Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), a potential candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, completed the reversal of his stance on global warming today on Meet the Press. When asked by NBC’s David Gregory if climate change is real, the former champion of strong climate action questioned “how much of it is man-made,” charging climate scientists with “data manipulation and controversy.” He then said a cap-and-trade system of market-based limits on global warming pollution would be a “disaster”:
The climate is obviously changing, David. The more interesting question is how much of it is man-made and how much is as a result of natural causes and patterns. Of course, we have seen data manipulation and controversy, or at least debate within the scientific community. . . . And the way you address it is we should all be in favor of reducing pollution. We need to do it in ways that don’t burden the economy. Cap and trade, I think, would be a disaster in that regard.
Like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Pawlenty was one of the nation’s chief Republican champions of cap and trade until recently, but now is mimicking Sarah Palin instead. In 2007, Pawlenty supported a cap-and-trade system to reduce Minnesota’s global warming pollution by 80 percent by the year 2050. “Maybe we can lead them,” Pawlenty then said about Congress passing cap and trade, “or even shame them into action. It’ll become de facto national policy.”
Today on ABC’s This Week, host Terry Moran noted the Republican Party’s staunch opposition to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that Congress passed last year and added that “it was summed up by Mitt Romney at the CPAC convention this week.” “[President Obama] scared employers,” Romney said. “So jobs were scarce. His nearly trillion dollar stimulus created not one net new job in the private sector.”
Responding to Romney, Republican California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called out the GOP hypocrisy:
SCHWARZENEGGER: I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around pushing back on the stimulus money and saying this doesn’t create any new jobs. Then they go out and they do the photo ops and they’re posing with the big check and they say, “Isn’t this great?”
Schwarzenegger then railed against his GOP colleagues for playing politics with the stimulus bill and attacked them for claiming it didn’t create jobs:
SCHWARZENEGGER: Anyone that says it hasn’t created a job, they should talk to the 150,000 people that have been getting jobs in California.
MORAN: In the private sector?
SCHWARZENEGGER: In the private sector and from the public sector. … So I’m happy that we got this money. I’m happy that we have put 150,000 people to work and there will be more people that are put to work because of it.
Throughout the past year, many GOP members of Congress who voted against the stimulus have beentoutingthe money it delivered to their states or districts. And in a new research report released last week, ThinkProgress found that over half of the Republican caucus — 110 lawmakers from the House and Senate — are guilty of this stimulus hypocrisy.
Today on Fox News Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tried to insist that his party has not been obstructionist. To prove his point, he quoted recent remarks by President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV):
McCONNELL: Look, in terms of whether or not we’re at a gridlock, I would like to quote the President of the United States himself, who said just a couple of months ago, “If we stop today” — this is the President — “If we stop today, this legislative session would have been one of the most productive in a generation.”
My counterpart, the Democratic leader, just last month in the first half of the 111th Congress: “We made significant progress. It is a long list of accomplishments.” [...]
MCCONNELL: [T]hey’re trying to spin the notion that we are stymieing everything they’re doing. It is simply not true based on the president’s own words.
He then insisted that all Republicans oppose are Democrats’ “partisan agenda to take over” health care and energy. However, when host Chris Wallace asked McConnell whether he personally believes that this Congress has truly been productive, McConnell dodged the question and bashed his Democratic counterparts:
WALLACE: [C]an you really say on the issues facing the country — the economy, health care, energy problems — that this Congress has been productive?
MCCONNELL: The president believes it has been.
WALLACE: I’m asking you, sir.
MCCONNELL: Well, look. I think they — on the — on some of the big issues they’ve tried to go in the wrong direction. And we’re not going to sign on to efforts to turn America into a western European country, which I think is the net result of something like the energy tax cap and trade bill and the health care bill.
Any progress Congress has made has been in spite of most Republican lawmakers, not because of them. Republicans in the Senate, led by McConnell, have “threatened to filibuster at least 100 pieces of legislation this session, far more than any other since the procedural tactic was invented,” aggressively trying to block more than just major legislation on health care and energy. They have tried to hold up Obama’s well-qualified nominees for political reasons, voted against pay-as-you-go rules (despite Republican support for the measure in the past and the GOP’s supposed interest in fiscal responsibility), flip-flopped on support for a deficit commission, and whined when Reid scrapped a jobs bill that the GOP said would “not create one job.”
Of course, one of the most significant pieces of legislation was the Recovery Act. As Norm Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise has written, “Any Congress that passed all these items separately would be considered enormously productive. Instead, this Congress did it in one bill.” But this legislation passed without any Republican support in the House and with just three Republicans in the Senate.
By Climate Guest Blogger on Feb 21, 2010 at 10:17 am
Virginia’s Attorney General is claiming that global warming is “unreliable, unverifiable and doctored” science, but the state’s climatologists aren’t buying it, as Brad Johnson reports in this Wonkroom repost.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Saturday that major Capitol Hill renewable electricity proposals would not prompt additional generation from sources like wind and solar power beyond the increases expected under existing programs.
MSNBC has been doing a lot of Olympics coverage lately, which has been an opportunity for the network to do promos for its normal news programming. One ad for Chuck Todd’s show features Todd saying: “I love politics; I wish every day was Election Day.”
I think that’s probably true, and that Todd’s probably not the only person involved in high-profile coverage of politics who feels that way, and that that explains a lot of what’s wrong with our media. I recall back during the 2008 primary campaign when every Tuesday brought a new Obama-Clinton result that Todd’s coverage was vital—breaking down the mechanics of the different primaries and caucuses, telling us about the demographic and geographical splits, running through the whole thing. It was great stuff. But obviously it’s not Election Day every day. There’s all this governing that happens and that’s important mostly because of its impact on the lives of ordinary people who themselves are probably fairly indifferent to politics.
With the grand coalition in the Netherlands falling apart, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the cool graphic design work on the PvdA (Labor Party) website. I especially like this one from their green page that seems resonant with the “green jobs” theme:
That said, I think I may support D66 in the Dutch context.