The last months of a presidential administration are often dangerous. Presidents -- looking to their legacies -- go to desperate lengths to try to enhance their reputations for posterity. A pungent example of such practices by the Bush administration was reported above the fold on the front page of The Washington Times Monday: "Bush prepares global warming initiative."
Oh, dear. Just as an increasing number of scientists are finding their courage to speak out against the global warming alarmists and just as a building body of evidence and theories challenge the key elements of the human-centric carbon-based global warming theories, George W. Bush takes this moment to say, in effect: "We are all global alarmists now."
It reminds me of the moment back in 1971 when Richard Nixon proclaimed, "We are all Keynesians now" -- eight years after Milton Friedman had published his book "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960" and about an hour and a half before a consensus built that Friedman's work consigned Keynes to the dustbin of economic history.
Now it is Bush's turn to be the last man to join a losing proposition. In how many ways is this proposal not useful? First of all, as Chris Horner, the author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism," shrewdly has pointed out, the Democrats desperately want Bush and the Republicans "to take ownership" of the global alarmists' issues before he goes.
This is important. Whatever restraint likely to be exercised by the Democratic Party majority next year will be induced by the political fear that the Republicans would be able to say I told you so if the Democrats' policies contract the economy and put yet more people out of work.
That will give them political cover for the entire program, which, whatever it may try to do regarding "global warming," certainly will give governments and international organizations vastly more control over the United States economy.
Of course, the proposed carbon taxes will subtract hundreds of billions (or trillions) of dollars from productive private-sector economic activity and transfer it to "our friend the government" to spend "beneficially" for us all. Beyond even confiscatory taxation, reduced economic output, and higher unemployment, we have hints of other things to come with the talk of connecting private homes to the central electricity grid.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.