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Mitt vs Mitt on Global Warming

Sullivan has a perfect example of Romney taking two utterly opposing positions within only a few months of one another, one in which he sounds reasonable and another where he repeats the right wing talking points in order to appeal to the base.

“I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that, because I know that there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past but I believe we contribute to that. And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing,” - Mitt Romney, June 3, 2011.

“My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us,” - Mitt Romney, October 27.

Of course, his first position was based on what he’d read. And in the meantime he read something else, likely internal polling results that show the Republican base rejecting that position. And if he gets the nomination, he’ll then pivot back to something closer to the first position.

Comments

  1. ewanmacdonald says

    I remember last time you posted a Mittens flip-flop I had some sympathy for him because the differences in opinion were several years apart. This time it’s a few months, and there doesn’t seem to be anything other than (as you say) polling data that’s prompted the change. Does he think people won’t notice?

  2. eric says

    Does he think people won’t notice?

    Some moderates will think his true belief is the former, that he’ll act on that belief in office, and the latter is just electioral pandering. Some on the far right will think the reverse. And a third group will think his in-office actions can no longer be predicted and he is completely untrustworthy because of such flip-flops.

    What Mitt hopes is that the first two groups combined are larger than the third. I would like to think that they aren’t, but the cynic in me suspects that in politics, talking out of both sides of your mouth often pays off more than it hurts.

  3. says

    Although it’s almost 20 years late, we creeping ever closer to 1984. You see carbon dioxide has everything to do with global warming, expect when it has nothing to do with global warming. That is the way it has always been and that is the way it always will be. Reality is an annoyance, and nothing more.

    Look on the bright side, at least he isn’t pulling “it’s plant food.” or “Carbon dioxide has no ill effects on human health,” bit yet.

  4. Eric R says

    alas the Eric before me has nailed it square on the head. Talking out of both sides of your mouth apparantly pays off, not as often as outright lying I often wonder, given the current state of the GOP, but often enough to make it worth the effort.

    Mitts flopping around just reeks of pandering to whomever he is trying to reach and right now he has to strengthen his wingnuttia credentials, thus all the flops to more wingnuttia positions.

    Once nominated he will then begin to pander to moderates and independants when he will all of a sudden be for womens right to choose, global warming being influenced by man etc..etc..

    Where he really stands on those issues frankly I doubt he gives a flying fek eitherway, I fear, whatever position will help him keep his job is the right position as far as he is concerned

  5. eric says

    Just to add to my previous post, I’d like to point out that it’s in every voter’s best interest to punish such behavior (like Mitt’s). Whether you are conservative, liberal, or whatever, representative democracy only really works when the candidates are honest about how they will try to govern. If lying isn’t reigned in (via not voting for liars), you have basically turned elections into a crap shoot. The electorate can’t make an informed choice when candidates feel free to lie about how they will act in office.

    Of course, that also applies to Obama. So in a Mitt vs. Obama race, well, good luck to us. That will basically be a question of whether you prefer the devil that you know vs. the devil that you don’t.

  6. davidct says

    It is discouraging what a basically honorable person has to do to be elected to high office. It would be nice to have leaders that can actually face our problems. Perhaps when we start obviously becoming #2 in a number of areas that we can start tom move away from fantasy as a solution.

  7. Michael Heath says

    eric writes:

    Some moderates will think his true belief is the former, that he’ll act on that belief in office, and the latter is just electioral pandering.

    Only if they have historical amnesia.

    During the 2000 presidential race George W. Bush campaigned on a platform that supported the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2. As President he appointed a reality-friendly EPA director in the ex-Governor of NJ Christine Whitman; that arguably demonstrated authentic commitment to a justifiably skeptical world given his background as a loyal servant to the oil industry. Within a handful of months in office President Bush broke his promise on attacking global warming and became the most powerful and influential climate change denier and greenwasher in history – with the only one close to him being his vice president Dick Cheney.

    It’s my opinion that sometime in the centuries that follow Mr. Bush will go down as one of the biggest scoundrels in human history because of the pivotal juncture in time where he presided and how he handled this emerging global threat and pending catastrophe.

  8. fastlane says

    eric:

    If lying isn’t reigned in (via not voting for liars), you have basically turned elections into a crap shoot.

    Unfortunately, here in the US, we’re down to voting for the lesser of two liars….

  9. naturalcynic says

    davidct:

    It is discouraging what a basically honorable person has to do to be elected to high office.

    I think that you’re making an untoward assumption.

    It would be nice to have leaders that can actually face our problems. Perhaps when we start obviously becoming #2 in a number of areas that we can start tom move away from fantasy as a solution.

    It would be nice if we were #2 in areas like health care, education, prison population per capita …

  10. pa747sp says

    Just to play devils advocate, but say you were a prospective candidate and you did believe in AGW. However, you also knew that the majority of your electors dont. So to get into office and actually do something about it, you have to lie and say you dont believe in it.
    We all want politicians to take ‘a stand’ on issues we support. But if we are in a minority in support of those issues, politicians doing so would be of no use, as they would never get elected. Sometimes it pays to have politicians who will say they agree with everything, just to get them into power and then have them actually start working on resolving the problems.
    The trouble is of course, who knows what they will actually want or even be able to do once they get into power?

  11. Aliasalpha says

    So does this count as hot Mitt On Mitt action or does he have to figure out where the heat is coming from first?

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