Climate change may sound like too complicated an issue to be of any real use. Sure, with Katrina still a festering wound on the gulf coast, mounting evidence that both the changes and the consequences may be even worse than once suspected, and Bush's plummeting credibility, it could split off some minor support from Bush and Company. And even some Republicans are now abandoning the farce of Bush's climate pseudo-science:
[Bloomberg] U.S. companies including General Electric Co. and Duke Energy Corp. have come out in support of national limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions that scientists say contribute to global warming. They are now being joined by Republican lawmakers who have parted company with President George W. Bush on the issue.
But there's something else: Energy prices hit every American square in the wallet, relentlessly, daily, significantly, from all directions. Any steps we can take that encourage greater fuel efficiency, conservation, and innovative research or investment bringing alternative energy resources online, reduces the demand on traditional petroleum products while weaning us from the Saudi tit, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It's not everyday a politician has the opportunity to serve the interests of every American, in so many ways, on so many critical levels. It's even rarer still when that political fruit is deliciously ripe for the picking at the same time. But other grubby, greedy mitts, will make a grab for that low hanging fruit as well ...
Many predict that Karl Rove will come up with another issue like gay marriage or a terrorist threat to fire up the misled saps he calls his base. We'll see. But even the most fawning Bush admirers might wise up when faced with five dollar a gallon gasoline and nine-hundred dollar power bills.
So, my guess? Herr Rove is feverishly brainstorming on how to blame the Democrats for rising energy prices while enriching the usual cronies: Prices would be lower if those goddamn liberal elite's would let the private sector operate without these costly restrictions on so-called pollution! We MUST free the oil companies from smothering healthcare costs and social security taxes during this national energy emergency; we're at war for God's sake! Remember 9-11! Iranian oil would lower prices at the pump, if only the liberal terrorist sympathizers would let us act! ... Meanwhile the greatest defenders of corporate welfare might relent and oversee a token white-wash hearing into energy price gouging, maybe offer some bullshit legislation just for show, and erect a facade of a bold new energy policy. I'd also bet none of these desperate maneuvers will change a thing, except possibly drive more of our hard earned paychecks into the already bloated coffers of sheiks and CEOs and, maybe, retain the GOP majority for another two miserable years. And if anyone thinks the neocons wouldn't try this kind of crap when looking at the business end of a congressional subpoena, I have a wealthy friend in Nigeria who needs your help recovering a large sum of money in a US bank.
But judging by the frigid poll numbers for BushCo, maybe the American people are finally good and ready for some straight talk, followed by serious action with measurable results on a whole host of issues, and gas prices are chief among those concerns. Democrats can lead on one of their strongest issues--alternative energy, the working class predicament, and pollution/environmental concerns-- and head the Bush Bullshit express off at the pass. Rational Republicans can join in and set themselves apart from Bush in a way that will resonate with their voters. Or we can wait for the neocon strategists to take the bull by the horns and try to screw us again, while driving the entire GOP over a cliff--which would be fitting, if the rest of us weren't bound and gagged in the trunk of the car. Opportunity is knocking: Who will answer the door?
[Update 6:49 AM EDT]: See Energize America, written by several Dkos contributors.