Reasons to Worry


Last night, as I stood in line to check in for my flight to Vegas — I will speak at the RightOnline conference there today, on judiciary and global-warming panels — I saw Stephen Spruiell over on the Corner questioning why I would bother worrying about a lame-duck Senate adding cap-and-trade provisions to a cap-and-trade-free energy bill in conference committee. After all, a conferenced bill would still have to pass another vote in the Senate, where it could be filibustered.

Lots of things can be filibustered. But sadly, even in the past 18 months, so very, very few things successfully were; even the attempts to filibuster the financial-reform bill fell apart. And as the Democrats demonstrated in their “deem and pass” treatment of the health-care bill, they are willing to skirt the rules when they need to, and otherwise evince a whatever-means-necessary approach.We have a congressional majority that’s ready to die (politically) for its wants.

So I start from a different position: why not guard against/worry about/seek to avoid the (however troubled, but possible) plans the Left openly proclaims as the Obama Window closes? We have a congressional majority that’s ready to die (politically) for its wants.

Now, there are practical difficulties with this approach, so it probably won’t happen. But that’s not the same as saying there’s nothing to be wary of, or that the prospect is not one best avoided. We should vote on an oil-spill bill a few months later, when Congress reflects more accurately the public mood. And by then, maybe one of those commissions aimed at finding out what happened will report something useful, making such legislation look less irresponsibly opportunistic.

Either way, it would most surely be less likely to have cap-and-trade added during conference. Why worry about what they might do? Because they might.


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