Thursday, December 06, 2007

Maybe I should be paying attention to Lieberman-Warner climate legislation

People seem to be taking it seriously, unlike me. Gristmill is posting non-stop - if I can't read all those posts, I wonder who's reading them.

Matt Yglesias brings up what I'd call the "sticky slope" argument he infers from John Edwards' criticism of Lieberman-Warner's inadequacies. The argument is that if Lieberman-Warner passes it will take the steam out of a stronger bill. Matt thinks the best case is that L-W passes and then gets vetoed by Bush.

I think I agree that's the best case and the most likely case - while L-W isn't nearly enough, it also seems far more than Bush would allow. On the other hand, what if he surprises us and doesn't veto it?

Unlike slippery slope arguments, I think "sticky slope" arguments are more likely to be valid, especially since L-W is supposed to be comprehensive, long-term legislation. Still, I think pushing something now as a benchmark for something better in '09 is worth the risk. It might be worth mentioning that it's not impossible that we'll have a Republican president in '09, too, so we don't want to throw all our eggs in the basket of waiting for a better administration.

But under no circumstances should L-W be weakened to try and avoid a presidential veto.

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