Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Four More Years: Caveats

As I write, CNN projects Hillary Clinton as the winner of today's West Virginia primary, trouncing her Senate colleague Barack Obama by 64 percent to 29 percent. (You math majors will note that seven percent of West Virginians preferred the political equivalent of pocket lint - in this case, John Edwards - than either Obama or Clinton.) Given Obama's adversities as of late, the outcome is no surprise.

Yet for his part, Obama and his supporters do seem genuinely shocked that he is being judged by his remarks and associations. For his benefit, and that of his minions, I would like to clear things up. "Wrightgate" and "Bittergate" continue to resonate with Reagan Democrats precisely because they put to lie every rationale for Obama's campaign, namely that he is a figure who transcends politics, race and even history itself.

The beauty of this elongated primary season is that it allows for scrutiny and accountability. John McCain has endured his share of both, and much of it deservedly so. As such, it can now be taken as an immutable law of nature that for every attempt on the part of Democrats to portray McCain as as a doppelganger for President Bush, there is an equal and opposite attempt on McCain's part to prove himself a clone of Clintbama.

As reported by the New York Times,
McCain took every opportunity to make distinctions between himself and his president at a campaign appearance yesterday in Portland, Oregon. He made clear his desire to harness the "creative energies of the free market" to spur American action against global warming by way of a cap-and-trade system for managing carbon emissions. In so doing, McCain seemed to accept every one of the Left's premises vis-a-vis climate change.

Our scientists have also seen and measured reduced snowpack, with earlier runoffs in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. We have seen sustained drought in the Southwest, and across the world average temperatures that seem to reach new records every few years. We have seen a higher incidence of extreme weather events. In the frozen wilds of Alaska, the Arctic, Antarctic, and elsewhere, wildlife biologists have noted sudden changes in animal migration patterns, a loss of their habitat, a rise in sea levels. And you would think that if the polar bears, walruses, and sea birds have the good sense to respond to new conditions and new dangers, then humanity can respond as well.

We have many advantages in the fight against global warming, but time is not one of them. Instead of idly debating the precise extent of global warming, or the precise timeline of global warming, we need to deal with the central facts of rising temperatures, rising waters, and all the endless troubles that global warming will bring. We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great. The most relevant question now is whether our own government is equal to the challenge. (Emphasis added.)
Given his latest comments, McCain's positions on climate change are virtually indistinguishable from those espoused by Democrats. McCain compounded his errors by sticking a rusty shiv into the man who did all that he could to create an orderly transition of Republican leadership between himself and his would-be successor.
In addressing the problem of climate change, cooperation from the government of China will be essential. China, India, and other developing economic powers in particular are among the greatest contributors to global warming today – increasing carbon emissions at a furious pace – and they are not receptive to international standards. Nor do they think that we in the industrialized world are in any position to preach the good news of carbon-emission control. We made most of our contributions to global warming before anyone knew about global warming.

This set of facts and perceived self-interests proved the undoing of the Kyoto Protocols. As president, I will have to deal with the same set of facts. I will not shirk the mantle of leadership that the United States bears. I will not permit eight long years to pass without serious action on serious challenges. I will not accept the same dead-end of failed diplomacy that claimed Kyoto. The United States will lead and will lead with a different approach -- an approach that speaks to the interests and obligations of every nation.
(Emphasis added.)
His acolytes would have us believe that this is yet another example of McCain's "straight talk." At the risk of sounding snarky, I would prefer to conclude that this is John McCain suffering from the political equivalent of Alzheimer's disease. He appears confused to the point of dementia as to who his base is, and how best to appeal thereto. Indeed, I would love to hear McCain's thoughts on who his voters are. (They certainly aren't people who are tired of Republicans, D.C. insiders, status quo politicians or lobbyists exerting undue influence.)

If John McCain assumes that his record of valorous service to this country will carry the day in November, he need only have a conversation with the last Republican senator who attempted to make the leap from Capitol Hill to Pennsylvania Avenue. The only justification for a McCain candidacy is to serve as the conservative alternative to the Democrats; his difficulty in accepting that fact serves as the major obstacle besetting his campaign.

All of that being said, the election is still John McCain's to lose. Tragically, he seems intent on losing it.

1 comment:

sbvor said...

There is a great deal more I can and will (later) post on this topic. For now, you may find these two posts (and associated sub-links) of interest:
CO2 is Not a Problem
The Current Cooling Trend