I wish I could be as hopeful as the WSJ about how informative the upcoming Lieberman-Warner debate will be on partisan prorities, considering all the political posturing that will go on. It seems to me that Democrats are already lining up to explain their vote against Lieberman-Warner, knowing full well they will get away with blaming Republicans for its defeat.
As I posted earlier, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) opposes the bill because it is disproportionately harmful to her state, whose energy mix is far less reliant on hydrocarbons; Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) opposes it as he comes from a coal-heavy state that would like to hold on to what remains of its manufacturing base. Unstated but inescapable is that this is the biggest outsourcing or offshoring bill in our history.
My colleague Marlo Lewis pointed out to me the beauty of this:
This bill will disproportionately harm states that aren’t as reliant on hydrocarbon or “fossil fuel” energy, and disproportionately harms those that are.
Apparently, the other states will be just fine.
Of course, many Republicans will make the mistake of voting for a bill they oppose because they know it will lose. That would set them up for a beating next year, as this exercise is one part gesture and one part move-the-center-to-the-Left. The Congressional GOP might think it clever to support Lieberman-Warner now, biding their time until they think they can safely get away with possibly opposing it. But that didn’t work for John Kerry, and it isn’t smart here.