October 27, 2012
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Green Fail On The Campaign Trail:
It’s not much of a surprise to see this from Romney, but this is a major shift for Obama. The president’s 2008 campaign was filled with grand statements about how we needed to implement bold new plans to combat climate change, and for the first two years of his administration, it seemed as though he would be likely to follow through. Green jobs programs, subsidies for electric cars, and even pie-in-the-sky carbon-trading schemes were all discussed, and some were eventually passed.
Those days are long gone. The closer we come to the election, the less we hear about green and the more we hear about brown, about oil and gas drilling. Obama wants to win in November, and he’s clearly made the (correct) choice that he can’t do it if he continues to be the green candidate.
This is a testament to the spectacular failures of the environmental movement to articulate any policies that aren’t political suicide for those who support them. When Obama was elected, many Greens felt that their time had come, that one of their own was sitting in the Oval Office. But it only took two years of political defeats and embarrassments to convince the president and many of his party colleagues that the green movement’s polices of choice are political non-starters.
This time around, the Greens won’t be pulling the lever enthusiastically for either candidate. For this, they have only themselves to blame.
Well, a platform based on Luddism and oikophobia is a hit with celebrities and lefty pundits, but not so much with voters.