In 2000, (John) McCain ran for president and reiterated his longstanding opposition to ethanol subsidies. Though it crippled his chances in Iowa, he argued that ethanol was a wasteful giveaway. A recent study in the journal Science has shown that when you take all impacts into consideration, ethanol consumption increases greenhouse gas emissions compared with regular gasoline. Unlike, say, Barack Obama, McCain still opposes ethanol subsidies.Saying that ethanol consumption leads to global warming is fudging a bit; to say that ethanol production increases global warming according to the Science study cited by Brooks is more accurate, though I have to grudgingly admit that he has a point (has more to do with the use of the land harvested for the ethanol than the actual ethanol itself, it should be noted).
However, that “straight talking maverick” once openly embraced ethanol, hardly considering it a “wasteful giveaway”…
In a flip-flop so absurd it'll be a wonder if it doesn't get lampooned by late-night comedians - not to mention opponents' negative ads - McCain is now proclaiming himself a "strong" ethanol supporter.And by the way, this takes you to a page listing other energy-related initiatives proposed by Obama, including encouraging the development of other biofuels aside from “cellulosic” ethanol (meaning ethanol that comes from other natural sources besides corn, including switchgrass).
"I support ethanol and I think it is a vital, a vital alternative energy source not only because of our dependency on foreign oil but its greenhouse gas reduction effects," he said in an August speech in Grinnell, Iowa, as reported by the Associated Press.
"Well, at least now we know he's serious about running for president," quips Brown University presidential politics expert Darrell West, upon being told of McCain's ethanol about-face.
In 1998, McCain championed anti-smoking legislation that faced furious opposition from the tobacco lobby. McCain guided the legislation through the Senate Commerce Committee on a 19-1 vote, but then the tobacco companies struck back. They hired 200 lobbyists and spent $40 million in advertising (three times as much as the Harry and Louise health care reform ads).I know Brooks is counting on all of us to forget this, but the so-called “Harry and Louise” ads were attack ads aimed at the Clinton health care initiatives of 1993. They did not support the Clinton plan in any way.
And speaking of health care, I should provide information regarding McCain’s initiatives, which you can sum up as increased tax deductions for expenses (assuming the money to deduct for out-of-pocket care is there to begin with, which it frequently isn’t) and somehow finding a magical way to ensure greater competition among private carriers and greater selection choices among health care consumers (and don’t get sick if you read this – coverage may be denied in the event of any subsequent stress).