For those who care about the health and well-being of our children, the low-point of the Republican convention was surely this line by Romney — and the response it got from the audience:
President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans — [bites lip and pauses for audience laughter(!)] — and to heal the planet. MY promise is to help you and your family.
This is both a shameful and shameless attack. It’s shameful because global warming is the gravest preventable threat to our children’s health and well-being — and because Romney said it in Tampa, which is among the U.S. cities most threatened by global warming and sea level rise.
If the country fails to act quickly, South Florida alone will have to spend “hundreds of billions of dollars” dealing with rising seas, according to the author of a recent study on the subject. Chris Hayes on MSNBC rightly said the audience laughter at the whole notion of fighting sea level rise will some day “be in documentaries as a moment of just ‘what-were-they-thinking’ madness.”
I suppose Romney believes that rising seas lifts all yachts.
The quip was shameless because just minutes earlier, Romney said “when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.” Setting aside this sweeping insult of all the great national leaders a President Romney would have to deal with, how precisely can he mock Obama for wanting to do really big stuff after he has just praised Americans for that very quality!
To its credit, team Obama — which has been treating climate change like the Voldemort of national issues (“The Threat-That-Must-Not-Be-Named”) – put out an email Saturday:
It is nothing short of terrifying to imagine a party that openly mocks climate change taking back the White House.
Those who were hoping that a President Romney might Etch-A-Sketch his way back to climate sanity should note that not only did Romney revel in this mockery on Thursday in Tampa — he repeated the line on Saturday in Ohio (at 12:00 in this C-SPAN video)!
Yes, the man who might be the next president of the United States thinks mocking climate action is a winning slogan.
Again, one can certainly criticize Obama for not doing enough to keep this important promise, but not for making it in the first place.
Two more points. The latest Democratic national platform, being approved today in Charlotte, also calls Republicans out for their denial of this grave, grave threat: