Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Senate’s other maverick seeks environmental compromise while others prefer conflict

Posted by sanityinjection on September 21, 2009

By the “other maverick” I am referring to independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Lieberman is a true believer when it comes to climate change. He feels it’s critical that the US pass some sort of climate bill before the next round of international negotations on carbon reduction efforts. In this respect, he is right in step with most in the Democratic Party.

Lieberman, however, is also a man who sees the world as it is, and not just as he wants it to be. He can see that much of America, and many of his colleagues in the Senate, are not at all sold on the cap-and-trade idea, and no amount of left-wing zealotry is going to convince them. So, he’s doing what a legislator is supposed to do – seeking compromise. His proposal is to make climate legislation more palatable to Republicans and conservative Democrats by including funding for “clean coal” and nuclear energy.

Of course, this is an outrage to the purists of the Left. But Lieberman may be calculating that the move would gain more votes in the middle than it would lose on the fringe. Not to mention, the far Left already hates Lieberman anyway so he has nothing to lose by pissing them off.

Can this strategy work? I’d bet it would pick up at least some votes in the coal states among “Blue Dog” Democrats. It may not be enough to sway too many Republicans, although it might persuade Lieberman’s friend John McCain who is known to be soft on climate issues.

Personally, I don’t think I could support a cap-and-trade bill under any circumstances. But that’s not the point. The point is that while the Democrat leaders point fingers and call names, and do nothing to help their cause, Lieberman is trying to find a way forward in the classic tradition of the Senate – through negotiation and compromise, leading to legislation that has bipartisan support. That shows you the difference between an effective legislator and a partisan hack.

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One Response to “Senate’s other maverick seeks environmental compromise while others prefer conflict”

  1. More common sense from Lieberman came today when he refused to support the Baucus health care bill. Said Lieberman, “If you ask me, I’d say we should really focus on what’s called healthcare delivery reform. To me, the first big step is to make some changes that really do bend the increasing costs of healthcare down.”

    Right, Joe, unless your goal is out-and-out socialism like the President!

    Senator Lieberman should probably be grateful that he and Gore didn’t get elected in 2000. I can’t imagine anybody with this much sense being able to keep his mouth shut through 4 years of Big Al chasing after ManBearPig.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/62773-lieberman-opposes-baucus-health-bill

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