I have to agree that it’s incredibly unhelpful to have Bill Clinton and Al Gore praising John McCain on climate change. It’s true, in a sense, that McCain is better than your average Republican on this issue. But that was much more true a couple of years ago when he was cosponsoring the McCain-Lieberman climate change half-measures bill. These days, though, that bill, inadequate as it is, has become the Lieberman-Warner bill because McCain dropped his support for it.
If McCain’s not even going to support the most conservative cap-and-trade bill in the mix, then what is his nominal support for cap-and-trade worth, exactly? It’s hard to construct an appropriate analogy here, but if Barack Obama claimed to be “for” something, and yet opposed every concrete effort to make it happen, I doubt GOP eminences grises would be leaping forward to praise him.