McCain Embraces Environmental Extremism in California Appearance
2-22-2007 9:12 am
The convention wisdom in modern American politics is that in a primary, a Republican should run to the "right" and a Democrat to the "left" -- seeking to tie down core base voters of their party. Then, in a general election, the candidates who emphasize those issues that would appeal to voters in the other party.
Apparently no one has given John McCain the important memo -- the one that has two parts. First, you're in a GOP primary. And the second -- you do not get the 'internationally famous movie star turned politician' exemption to this rule.
Last year, one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's lurches to the ideological left that most infuriated GOP leaders and activists around California was his calling for the passage of Assembly Bill 32, dubbed by the environmental-extremist community as the "Global Warming Solutions Act" -- legislation which has called for increasing regulations in California to fight an alleged nexus between human action and global climate change (read what William Rusher has to say about this in today's featured Golden Pen column).
Apparently John McCain doesn't know, or doesn't care that this legislation that McCain heralded yesterday at an appearance with Governor Schwarzenegger (see photo above) was that only one Republican legislator, a moderate from San Diego, out nearly 50 in the State Capitol, voted for this ill-advised legislation.
Then Assembly Republican Leader George Plescia best summed up virtually unanimous legislative Republican opposition to Senator McCain's new favorite bill by saying, "...the measure will establish the largest taxing bureaucracy in California since the creation of the State Board of Equalization, giving unaccountable state Air Resources Board members the ability to take "discreet" action - such as increasing the state gas tax by $1 or more - to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in California. Even worse, the measure will do nothing to lessen the impact of emissions generated in China, Mexico or other emerging economies, whose environmental damage has been far greater than anything that has occurred in California." (You can read all of Plescia's remarks on AB 32 here.)
Anyways, John McCain already has a significant challenge in appealing to base Republican activists because of his jihad on the First Amendment as exemplified in his draconian McCain-Feingold campaign restrictions -- but he seems to be ready to jump onto the environmental extremism bandwagon with his support, and praise of Assembly Bill 32.
Steve Schmidt, Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign manager, is famously a senior advisor to John McCain's Presidential bid. Schmidt, who worked on the re-election campaign of President George W. Bush, needs to explain to the good Senator that if he doesn't win the primary, the general election becomes a moot point. And if McCain does get to a general election against Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democrat nominee, he isn't going to beat her by trying to be a Republican "Al Gore" on environmental issues.
A note to all GOP contenders for the White House -- Arnold Schwarzenegger is a unique phenomenon. Reinvent yourself in his 'image' at your own peril. Core GOP voters want a Presidential nominee who will be serious about national security, and who will do what President Bush has been unable, or unwilling to do -- reduce the size and scope of the federal government.
I haven't endorsed a candidate for President in the GOP primary (I don't know that, as a Vice Chairman of the California Republican Party, I get to), but John McCain's trip to California yesterday hardly has me "warming" up to his candidacy..
Care to read comments, or make your own about today's Daily Commentary?
Just click here to go to the FR Weblog, where this Commentary has its own blog post, and where you can read and make comments.