Conservatives in the media and in office were on offense and all over the Sunday talk shows, attacking the cap-and-trade measure which squeaked by in the House on Friday.
Several suggested it isn’t going anywhere. Lindsay Graham on Meet the Press opined that “this bill coming out of the House is going nowhere in the Senate. But climate change is real and we need to do something. . .[T]he news is that red state Democrats are bailing out on the president’s agenda faster than Republicans.”
Brit Hume agreed:
No one is saying now that the votes are there to pass this in the Senate. And the time — time is not on the side of the proponents of this measure. Alarm over climate change is diminishing. It has gone from fairly high on people’s list of priorities of things they’re concerned about well down the list, and I think it is continuing to sink.The arguments of skeptics seem to be gaining momentum. So my sense about this bill is that it is in very deep trouble in the Senate and may not come to a vote.
But it was Haley Barbour who provided the most comprehensive and full-throated attack:
Friday the House of Representatives, by a very small handful of votes, passed the president’s energy policy, which is a gigantic hidden energy tax, plus a whole lot of open energy taxes. . . People are concerned about when they get trillions of dollars of taxes added onto them. And energy policy affects every family, every business, the total economy. They barely won in the House. Almost every Republican voted against it. And Republicans have offered a very clear alternative. Our alternative is more American energy. That instead of the Obama policy, which is to make energy more expensive . . . [H]e told The San Francisco Chronicle as a candidate last year, he said, under my cap and trade plan, electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket. That’s Barack Obama ’s language, not mine.
Maybe they have it wrong. Perhaps the public doesn’t mind an energy tax or thinks that even if China and India do nothing we should be leading “by example.” But in the middle of a recession, with unemployment skyrocketing, these critics may have a point. We’ll see how quickly the Senate takes this up — and if Harry Reid has the nerve to repeat Nancy Pelosi’s mantra (“jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs”) as unemployment heads into double digits.