Tapper: still a hack; Clinton: still smart
For his part, Mr. Tapper posted a series of updates through Thursday clarifying his intent, saying he found Mr. Clinton’s speech confusing and was posing questions more than offering criticisms. And his main point, he told me over the phone late last night, was to examine whether Mr. Clinton was portraying efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions as something that would blunt the economy. This is a point that other proponents of gas curbs have sometimes downplayed.
"I didn’t think I was accusing him of anything other than candor," Mr. Tapper said.
That is rank bullshit, on its face. Tapper’s updates did not "clarify" anything, they just replied to an entirely just accusation with catty snaring meant to make his Village buddies giggle. There was nothing confusing at all about Clinton’s speech — unless, like Tapper, you are so immersed in shallow Beltway conventional wisdom that someone saying something different is like a foreign language. And he wasn’t "raising questions" — he straightforwardly portrayed Clinton as saying the opposite of what he actually said. Tapper did not "accuse him of candor." Clinton was quite candidly saying that he thinks we can make money shifting to a green economy. Tapper is convinced that environmentalism means economic pain, because that’s what his right-wing sources keep telling him, so he was convinced that that was what Clinton was secretly saying. But that just means that Tapper’s a vapid dunce.
But anyway! Go check out the video in the post, of Revkin interviewing Clinton. There’s some interesting stuff in there. One thing that particularly caught my ear: Revkin asked Clinton what he might have done differently as president to make more progress on this stuff.
Clinton speculates that his mistake was taking on transportation and electrical generation — the two areas with the biggest, most powerful entrenched interests. He says maybe he should have started with energy efficiency and research into reducing solar and wind energy costs — the low-hanging fruit — and worked backwards to the harder stuff.
That strikes me as quite perspicacious.