Why, I’m so old that I remember when market-simulating pollution-control regulations – polluter charges or cap-and-trade – were the official conservative alternative to command-and-control regulation. I was sympathetic to that critique, and frustrated about the environmental movement’s unwillingness to see reason.
But now that the enviros have embraced a GHG tax or its cap-and-trade equivalent as the way to deal with global warming, conservative support is nowhere in sight. They’re all too afraid of Grover Norquist.
Remember this the next time a conservative explains how we ought to voucherize public education. The minute that happens, the conservatives will come back and decide that we need to means-test the vouchers. That done, they’ll attack the remaining program as “welfare.”
This is not a group of people it’s possible to do business with.
Update Steve Benen has more on this – I hadn’t known that cap-and-trade was part of the McCain-Palin platform in 2008 – and examples from many other fields. Why is it that advocates of bipartisanship such as David Broder never seem to criticize this tactic, and just keep complaining that the Democrats are failing to be bipartisan as long as Repubicans bloc-vote against their own ideas when Democrats embrace them?