I’d like to briefly follow up on the post I wrote yesterday concerning Senate Democrats who’d like to postpone any kind of climate change legislation until after the 2010 election. One element I didn’t write about–that makes this Congressional equivalent of a child going limp in a supermarket even more infuriating–is that passing carbon-emissions-limiting legislation will likely become harder, not easier, in the next few years.
The Senators who would prefer to wait to take action argue that it’s too politically risky right now to take on another signature piece of legislation after the health care debate became so contentious. Never mind that many of these Senators are the same ones–Ben Nelson, among others–who made moving a health care bill through Congress such a vile exercise. That’s like me telling my friends that no one should go to a bar tonight, because last night when we went out, I made a real ass of myself and embarrassed everybody, and I’ll probably do it again tonight, so let’s all just stay in and go to bed early.
To return to my original point: passing a climate change bill will only get harder in the near future. Why? Well, the Democrats will lose seats in both houses in 2010, and they should, because they’ve treated their base like a high school girl with low self-esteem who’ll give you a hand job in the parking lot no matter how much you ignore her. They’ve taken progressives for granted–often times showing them outright condescension–and they’ll suffer for that. Not to mention that the majority party often loses seats in a midterm election.
So what’s going to happen after the Democrats lose seats in 2010? Will their defeat act as a smelling salt, jump-starting them into action, forcing them to be more determined than ever to respond to their most vocal would-be supporters and pass legislation that’s morally correct, no matter what the consequences? To quote the wonderful Gwen Stefani–who is on my stereo right now to help me prepare for some sweet ass New Year’s Eve parties tonight–“it’s not just gonna happen like that.” Democrats will be more cowed than ever after 2010, especially considering they’ll be going into the ever-extending Presidential election cycle almost immediately. If it’s too “politically risky” right now to take any action, then–the narrative will go–it’s “certainly too risky after suffering losses in 2010 and facing stiff opposition in 2012 to enact any sweeping climate change legislation.” Close your eyes and you can hear it now, clear as I can hear Gwen telling me she ain’t no hollaback girl.
So then what about after that? Assuming, as I am, that Obama will be reelected in 2012, is there any reason to think the legislation will be any easier to push through at that time? It might be, especially since by then world opinion might have solidified even more than it already has around the need to limit carbon emissions. But, at the same time, Obama will be a lame duck and the GOP will fight as hard as ever to rush this planet towards the WeatherPocalypse as fast as possible.
That’s what makes the latest actions from those Senate Democrats so despicable. Once one makes the argument that it’s “too politically risky right now” to take any action right now, that argument can rear its head at virtually any time in American politics. Remember when Minnesota was in the middle of their recount between Al Franken and shit-bag Norm Coleman? The Democrats were so close to the magic number 60! Then all that nonsense talk of “we can’t do it” would go right out the window! Get ready for all that nonsense talk to come roaring back into the national discourse.
If there were a more appropriate way for the decade to end other than the so-called “liberal” party dragging its heals on the most important legislation of the upcoming decade–and in the process not upsetting their corporate owners–I can’t think of it.