“Someone in the GOP needs to say it: conservation is conservative; climate change is real; and conservatives need to lead on solutions because we have better answers than the other side.”
RealClearScience ran this must-read piece, “How the GOP Could Win the Climate Debate,” with the following byline: “Eric Bradenson, writing under a pen name to protect his boss and himself, is a conservative staffer on Capitol Hill working for a House Republican. His views are his own.”
One might call this a nom de plume of smoke. Or Profiles in Discourage.
The editors noted, “This article was awarded second place in the “Young Conservative Thought Leaders” contest from the Energy & Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University.” [The first place winner is here.]
The E&EI folks were a tad blunter, “Bradenson is working for a Republican House Member and opted to remain anonymous for job security reasons.” The Tea Party-driven national GOP have become like the Gong Show — and the only people willing to try a standup act are wearing a bag on their head.
Republicans in Congress could quickly reclaim this debate, but I recognize this won’t happen until a critical mass of conservatives in the general public buy in. That’s why conservatives outside of Congress — the ones “with nothing to lose” like Bob Inglis, George Shultz, Art Laffer and Kevin Hassett — are paving the way for Republicans to take the small government, pro-growth conservative stand on climate change. While I hesitate to extrapolate anecdotes to broader trends, I know from my experiences that there are a handful of Republican Members and a larger number of Republican staffers who recognize the problem — for the country, for the party — but don’t know how to solve it
Don’t know? More likely, “do know all too well.” Indeed it is precisely because GOP leaders (and their pollutocrat backers) can’t stomach the solution — government policy aimed at driving down fossil fuel emissions — that they can’t or won’t publicly recognize the problem.
Ironically, traditional Republican opposition to climate change proposals actually improves the chances that a clean, revenue-neutral carbon tax could be signed into law without all the big government add-ons that would otherwise be thrown in by Democrats. If we just come to the table, Republicans can lead on climate change and the American people will be with us.
Yes, well, while I am all for a revenue-neutral carbon tax, most of those “big government add-ons” — support for industries that are big carbon polluters — were put there to help win support from conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans. The latter, for you youngsters out there, are now a largely extinct species, devastated in part by a changing climate, and now rarely seen inside the Washington DC beltway, and even then, only with a bag over their heads.