Think cap and trade is dead? Think again: Politico’s Mike Allen reports that Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership have a plan, a continuation and deepening of the disregard for the American public they so amply demonstrated through the process by which they passed the despised HCR bill:
Phil Schiliro, the White House congressional liaison, has told the Senate to aim to take up an energy bill the week of July 12, after the July 4 break (and after the scheduled final passage of Wall Street reform). Kagan confirmation will follow, ahead of the summer break, scheduled to begin Aug. 9. The plan is to conference the new Senate bill with the already-passed House bill IN A LAME-DUCK SESSION AFTER THE ELECTION, so House members don’t have to take another tough vote ahead of midterms.
The rest of the piece goes on to make it clear that this plan has the full support of President Obama, who himself does not face re-election until 2012 and wants cap and trade passed before the year is out.
This “fierce urgency of now” comes from the obvious political consideration that a lame duck Congress has nothing to lose. Once it’s been thrown under the bus and lies there bleeding (actually, you might say it threw itself in front of the bus, but let’s not quibble about the finer points), it might just as well enact a piece of legislation that will further bankrupt the country and please the left fringe and nobody else. Beware a group that’s still in power but has stopped fearing any consequences from the public.
This strategy has the same odor that stank up the final stages of health care reform.
Actually, the stink is much stronger. At least with HCR, the representatives in the House and a third of the Senate knew they would have to face the voters in 2010. If Republicans win control during that election, and then the present Democratic Congress takes up and passes the hugely unpopular cap and trade between November’s election and January’s swearing in, nearly all pretense of accountability will be gone, and whatever might still remain of Obama’s affable “let us reason together” disguise will have been vaporized as he is fully revealed for the arrogant and cold-blooded power-hungry operator he always has been.
To many people, the congressional Democrats’ contempt for the public’s wishes came as somewhat of a surprise when the HCR bill was first being pondered, and especially when the push was renewed despite the election of Scott Brown. After all, politicians are usually more interested in self-preservation than that. But by the time the bill had become law, we had learned a great deal more about how the Democrats had morphed into an overbearing majority (that phrase comes from Federalist Paper #10, written by the prescient James Madison), determined to pass their agenda and thwart the will of the people because yes, they could.