Greg, you’re right that this is the same column Friedman has written before, albeit without the usual fawning reference to China’s enlightened autocrats and how they aren’t held back by the encumbrances of democracy. One passage caught my eye: “Is President Obama going to finish health care and then put aside the pending energy legislation — and carbon pricing — that Congress has already passed in order to get through the midterms without Republicans screaming ‘new taxes?’”
That’s a whopper. Congress hasn’t “already passed” anything, and you’d expect Friedman to know that. Yes, the House of Representatives narrowly approved a controversial version of cap-and-trade in June (helping spark the townhall protests this summer). But the Senate has put off consideration of its own legislation, it part because it is unclear the president’s allies there can pass anything. The chances of the full Congress actually passing carbon restrictions this year are extremely slim in this — ahem — climate, despite the huge Democratic majorities in both houses. Turns out the voting public doesn’t seem to want them. That’s democracy for you.