Earlier this week, I argued that it is significant that Bush used the phrase "America is addicted to oil," even in light of the pathetic inadequacy of his proposed solution.
Today, Carl Pope, who’s clearly following my lead (cough), argues the same:
On energy policy and global warming, as pollster Frank Luntz has repeatedly told the Administration, the public will demand action once it gets the facts. His counsel, consistently, has been to frame energy and global warming as complex, long-range, controversial, scientifically unresolved issues. Millions, perhaps billions, of dollars have been invested by the carbon lobby into driving these messages home to the public. Now, with a single phrase, President Bush has opened a tear in that fabric of denial. Instead of saying, "Oh, he doesn’t really mean it. He’s insincere," we ought to be rushing to convert that tear into a rent and to drive home a single fact to the American people:
If our President states that our energy policy amounts to a dangerous addiction to oil, we need to take action now. We need to figure out how to beat this addiction today. Because although the Bush administration’s solutions are weak, distant, and ineffective, ours are imminent, rapid, and powerful. The President has given us the best grounds we could imagine for immediately mobilizing our nation behind smart solutions to our energy, global-warming, and oil-addiction challenges. We should forget about him for the moment and start talking about the task at hand, as if it were today’s problem — not tomorrow’s — because it is.
Exactly. This is a golden opportunity — not to bash Bush, but to take him at face value.