Democrats are Chicken on Climate Change

Bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad news. After a year-long fight, and the House passing the first ever bill to curtail climate change, the Democratic-led Senate has finally caved and announced that it will not bring any climate legislation to the floor. They could not come up with the filibuster-proof 60 votes needed to pass any controversial legislation, and decided to give up rather than press on.

Not one Republican in the Senate is willing to put the fate of the species ahead of their drive to regain power by obstructing everything?

Kerry, Harry Reid, bring the bill and make them filibuster it on live TV. Where is the brave Lindsey Graham now? Where is Maverick Senator John McCain, who said not two years ago that global warming was a serious threat to national security? Sitting on his gnarled old voting hand to pretend he's as much of a know-nothing nitwit as the other jackass who's trying to take his job?

Obama -- you're the most powerful human being on the planet. How about twisting some tails here?

Here's what New York Times environmental columnist Andy Revkin says:

On a host of issues, Obama campaigned as a voice of reason, willing to listen to all views, amid all the polarized shouting. But on climate and energy, he has not yet, apparently, found the strength to break free of the 20th-century-style left-right fight to forge a positive path that is true to the scope and time scale of the climate and energy challenge and could resonate with Americans, particularly the young generation that will inherit the environment being shaped by decisions, or indecision, now.

Could it be that the White House has concluded what some political analysts have quietly told me - that only a Republican president could muster the Senate votes to pass a meaningful climate bill? That sounds strange initially but isn't so strange when you consider the  history of major environmental legislation and note that a moderate Republican could bring his or her base and lure many Democrats, while a Democrat is unlikely ever to lure sufficient Republican support to get 60 votes on a climate bill.

If that's true, we are certainly doomed. The only national Republican with a voice on Global Warming is Schwarzenegger -- and you'd have to change the Constitution. At this point, Republicans wouldn't support him -- exactly because he's taken some action on global warming.

Barack, this was supposed to be the moment, remember: "At this moment ... in this election ..." etcetera?

Brother, you're losing me. There's not a lot of time for your usual rope a dope here.

Of course, that's the Republicans' whole plan: filibuster EVERYTHING to make it look like the Democrats can't lead -- then return triumphantly to power.

But if you filibuster EVERYTHING, you look like assholes.

Unless nobody makes you actually go through with the filibuster. Then nobody actually knows that you're obstructing EVERYTHING because they never SEE THE OBSTRUCTION ON TELEVISION.

Maybe 40 flabby bags of fossils flapping their jowls for 72 or 127 hours would drown out the Fascist propagandist Glenn Beck's Racebaiting Scalpathon and the "gore sex scandal" -- at a factoid-ticker near you just in time to silence Gore during the debate on this bill.

If the Republicans in the Senate had to talk all day and all night for days and days for every bill they've threatened to filibuster in this weird new system where a 60 vote majority is required to pass anything, three-quarters of them would have dropped dead eight months ago.

If they want to block the energy bill, make them actually block it -- and let those hypocrites Graham and McCain explain why what was a dire threat to humanity in 2008 is not any longer -- without anyone having done anything about it.

It couldn't possibly be clearer what a complete Republican takeover of Congress would look like -- the Bush years, a decade of inaction. The decade in which it became too late.

The sucky part is that a Democratic majority can't act to save humans from self-destruction either -- and they actually get it.

Unless they represent fossil states.

Oh well.

We're ka-screwed.

The following commentary by Richard B. Simon does not necessarily reflect the view of HeadCount, our board of directors or our partner artists. We welcome all viewpoints on the HeadCount blog, and encourage our readers to comment or submit posts representing their personal opinions. Send questions or submissions to [email protected]