Caught me offguard that in his ambivalent Election Day nonendorsement (New York Times policy) endorsement of George Bush for reelection, conservative columnist David Brooks cites the president’s environmental record as a primary reason to be frustrated with the current administration:

[Bush] came to power with good ideas on how to move the G.O.P. beyond the Gingrich stall. But time and again, he abandoned his reformist strategy to give spoils to the G.O.P. donor base.

To take one small example: on environmental policy, he showed interest in moving to a flexible, market-based system that would have cleaned the environment better than the current system. But too often rules were written to please key industries. Voters who could have been turned on by new, effective approaches were instead appalled at unseemly self-dealing.

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