Today Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman spoke at a fundraiser for the Center for American Progress, an Obama-administration front headed by John Podesta, who led President Obama’s transition team. Waxman, who is nothing if not a team player, hewed to the Obama administration line:
Speaking at the Center for American Progress Action Fund today, House energy committee ranking member Henry Waxman (D-CA) railed against the toxic influence of Koch Industries on efforts to fight global warming. Waxman, who fought polluters to pass the Clean Air Act of 1990, is dismayed by the level of outright science denial among the Republican Party today, exemplified by their votes to slash and burn environmental protection, and the Upton-Inhofe bill to reverse the scientific finding that carbon pollution threatens public health:
It apparently no longer matters in Congress what health experts and scientists think. All that seems to matter is what Koch Industries thinks.
This is pretty fun to deconstruct. Waxman is the co-author of the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill. Waxman is still bitter that his carbon tax bill couldn’t pass, but he can hardly blame Koch Industries–or Republicans, for that matter. Waxman-Markey was a terrible bill that couldn’t make it through a Democratic-controlled Congress. It squeaked through the House on a 219-212 vote, with 44 Democrats voting No. But the bill couldn’t make it through the Democrat-controlled Senate because there were 10 to 12 Democrats who didn’t want to vote for it, notwithstanding the enormous expansion of federal power that the bill entailed.
It is easy to understand why. As we noted here, cap and trade was a $3.6 trillion tax that would have caused a $1 per gallon increase in the price of gasoline, among other devastating effects. I’m pretty sure no one at the “American Progress” event asked Waxman how a $1 per gallon increase in the price of gasoline, on top of the current price spike, would impact our economy.
One might think that Congressman Waxman and his supporters at the Center for American Progress would pay a little more attention to jobs and the economy–the main concerns of a large majority of voters. Waxman’s home state, California, is in crisis; and for once, that word understates the reality. The unemployment rate in California is a shocking 12.4%. What do you think cap and trade would do to that number?
It is no wonder that liberals never want to debate the issues. Waxman-Markey was all about global warming, but public opinion polls show that most Americans are deeply skeptical of the alarmists’ claims. There are good reasons for this. As regular readers of this site know, the evidence in support of warmist alarmism is thin at best–was thin, in fact, before Climategate, along with other revelations, showed the corruption of the alarmists’ “data.” Climate realists are always willing to debate the alarmists, but they virtually never get any takers. What does that tell you?
Instead of debating the merits of this or any other issue, liberals follow Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. The current assault on Koch Industries, bizarre as it may seem–how can it possibly be Koch’s doing that a Democratic Senate run by Harry Reid couldn’t even bring cap and trade up for a vote?–is part of a long-running script. Here is Alinsky’s Rule Number 12 for radicals. (By “radicals,” by the way, Alinsky meant Communists.):
RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
That might be the most cynical thing I have ever read. It certainly is cruel; but then again, viciousness is what contemporary liberalism is all about. Demonizing people–in this case the Koch brothers, two of the world’s most effective businessmen and most generous philanthropists–is the Left’s pitiful substitute for actually being able to cite data and make arguments.