Irony Alert! Greens Regret Not Having Played “Hardball”

by William Yeatman on May 31, 2011

in Blog, Features

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Recently, an environmentalist special interest group engendered a political backlash in Massachusetts after running a particularly sleazy television advertisement that equated baby abuse with Sen. Scott Brown’s (R) admirable vote for excellent legislation that would have reined in the Environmental Protection Agency’s runaway regulatory regime for greenhouse gas emissions. I wrote about it here; suffice it to say, Sen. Brown turned lemons into lemonade by painting himself as a sympathetic father-figure under attack from unscrupulous sleazebags.

In the immediate wake of this blowback, I find it interesting that Politico’s Morning Energy Report (I recommend signing up here) reported today on how the greens feel that they have failed to achieve a cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme because they have been too timid. According to the Politico writeup,

After spending a half-billion dollars on failed campaigns for a U.S. climate bill and an international climate treaty, green groups’ major bankrollers are wondering if they need to be more selective with their carrots and more menacing with their sticks.

“We’re not very good at supporting our friends and we’re not particularly good at punishing people who vote the wrong way,’ Kathleen Welch, a Washington-based philanthropy adviser, said. ‘Unless we’re really willing to play hardball, I don’t think we can win on big issues like this.’

…Now, the donors are exploring new strategies to make their dollars do more, including attacking greenhouse gases one economic sector at a time, targeting political moderates and concentrating their efforts in swing states.

This storyline makes a great deal of sense…in bizarro world. On planet earth, the greens have been playing “hardball” for some time now. Those distasteful ads I described above weren’t run solely in Massachusetts. No, they were also run in Missouri, to punish Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, for having the temerity to try to save the economy from the EPA.

This wasn’t the first time that environmentalist special interest groups have gone after Democrats for failing to toe the green line. As my colleague Marlo Lewis explained in this blog post, last year Move On leveled the ‘baby-harmer’ charge at Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu (Louisiana) and Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas).

All three of these Democratic Senators are mothers. How much more “hardball” can the environmentalist movement get, than attacking politically-like minded women politicians with the accusation that they are harming babies? The gutter gets no deeper.

My guess is that this “hardball” nonsense is a sleight of hand, crafted by a well-heeled public relations group, in order to draw attention away from the political blowback in Massachusetts. That is, it’s political propaganda.

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