As readers of LF know, what Obama is doing is nothing new. The desire for a Moral Equivalent of War — i.e. a useful “crisis” — is the defining impulse of American liberalism going back a century now. The New Deal was explicitly a moral equivalent of war, as FDR himself boasted and promised, time and again. The endless calls for a “new New Deal” are likewise moral-equivalent-of-war arguments. The desire for a crisis that allows people to rally around the state suffuses so much of our discussions of global warming, that many liberals don’t even know what they’re saying. Remember Tom Friedman on Meet the Press not long ago?
What I say is if climate change is a hoax, it’s the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the United States of America. Because everything we would do to get ready for climate change, to build this new green industry, would make us more respected, more entrepreneurial, more competitive, more healthy as a country.
Translation: Who cares if it’s a lie, we need the sense of crisis to do “big things,” in Rahm Emanuel’s words.