McCain’s Incoherence on Global Warming Reaches New Heights

Bill Scher

Yesterday, Sen. John McCain said he does not support the Lieberman-Warner global warming bill, and would not show up to vote on it next week. From the Washington Post:

In a press conference late Wednesday afternoon, McCain said he did not support the bill sponsored by two of his closest allies, Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) because it doesn’t offer enough aid to the nuclear industry, and he would not come to the floor to vote on it.

Three weeks ago, he had a different view. From Time Magazine’s Swampland:

McCain, who teamed up with Lieberman on earlier versions of the bill, has been cagey up until now. He’s set to give a big speech on climate change Monday in Oregon, but tipped his hand at a press conference in New Jersey today. With Lieberman at his side, McCain was asked about the climate bill. “I hope it will pass,” he said, “and I hope the entire Congress will join in supporting it and the President of the United States would sign it.”

This is incoherence on top of incoherence.

It’s a bizarre decision on policy grounds. The Lieberman-Warner bill is completely in sync with the incoherent set of principles McCain laid out this month — good in supporting a cap on emissions, bad in failing to make corporations fully pay for polluting public sky, and depriving us of resources to invest in renewable energy and mitigate any consumer price increases.

Further, his complaint about nuclear subsidies is exponentially incoherent. A nuclear subsidy package is expected to be added to the bill — though McCain apparently won’t be around to vote on it. And as noted before, McCain’s support for nuclear subsidies contradicts his claim that he opposes all subsidies.

It’s also politically incoherent. McCain’s support for doing something on global warming was his best bet for making the claim that he is not like President Bush. Now he risks throwing that away.

I won’t speculate on what McCain is thinking. Because it is so incoherent, I truly don’t understand.