Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Blogosphere?

Like pigs sniffing for truffles, some liberal bloggers specialize in rooting around for instances where lazy journalists have blamed both parties for a sin that's attributable to just one (Republicans). By and large, this is a useful endeavor, and Berkeley economist Brad Delong has a pretty good sniffer. But it led him astray when he zeroed in [update: link fixed] on my recent column about the failure to pass climate legislation as an example of the genre. The column bemoaned the fact that Washington has not only failed to make significant progress on stopping climate change, but has actually regressed--and could do so further, since Republicans will target EPA regulations. That wasn't enough for Delong, who thinks Republicans deserve 100 percent of the blame for this sorry state of affairs. But he's wrong, and ought to know better. Unlike, say, health care reform, climate issues generally break down by geographic region rather than by party. Many midwestern and coal-state Democrats opposed cap and trade as staunchly as any Republican. Those who didn't, like Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), lost their jobs. And the most vivid example of opposition to cap and trade didn't come from a Republican, but from a Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who went so far as to cut an ad that showed him shooting a bullet through the cap and trade bill.

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Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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