The GOP has figured out that its defiantly retrograde stance on the environment — including energy and climate issues — has become an electoral liability. How can you tell?

Here’s how:

James L. Connaughton, who chairs the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in an interview after the elections that the administration may be able to make common cause with Democrats on some issues.

"The history of environmental legislation is a history of reasonable balance," Connaughton said. "At the end of the day, if you want to see progress on the environment, you got to strike that reasonable balance."

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This is the Bush White House. They seek "common cause" when they’re losing, never otherwise.