George Will nails the difference between conservatives and progressives

In his column last Sunday, conservative pundit George Will wrote:

Obama recently said he would “require that 10 percent of our energy comes from renewable sources by the end of my first term — more than double what we have now.” Note the verb “require” and the adjective “renewable.”

Will called this “comic” and a “fairy-tale promise.”

But back to requiring this or that quota of energy from renewable sources. What will that involve? For conservatives, seeing is believing; for liberals, believing is seeing. Obama seems to believe that if a particular outcome is desirable, one can see how to require it. But how does that work? Details to follow, sometime after noon, Jan. 20, 2009.

Actually, Obama has spelled out the details in his energy plan (see “A real energy plan for America: Efficiency now, 10% renewables by 2012, and one million plug-in hybrids by 2015”), but I wouldn’t expect Will to bother using Google to find it.

In any case, Will has nailed a key difference between conservatives and progressives:  Conservatives believe that if they haven’t seen something happen yet (in this country), it can’t possibly happen. Progressives believe that government can help make things happen that haven’t already.I’m guessing that if George “No we can’t” Will had been a columnist at the time, he would have mocked JFK’s infinitely more difficult challenge to put a man on the moon in 10 years. I guess he would have been proslavery and trashed the Emancipation Proclamation:

Mr. Lincoln seems to believe that if a particular outcome is desirable, one can see how to require it.

Ironically, Will is mocking Obama for wanting an additional 5 percent of total U.S. electricity to come from all forms of new renewable energy in five years. Yet Pickens is certain that 20 percent of all U.S. electricity could come from wind power alone in 10 years. I would note that even the Bush administration itself believes we could get 20 percent of all US electricity from wind power alone in 20 years (see “Must read: Bush DOE says wind can be 20% of U.S. power by 2030 — with no breakthroughs”).

Why does such troglodyte get a national opinion column and a major spotlight on ABC news?

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