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"Productive Solutions"

3:17 PM, Nov 20, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Politico reporters will give right-wingers the kind of fair treatment that they can get almost nowhere else, but in this piece on McCain's shift on cap and trade includes a line that just drips with bias. Reporter Lisa Lerer, wrongly in my opinion, attributes McCain's shift on cap and trade to a changeover in staff -- in particular the departure of Mark Salter, who was always pretty green for a Republican. Lerer writes,

The staff that remains, say former aides, lacks the institutional history on the issue and the ability to steer McCain toward productive solutions.

Even if former aides said that -- and given the enormous number of former McCain aides, a reporter could find "a former McCain aide" to say almost anything -- what's with the nonsense about "productive solutions"?

If Lerer wants to assert that the current crop of McCain aides are eco-friendly incompetents who just can't manage to steer the senator toward a cap and trade compromise, fine -- though there doesn't seem much evidence for such an assertion. But "productive solutions"? I'd say the current staff is having more success at steering McCain to a "productive solution" on cap and trade than any that came before them.

As to the larger question of why McCain has dropped this issue, I'd offer a simpler answer: John McCain doesn't like Barack Obama and isn't about to spend his political capital on Obama's hugely unpopular domestic agenda. That's just a guess, but I'd bet dollars to donuts it's the truth.