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Watch in amazement as John McCain fails to realize that a cap-and-trade system necessarily involves a “mandatory cap” on carbon emissions. Obviously the root of the issue here is that McCain doesn’t understand anything about carbon policy and doesn’t care about it either. But he wanted to sign up for a “centrist” solution on the sexy issue of climate change, so his staff came up with a plan. But “mandatory cap” sounds like the lefty position, so McCain thinks he must not have it.

Maybe he should explain to people the real difference between his plan and Barack Obama’s, namely that under Obama’s plan you need to pay the government for carbon permits whereas under McCain’s plan polluters get free permits that they can then sell. Either way, energy’s going to get more expensive and some hardship will exist, but under Obama’s plan revenue will be generated that can be used to ease the pain. But of course to explain his plan to people McCain would need to get someone to explain it to him first.