Abba was right: Fool me once, shame on Bush, fool me twice, shame on McCain.

abba-waterloo-19904.jpgAs the popular European political thinkers at Abba explained in their award-winning 1974 treatise, Waterloo: “The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself.”

President Bush campaigned on a cap-and-trade system for electric utility CO2 emissions. He dumped that as fast as Brad Pitt dropped Jennifer Aniston. Now is McCain following suit?

Yesterday, McCain economic adviser Steve Forbes said:

I think cap and trade is going to go the way of some other things, as you may remember, when he came into office, Bill Clinton had a proposal of tax carbons and stuff like that. I don’t think those things are going to get very far as people start to examine the details of them.

I’m not sure people should simply dismiss this as mere talk from a conservative who doesn’t believe in global warming — remember, McCain’s administration would mostly be filled with conservatives who don’t believe in global warming (as noted in “No climate for old men: Why John McCain isn’t the candidate to stop global warming“).

This is part of a concerted effort by McCain and his campaign to reassure conservatives he’s not going to take strong action on climate, while hoping that moderates would be fooled just like some Bush voters were in 2000 ignore all this talk, which itself is a core campaign strategy of doubletalk (see “Memo to media: McCain doubletalks to woo conservatives and independents at the same time“).

Consider the increasingly sorry history of McCain campaign pronouncements on climate and clean energy:

It was Bush’s Vice President, Dick Cheney, who called Bush’s promised to regulate utility carbon emissions “a mistake” in March 2001, and Cheney is probably the main reason Bush walked away from his commitment.

So perhaps we should start listening to the presumptive conservative nominee and his advisers on climate and clean energy issues. After all, they would be running the government if McCain wins.

7 Responses to Abba was right: Fool me once, shame on Bush, fool me twice, shame on McCain.

  1. llewelly says:

    Thank you, Joe. It’s nice to have all of your McCain links in one place, along with an article that brings them all together.

  2. Brian D says:

    Seconding Ilewlly.

    Here’s a question from someone north of the 49th and thus slightly out of the US political news loop: Are there any instances of McCain actually voting FOR an environmental or energy-independence proposal? I intended to put together essentially what this post turned out to be (thanks!), with his full track record, just to convince a few folks here that McCain’s not who he says he is.

  3. Joe says:

    McCain has oppose drilling in the Arctic national wildlife refuge. I believe he voted for the 2007 energy bill, which had the tougher fuel economy standards.

  4. ecostew says:

    Has McCain hinted where he would be on oil shale?

  5. Larry Coleman says:

    This is an important posting. Most of my friends think that McCain is “OK” on global warming. I did too before this review of his votes and his people’s statements. One tends to think “McCain-Lieberman” and then ignore the details of how he votes and what he says day-to-day. Thanks, Joe.

  6. ecostew says:

    McCain and the environment.

    Thu Feb 21, 4:08 PM ET

    WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. John McCain may warm the hearts of environmentalists with his call to urgently address global warming, but he didn’t fare too well before the League of Conservation Voters on Thursday, earning a zero score on Senate votes the group sees as important for the environment.

    The League, which annually ranks members of Congress based on their pro-environment votes, said that McCain was absent on every one of the 15 votes the group used to compile its 2007 ranking as he campaigned for the GOP presidential nomination.

    Absenteeism also drove down the score for Democratic presidential contenders, Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

    Clinton received a 73 percent ranking, casting “pro-environment” votes 11 times. Obama was at 67 percent with 10 pro-environment votes. But Clinton and Obama each missed four of the 15 votes tracked by the group, driving down their scores compared to previous years.

    McCain was among seven senators given a zero score, meaning they were absent or voted against the environmental position on all of the issues being tracked. The votes ranged from approval for an increase in automobile fuel economy and imposing new taxes on oil companies to offshore oil development and prioritizing flood-control projects.

  7. tidal says:

    Look, a species that can accomplish things like Agnetha in red hot pants and platform shoes singing “Waterloo” in German surely can rise up to our energy and environmental challenges…