Ken Blackwell

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is frustrated. He recently spoke to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and complained that we are in “a period of know-nothingism in the country, where truth and science and facts don’t weigh in. It’s all short-order, lowest common denominator, cheap-seat politics.” He’d really like to elect a new people.

Now, that last bit -- cheap-seat politics -- is the kicker. How truly awful it must be for the Senate’s richest man—wealthier than the Senate’s Rockefeller—to have to put up with those of us in the cheap seats. Brahmins from Boston have been complaining about democracy since Thomas Jefferson was elected. And that Andrew Jackson fellow—talk about the cheap seats running things! When he was elected, mobs of frontiersmen—wild and woolly—descended on Washington. They nearly crushed the Hero of New Orleans in the mob scene at the White House reception on Inauguration Day, 1829. Bostonian John Q. Adams had left the White House that morning, unwilling to witness the triumph of the cheap seats.

Kerry was most gracious in addressing the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, speaking in person to an audience that was not sitting in the cheap seats. The frosty aristocrat spends a lot of his time on the deck of his yacht—moored in Rhode Island to avoid the sky-high taxes that Kerry’s liberal friends impose on the cheap seat folks in Massachusetts.

Kerry was particularly incensed that his yeoman work on the cap and trade legislation had collapsed in the Senate. The House passed this unwisest of bills earlier this year. Many members of the House were forced to walk that plank by their leadership. Many of those who voted for cap and trade may not be returned next Tuesday. They will be especially vulnerable if their constituents mine coal, drill for oil, or manufacture anything at all.

Cap and trade has been called an invitation to massive corruption by Britain’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Lawson. Now, someone who sits in the House of Lords can hardly be accused of squatting down in one of those cheap seats Kerry despises. Lord Lawson says if you really want to deal with carbon emissions, tax carbon emissions. And give tax credits to the poor so they can cope. That’s not my preferred option, but it’s not Kerry’s, either.

What Cap and Trade would do, of course, is nationalize all American enterprise. It would have the federal government control all decisions about what to produce, where to produce it, when to produce, where to market it, and how.

This is the reason why Europeans—those smarter folks Kerry likes more than he likes our “know-nothing” voters teasingly call the Greens watermelons because they are green on the outside, red on the inside.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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