So much for the maverick. He now has shifted as far to the right as his challenger to keep his job. Issues such as Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Climate Change, Energy Independence, and of course Health Care, no longer fit into the mavericks agenda.
Enter Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator who is openly stumping for a price to be put on carbon emissions. In an article from Thomas Friedman, Graham said the following.
“We are more dependent on foreign oil today than after 9/11. That is political malpractice, and every member of Congress is responsible.”
That my friends is a maverick.
In a time where GOP senators send their kids out to make an igloo, calling it Al Gore's new home, then declare global climate change is a hoax, because of a winter storm in Washington DC, shows you the kind of people guys like Graham are dealing with. But it seems he understands the fight.
“I have been to enough college campuses to know if you are 30 or younger this climate issue is not a debate. It’s a value. These young people grew up with recycling and a sensitivity to the environment — and the world will be better off for it. They are not brainwashed. ... From a Republican point of view, we should buy into it and embrace it and not belittle them. You can have a genuine debate about the science of climate change, but when you say that those who believe it are buying a hoax and are wacky people you are putting at risk your party’s future with younger people."
It's obvious that Graham knows the political ramifications of a party that doesn't understand the view of most younger Americans, but he also understands the importance of energy policy to our economy and our national security.
So Graham’s approach to bringing around his conservative state has been simple: avoid talking about “climate change,” which many on the right don’t believe. Instead, frame our energy challenge as a need to “clean up carbon pollution,” to “become energy independent” and to “create more good jobs and new industries for South Carolinians.” He proposes “putting a price on carbon,” starting with a very focused carbon tax, as opposed to an economywide cap-and-trade system, so as to spur both consumers and industries to invest in and buy new clean energy products. He includes nuclear energy, and insists on permitting more offshore drilling for oil and gas to give us more domestic sources, as we bridge to a new clean energy economy.
Note to GOP leadership this is what a Bi-Partisan effort looks like.
If the United States could just come together long enough to mobilize its superior capitalistic forces, and focus on this clean energy opportunity, we could have a wonderful impact on the World, not only making it cleaner and more self sufficient, but safer, minimizing the power of the Middle East petrol dictator. Who, when the price per barrel of oil is high, is given the power to sponsor ultra conservative Islamic schools who preach western hatred. Not to mention the effect a clean energy initiative could have on our economy, transforming it back to a nation that produces a tangible product, instead of growing wealth through financial product bubbles that when burst adversely effect the Worlds economy.
Maybe a true bi-partisan effort can lead the nation into the energy technology era that is fast approaching, bringing the opportunity of economic resurgence.
I am optimistic because of the efforts of senator Lindsey Graham, who's maverick like behavior may not be just a campaign slogan, but a trait of a true statesman.