Jonah Goldberg

A very quick search of the LexisNexis news database reveals that Sen. Kennedy has called for more "sacrifice" from the wealthy roughly 8 kabillion-jamillion-gazillion times during George W. Bush's presidency (and forget about during Ronald Reagan's!). He's excoriated Bush's tax cuts, the war, health care policies, and just about everything else for not demanding the rich share more in the "national sacrifice."

Well, here's their chance. This is not some symbolic hybrid car you park next to your Hummer. Recall Arianna Huffington's passionate campaign against SUVs? She made great sacrifices to rid the world of those guzzlers as she flew around the country in a private jet.

Well, here is something concrete the rich and famous can sacrifice for the little guy and for the environment: their views.

And, let's be honest, it's not a huge sacrifice. If Teddy really thinks his fat - or, if you prefer, "phat" - crib on the beach will be ruined by the prospect of having to look at some windmills five to 13 miles offshore, he can swap pads with me.

The opponents of the project have made every ludicrous claim in the book, proving that environmentalists will even lie to other environmentalists. The windmills will kill whales, cause oil spills, ruin fishing, etc. None of these things are true, and the honest opponents know it. This is simply Nimby ("not in my backyard") politics pure and simple.

When a reporter for The New York Times Magazine called Walter Cronkite, a windmill opponent, and asked him about the proposal, the retired newsman bristled at the suggestion that this was all about selfishness. But, he had to confess, that's exactly what it is.

"The problem really is Nimbyism," he conceded by telephone, "and it bothers me a great deal that I find myself in this position. I'm all for these (windmills), but there must be areas that are far less valuable than this place is." The reporter prodded, and he said maybe the California desert would work. Isn't that a bit far away to supply Cape Cod? Well, he added, "Inland New England would substitute just as well." In fact, any place but here would do just fine.

Is seemed to dawn on Cronkite that such honesty wasn't serving his cause or himself, he interrupted his train of thought and implored the reporter, "Be kind to an old man."

I'm all for kindness to old men, but let's not hear fossilizing liberals like him, Kennedy and Huffington talk about the need for the wealthy to make sacrifices anymore. And they better not get caught with one of those "Think globally, act locally" bumper stickers on their SUVs, either.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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