Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Lindsey Graham gave a speech Monday at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Talking Points Memo notes that in the subsequent Q&A session Graham blamed Al Gore for Republican intransigence on climate change:
"You know, when it comes to climate change being real, people of my party are all over the board," Graham said after a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations while responding to a question about whether Republicans could work with Democrats to address climate change.

"I said that it's real, that man has contributed to it in a substantial way," Graham continued. "But the problem is Al Gore's turned this thing into religion. You know, climate change is not a religious problem for me, it's an economic, it is an environmental problem."
Where have I heard this before? Where have I heard that Republicans have no responsibility for their own words and deeds on this issue because Al Gore has held a gun to their heads and forced them to spout climate disinformation while throwing snowballs on the Senate floor in order to "prove" that warming can't possibly be happening?

Oh, right -- it was from David Brooks in 2012. He also said Republians can't help acting out this way because Al Gore keeps brutally abusing them with vicious facts:
The period around 2003 was the golden spring of green technology. John McCain and Joe Lieberman introduced a bipartisan bill to curb global warming. I got my first ride in a Prius from a conservative foreign policy hawk who said that these new technologies were going to help us end our dependence on Middle Eastern despots. You’d go to Silicon Valley and all the venture capitalists, it seemed, were rushing into clean tech.

From that date on the story begins to get a little sadder.

Al Gore released his movie “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006. The global warming issue became associated with the highly partisan former vice president. Gore mobilized liberals, but, once he became the global warming spokesman, no Republican could stand shoulder to shoulder with him and survive. Any slim chance of building a bipartisan national consensus was gone.
As I wrote at the time:
Why? Why couldn't Republicans continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Democrats on environmentalism? If the shoe were on the other foot -- if Democrats were the ones rejecting a sensible policy because they didn't want to be associated with an unpalatable partisan on the other side, Brooks the Moralist would wag his finger at their destructive partisanship and wonder why they couldn't place party over country and do the right thing -- to use a favorite Brooks word, the moral thing.
So Brooks and Graham think alike on this -- and I wonder why that is. Could the "conservative foreign policy hawk" who gave Brooks his first ride in a Prius possibly have been the senator from South Carolina, a state with a thriving auto industry? I think it just might have been Graham -- about whom Brooks said this in 2010, in a conversation with Gail Collins that specifically referenced climate change :
As far as I’m concerned Graham is the bravest politician in the country, bar none. When I get depressed about the nature of politics these days and am looking at the bottom of my nightly bottle of tequila (O.K., I’m exaggerating), I lift a glass to the voters of South Carolina and thank them for sending this guy to Washington. If every senator were like Graham, this country would be in excellent shape.
Yes, I think Brooks and Graham have discussed this idea and agreed to let themselves off the hook for their failure to persuade more of their fellow Republicans to moderate their climate views: It's not your fault, Lindsey! It's the fault of that disgusting Gore fellow! Oh, you're so, right, David! It's not your fault either! It's all Fat Boy's fault!


Anonymous said...

Doesn't David Brooks also have a story about a Senator rubbing his leg under a banquet table?

Steve M. said...

I didn't know about that, but you're right.

Victor said...

"You know, climate change is not a religious problem for me, it's an economic, it is an environmental problem."


Ok, then Senator Graham (Sc-loset*), then why have a lot of the u-ber-"Christians in this country say that the environment doesn't matter, because God gave mankind dominion over everything on Earth.

No religion in that answer?

As for Bobo, Richard Cohen thinks he's funny - but he's not; and David Brooks doesn't claim to be funny - but he is!!!

retiredeng said...

Two effete snobs agree. Who knew?