Last month, when Al Gore called on the U.S. to rid itself of its reliance on carbon-based electricity, Republicans were required to trot out a worthy attack dog to denounce the former VP.
Since George Bush and Dick Cheney both enjoy the public faith of a polygamist leader, they shoved out Ohio Senator George Voinovich, a man whose achievements could be listed on a postcard. It was evidence that the GOP’s bench on matters green is thin indeed. Voinovich may have the Senate’s worst credentials on environmental issues.
Back in Ohio, he’s best known for carrying water for the coal industry, the most polluting form of energy there is. He’s also served as a congressional bodyguard for the U.S. auto industry -- Motto: Frozen in Time Since 1971. And as governor, he emasculated any form of environmental protection – this in a state that resembles a giant Superfund site. Making him the Republican point man on energy is like making Marilyn Mason the bassist for Amy Grant.
But over the weekend, the GOP unleashed Voinovich on Gore. He predictably called the Tennessean’s ideas “ridiculous” and “extremist,”
instead urging a policy of more drilling. Never mind that the country is in the midst realizing its energy policy completely moronic. The Republicans still felt the need to thrust front a center a man who still believes the world is flat.
If the whole episode sounds rather 1980 to you, it is. But fortunately for Gore, Voinovich’s Senate achievements have been largely restricted to suckering Big Energy, Big Health, Big Insurance and Big Banking into opening their wallets. Moving legislation? Not so much.
The GOP, it seems, has sent a poodle to a dogfight.