Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gimleteye: Audubon tries to bridge the Republican divide on the environment

Audubon CEO David Yarnold writes, "conservation doesn't have a party", imploring Americans to look beyond the partisan divide that has created two nations within one. "We at the National Audubon Society, one of the nation's most trusted conservation organizations, and ConservAmerica, a grassroots organization of conservation-minded Republicans, have joined in a ground-breaking movement called the American Eagle Compact."

I don't fault Audubon for trying, but political extremism against environmental rules and regulations is a mainstream, core GOP value.

Most Americans -- a persuasive majority -- support protecting our nation's air, water, and wilderness, but the effect of unlimited corporate campaign contributions (thank you, Bush Supreme Court) has been to tilt all politics, sweeping up the Democratic Party, far to the right; so far, that the canard of balance is only a distant memory.

The extremists who have the GOP in a chokehold are immoveable. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, from coal country, made it his first order of priority to obstruct President Obama. Democrats in Congress have not been able to move any part of a pro-environmental agenda. President Obama has tried to make progress, through executive orders, but as with every other Democratic administration, when push comes to shove in the legislative process, the environment falls off the table.

Try as Audubon does to be non-partisan, the bright fact is that Republicans who care about bringing the environment back into the core values of the party have a choice: if you can't vote for a Democrat, don't vote at all.

To my Republican friends who care about the environment, you can't get this nation to go where you want, with these partners asking you to the dance.

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