In the California Senate race, Republican Tom Campbell has decided to temporarily pull his ads off the air, leaving his front-running primary opponent Carly Fiorina free to go after incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer. Here's her latest ad -- a far cry from the Demon Sheep atrocity but still packed with curiosities -- in which she assails Boxer for highlighting climate change as a national security issue. "Terrorism kills," intones Fiorina, "and Barbara Boxer's worried about the weather."
Yes, yes, right off the bat we have the cognitively-challenged idea that legislators can only concentrate on one major issue at a time, along with that dose of "confusing climate with the weather" illiteracy that tends to rankle people who have graduated from junior high school. The larger problem here is that the grown-ups who work in the national security field full-time -- you know, "experts at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies" -- have already pretty widely acknowledged the security challenges poised by climate change.
Beyond that, one wonders, "Wait! Didn't Carly Fiorina work on the McCain campaign? And didn't John McCain have a lot of serious, principled concerns about climate change? Was she not in any way influenced by the Arizona senator?" And the answer to all three, of course, is yes, but the main way Fiorina may have been influenced by John McCain is to see "principles" as "malleable in the face of self-advancement."
Anyway, here's the ad. I find it to be pretty fun to call out things like "Into the ground!" or "Into a ditch!" immediately after Fiorina remarks, "I ran Hewlett-Packard." (This is funny because she was so, so terrible at running Hewlett-Packard!)
UPDATE: You need more evidence of how splendidly dumb this ad is? OKAY!
What do you think McCain's speech this week said about the changing politics of global warming?
It's an issue that matters to a lot of people. In particular it matters to a lot of young people. I think it's important that when we think about taking on some of the great challenges now as opposed to leaving them to future generations, we have to talk not only about Social Security and medical care, but also about leaving our planet cleaner for the next generation than we found it. So I think that's the context in which he's talking about climate change, which I think is related closely to the whole discussion of energy independence.
Since you're traveling around promoting Sen. McCain's climate plans for the RNC, what's been the reaction so far, particularly from the business community?
This is the beginning of the conversation, not the end. As you might expect, there is mixed reaction to his specific proposals, although I think there is growing consensus that the issues of climate change and energy independence are inextricably linked. And I think what at a high level, at a philosophical level, what John McCain laid out this week is the fundamental principle that we cannot address the preservation of the environment and ensure that our economy continues to grow unless we rely on innovation to help us solve these problems.
STEPHANOPOULOS: When the Chamber of Commerce or other Republicans argue that the cap-and-trade proposals that Democrats have supported is a tax increase, you say that's wrong?
FIORINA: Well, I think what the cap-and-trade proposal is trying to do is provide the incentives of a private marketplace to encourage people to innovate and also to encourage people to find new ways of reducing their greenhouse emissions. I'm a businessperson, I know that incentives and competition in the private marketplace work.
STEPHANOPOULOS: George Will suggested in Newsweek magazine today that this cap-and-trade proposal is an energy rationing proposal akin to Bill Clinton's BTU tax. How do you respond?
FIORINA: Well, I think if you look back on how we dealt with acid rain, there was a very similar system put in place. It's not perfect, but what it does do is encourage people to find alternatives. And that's the most important thing here. I think we can't simply say, "we need to reduce greenhouse emissions." We have to also say, "encourage people to go after these new technologies."