If the Bush administration truly believed that 9/11 had changed everything � and if they truly believed that energy independence was a critical part of the war on terrorism � they'd be willing to embrace some distasteful ideas and jettison some of their old ideologies. After all, in the past we could just say that the free market would take care of this stuff eventually, but if we're really fighting a war then we need to fight a war. Right?
Instead, what we got two years after 9/11 was an energy bill stuffed with politics-as-usual horsetrading: ethanol credits for farmers, subsidies to oil and gas firms, and tax breaks for everyone under the sun. Effect on national security: approximately zero.
In the end, energy policy is one of the reasons I don't trust Bush on fighting terrorism: he obviously doesn't think national security is more important than paying off corporate donors and playing political games. So here's the litmus test for hawks: if you think that after 9/11 liberals need to accept the need for a more aggressive military posture to fight terrorism, fine. But you need to be more willing to accept things like green energy ideas, serious conservation programs, and gas taxes, even if these are things you'd normally oppose.
If you aren't, then you're not serious.
Tuesday, December 9, 2003
did 9-11 really change everything?