06/13/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The World's Greatest Deliberative Body?

The Senate is supposed to be debating global warming -- the bill on the floor is the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. But yesterday the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, refused to allow the Senate to debate the 491-page bill, demanding instead that the clerk READ IT OUT LOUD -- a process that took NINE hours.

McConnell did not claim that members of the Senate were illiterate -- he said he was just pissed off that the Democrats weren't approving President Bush's judicial nominees. (Can McConnell spell infantile?) But evidently it's not really judges that got under McConnell's skin. Last night Majority Leader Harry Reid read a much shorter (and more interesting) document out loud to the Senate -- it was a leaked copy of a Republican leadership-strategy memo explaining that they had no intention of seriously legislating about climate change, but intended to use the floor time to score political points at the expense of the Democrats. The memo gleefully looked forward to a whole series of votes in which advocates of cleaning up global warming would be portrayed as plotting $8/gallon gasoline prices.

But evidently the Republicans may have made a serious mistake -- by demanding that the entire bill be read out loud, they effectively made it impossible for the Senate to have the very debate that they wanted to use to tar the Democrats.

Please help us get word to Washington: Americans want serious, urgent action on global warming. It's time for solutions, not stalling. Call your Senators and