Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Focus On Climate Change Will Help Democrats In 2014 ... by gimleteye

In recent weeks -- and through his picks for key cabinet posts on energy and the environment -- President Obama signaled his intent to follow through and prioritize climate change in his second term.

Why would Obama stick to climate change, when the issue was such a muddled mess in his first term? Although global warming has been on the political radar for nearly forty years, neither Democratic nor Republican administrations have made much headway.

There are political reasons for President Obama to ratchet up climate change that have to do with 2014. Clearly, Congress will do nothing on climate change until control of the House reverts to Democrats.

While it is a spectacle to watch the GOP spin itself into broken parts over global warming, it is not a pleasing spectacle to many voters who may be inclined to vote Republican.

The evidence of climate change is all around us. Moreover, a majority of Americans are uninfluenced, in their views on climate change, by the right wing, radical destruction machine like Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

Climate change will leverage American voters to return control of the House to Democrats in 2014. If the GOP were wise, it would launch a thorough and disciplined economic review of the best strategies to reform energy production and consumption. But that would put the radical right cross-ways to its main funders: polluting industries and the fossil fuel lobby.

There is an existential threat in climate change. But the existential threat will materialize, first, through the morbid rigidity of the GOP on environmental protection measures. Whether the Democrats will prove more resilient depends, because the Democrats are prone to herd behavior, favoring sustainable energy "insiders" instead of a rational analysis of strategies and tactics. Time will tell ...


Malagodi said...

Perhaps, but only with the rejection of Keystone.

Otherwise there will be a pronounced split in the Dem. activist base with important players finally giving up on their non-working, "working" relationship with the party.

I have long been saying that the focus should not be on the President (though as a media strategy this makes sense), but on the party itself as a whole, which is the source of the "all of the above" energy policy. Virtually no one in the environmental movement believes this is a policy that can successfully address climate change.

If Keystone is approved, neither the President nor anyone else in the Democratic Party establishment will have any shred of credibility on environmental matters.

Anonymous said...

Science will ultimately rule out.

And even if Keystone happens, Dems are far, far closer to the scientists on the truths of climate change. Most Repubs can't even say the term.

Anonymous said...

Climate change is one place where the GOP is moving further and further from the American public. One reason why Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush will be irrelevant by 2016.

PaulS said...

This I believe will depend upon the people. Indeed, only time will tell.

100panthers said...

Hope your analysis is correct. Money does not screams. Record profits for fossil fuels allows the industry to fight a long Big Tobacco-esque war. As for Rubio, he can change instantly and say 'God spoke to me and'....Rubio's only principal is 'what benefits me' and is capable of taking any position at any time.

Anonymous said...

Do you believe we are beyond point of no return

Malagodi said...

The point of Gimlet's piece is that the focus on climate change will help the Democrats electorally. It says nothing to the idea of actually implementing policies that effect climate change.

My point is that the President and the party can, and have been using the issue as a talking point, or a positioning point, or a focal point of political rhetoric all they want. Just as they can talk about peace, but there is no peace.

At this point, their rhetoric on climate change at least must match their actions, and Keystone is the indicator of their actual intent.

No one in the environmental movement will be convinced by some kind of 'triangulated' position - the "all of the above" policy. Climate change and the energy policy that drives it is different than health care, where you can develop a triangulated complicated system like Obamacare and sell it as a "realistic" alternative to what would actually work, single-payer. Health care goes on forever, while climate change has fairly rigid markers and a (very) short time frame in which to make modifications.

So let me say again, the Democrats may think they can gain electorally by focusing rhetoric on climate change, but Keystone will be the actual determinant as to whether the Democrats can hold even the most mainstream environmental organizations like Sierra Club in their good [sic] graces.

Anonymous said...

This is all wishful thinking. Climate change has been dropping in voters minds as an important issue for several years now. Nothing like a prolonged recession to keep the people focused on jobs and energy costs. If the Dems pay attention to AGW before 2014 its only to suck up to the enviros, NOT to actually cast sure-loss votes in Congress. And though it sounds counter-intuitive, Obama should approve Keystone. Yes. Approve it. If the pipeline isn't built southerly to refine it in America, the pipeline will be built westerly to have it refined and consumed in China! Better to keep the jobs and reduced emissions (as compared to China) here. Blocking Keystone is actually WORSE for AGW.