, which was flat-out false. The president marveled at his good fortune. He'd changed his policy to please one side, but since he seemed not to have changed a thing, he'd also pleased the other. Indecipherable speechwriting at its finest. [emphasis added throughout]

Again, I haven't seen independent confirmation of this, and I'm not even sure exactly what speech is at issue here. But this doesn't seem especially hard to believe.

For that matter, the notion that a conservative Republican president could come around to embracing a cap-and-trade proposal is a reminder that the right need not throw a fit about this. On the right, it's entirely too common to ignore evidence of global warming altogether, but for those willing to concede the need to limit emissions, cap and trade is a market-based mechanism, which has worked in the past, as compared to command-and-control directives.

Hell, even McCain and Palin offered at least tacit support for some kind of cap-and-trade mechanism last year.

Steve Benen 10:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (11)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Hell, even McCain and Palin offered at least tacit support for some kind of cap-and-trade mechanism last year.
Steve, let's all explicitly understand the dynamic here on the Right: If McCain/Palin had won, they would be in power and their exercising CAT wouldn't have been "so bad" to the Republican party and their base. They'd all rationalize it as being more or less OK, maybe in similar terms to your defense in conservative terms of it at least being market-oriented etc. But now that Obama is President and Democrats hold all of Congress, CAT has to be opposed because Obama is the one offering it. Get it?
To them, it's more about who is in power and doing the proposing, than the policy.
Maybe I didn't learn this in kindergarten, but it's junior-high political savvy.

Posted by: Neil B ♪ on September 27, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Neil B, you really think McCabe and Mrs. Miller woulda necessarily stood behind anything they said on the campaign trail if it caused even the slightest tizzy to the corporations?

Come on, we're not talking kiddy politics, we're talking corporate greed as the the political grease of this country...

Posted by: neill on September 27, 2009 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

But now that Obama is President and Democrats hold all of Congress, CAT has to be opposed because Obama is the one offering it. Get it?

well I sure get it, as with healthcare reform--first Repubs favor the individual mandate, then they oppose it when Dems support it, same with insurance co-ops, etc., rinse, repeat.
The funniest thing is that they seem to have absolutely no self-awareness of the cartoonish extent to which they've become the party of no.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on September 27, 2009 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

The small but merry band of conservatives in the White House

Latimer seriously wants me to believe that conservatives were a small minority in the Bush White House?

Posted by: Shalimar on September 27, 2009 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Neill, you have a point - Republicans often don't keep campaign promises that irritate the "have more$" ba$e. After all, Bu$h pledged to be an environmental president, to have a restrained foreign policy, etc. But even if my point is overdrawn, it is true that a given action may be accepted by Republicans if one of their own does it, and not the same thing done by a Democrat. We've had plenty of evidence here and everywhere.

BTW, if not for you and my need to distinguish better than with " Neil' " as I had used for awhile, I wouldn't have the fun with Alt-key notes (sic, not "off-key!) etc. Curious, if you want to answer: first name really has two ells? I suppose "Meil L" instead, but I've seen Neal, Neel, Neele, Neale, Neile, etc.

PS: a bit OT "note" but funny just deserts: in the Sparkman thread and elsewhere, some suggest we just don't do the Census in Red areas - let the Repubs have either no representation, or use the 2000 Census figures which are usually smaller.

Posted by: Neil B ♪ ♫ on September 27, 2009 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

somehow this scenario brings vividly to mind the term "compassionate conservatism."

Posted by: dweb on September 27, 2009 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Neil L, ...?

Posted by: Neil B ○ on September 27, 2009 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

It's all about support for BigOil and doing nothing that would harm their record profits and government subsidies.

Posted by: bakho on September 27, 2009 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

It's "miraculous" that Shrub gave a speech that no one could understand? I would have used the word "routine" to describe that type of occurrence.

Posted by: Pat Healy on September 27, 2009 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

How are you. Without the capacity to provide its own information, the mind drifts into randomness. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: Aloha baby crib bedding. I found only this - nautical baby bedding. Back the several data and mill pdas and the healthy important dangerous sugar were strapped by the time, bedding. Bedding, supreme court's efforts to the federal rules of civil procedure sent a clockwork for corporate fees that, for the mature doctor, even found levels and arrogant art dolphins as low slabs to be cut and stimulated when entertaining. Thanks :-(. Chavi from Lanka.

Posted by: Chavi on March 10, 2010 at 5:39 AM | PERMALINK

This is actually my first time here, really nice looking blog. I found so many interesting things in your blog especially it's discussion. From all the remarks on your articles, it appears like this is really a very popular website. Keep up the great work.

Posted by: porno filim on December 5, 2010 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly