Cap-and-Fade

CAP-AND-FADE….Larry Kudlow is crazy, so I’m not sure if he’s glommed on to something real here or not. Here’s what he says:

I went back last evening and carefully read [John McCain’s] 15-page policy pamphlet called “Jobs for America.” Here’s what I found: There is no mention of cap-and-trade. None. Nada.

….So I picked up the phone and dialed a senior McCain official to make sure these old eyes hadn’t missed it. Sure enough, on deep background, this senior McCain advisor told me I was correct: no cap-and-trade. In other words, this central-planning, regulatory, tax-and-spend disaster, which did not appear in Mac’s two recent speeches, has been eradicated entirely — even from the detailed policy document that hardly anybody will ever read.

The first part of this is easy to check, and Kudlow is right. The “Lexington Project” section of McCain’s website still talks about his cap-and-trade plan (after all, plausible deniability would go out the window if it suddenly disappeared), but his 15-page economic plan doesn’t. The plan does refer to the Lexington Project, but cap-and-trade has been excised entirely from its description.

In a way, this isn’t any surprise. McCain’s cap-and-trade plan was a watered down muddle to begin with, and it was obvious his heart was never in it. Still, it was an important part of his effort to seem moderate and bipartisan on energy and environmental issues, and a lot of people bought into it. So if Kudlow is right, it means that McCain is playing a pretty cynical game here: publicly taking credit for a “maverick” stand against his own party while quietly getting word out to the base that he isn’t serious about it. Pretty slick, Senator.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation