But not as badly as we have to save our butts!
Larry, Curly and Moe were all set to introduce their climate change legislation until Harry Reid pulled the plug in favor of immigration reform legislation. Now Lindsey Graham is pouting and indicating that he won’t support his own legislation.
What is going on in Washington?
Climate change legislation, which as we know has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with additional taxation, wealth redistribution, and the centralization of power in Washington, is arguably a bipartisan piece of work, or actually tri-partisan, as it was written by a Republican (Graham), a Democrat, John Kerry, and Independent Joe Liebermann. And Reid was prepared to ram it through the Senate using the same reconciliation procedures that he used for healthcare legislation. The results would have been catastrophic for the economy as carbon emitting industries shuttered their US facilities and moved to carbon friendly locales. In their wake would be (more) massive unemployment. South Louisiana, heavily dependent on the refining and petro-chemical industries, might as well turn off the lights. North Louisiana, in recovery because of the demand for natural gas from the Haynesville Shale, would suffer as well, though perhaps not immediately. Natural gas also emits carbon when it is burned, though to a lesser degree than other fossil fuels, but its production, too, would eventually be curtailed in favor of wind and solar technologies the legislation would mandate – green jobs.
The legislation would also have been catastrophic for Democrats poised for reelection in 2010. The general public is opposed to it, would once again feel that the political process had been abused against their wishes in its being forced through, and would soon realize what bad and costly legislation it is – much as is happening with the healthcare legislation.
Democrat motives for passing the climate change legislation are purely ideological. It fits with their vision for the country, and if a few seated Democrats have to be sacrificed in order to achieve it, it’s a small price to pay.
But what if they don’t have to make that sacrifice? What if they don’t have to pay that price? After all, Harry Reid is, himself, among those up for reelection in 2010, and he is facing a difficult and likely unsuccessful, campaign.
Cue up Arizona.
The state government of Arizona, having tired of the inaction of the federal government to address illegal immigration issues which heavily plague that state, decided to take matters into their own hands. They have passed legislation which makes it illegal to be in Arizona illegally (yeah, you read that correctly. Apparently being illegal wasn’t illegal before!)
Hispanics, who have traditionally supported Democrat causes and politics, are outraged. Civil rights activists in general are outraged. Concerns about racial profiling, mass arrests, and deportation are escalating. Protesters have taken to the streets, and in typical leftist fashion, these protests are not characterized by middle aged and elderly folks calmly carrying signs and picking up their trash, but rather are characterized by violence. (Heal quickly, Allee and Joe.)
The federal government, at least its left wing majority, has been promising amnesty for illegal’s, but they haven’t delivered on that promise.
Cue up Barry and Harry.
President Obama reacted immediately to the news from Arizona by expressing his own outrage, tempered with his admission that the states had tired of waiting for the federal government to act. He declared immigration reform to be his administration’s priority, this week.
Harry Reid responded by delaying deliberation on climate change legislation and accelerating deliberation of immigration reform. Climate change is ultimately a “no win” for the Democrats, but there might be a “win” in immigration reform.
The Senate does not have the votes to pass immigration reform of the type Barry and Harry are advocating. There is no way to construe that legislation as being related to budget issues, so reconciliation cannot be utilized despite recent exhibitions of distorting it beyond recognition, but by ramping up the discussions and the media hype, they can excite the Hispanic base, demonstrate their support of that base by endorsing amnesty and, at most, no change in border enforcement, and point their fingers at the heartless Republican party who opposes those concepts. An energized Hispanic voting bloc, if they can be kept energized until November, could indeed swing votes away from the conservative movement in favor of struggling Democrats, of which Harry Reid is one.
There is a large contingent of Hispanics in Nevada, Reid’s home state.
Lindsey Graham is show-boating. Let him pout. South Carolina is heavily engaged in nuclear energy, not just in electrical generation, but in engineering, construction, and equipment manufacturing. Graham believes his constituents will benefit from the climate change legislation. And he, like our own Mary Landrieu, is not up for reelection until 2014. He believes all of this will be forgotten, or that the “wonderful benefits” of this legislation will be in place, and that he will be vindicated before his Senate seat comes up.
Harry Reid doesn’t have that kind of time.