Whose playbook are they reading?

Earlier this week we noted that the Bush administration is continuing its efforts to rewrite history with regard to its stance on global climate change. From E&ETV:

Monica Trauzzi: We've seen a change in tune of sorts from the president recently relating to climate change. Beyond this latest proposal, he also mentioned climate for the first time in this year's State of the Union address. Would you characterize this as a major shift in his position on climate change?

Jim Connaughton: No. I would characterize it as a continuing advancement of the president's strategy on climate change. He issued a very strong statement on climate change in June of 2001, reiterated it in July of 2001, and then launched our 10-year policy in June of 2002. I think the greater weight of the shift has been more of the public is actually paying attention to what it was the president laid down. (My emphasis)

Now this assertion has been refuted eight ways to Sunday. Interestingly, whoever's playbook the Administration is following, it's not that of conservative spinmeister Frank Luntz (of Luntz memo fame, among other things).

I'd almost forgotten about blogging on Salon's interview with Luntz just before this year's State of the Union address. Check out what he had to say back then:

(Salon) Bush plans to outline a global warming policy in his State of the Union address this week. The GOP spent years spreading doubt that there was consensus in the scientific community about global warming, but in recent years Bush has changed his position. So, considering the doubt that he's helped spread, how do you think that he should talk about it to get Americans engaged in the issue?

(Luntz) He has to be straightforward. Those on the left will condemn him for waiting so long, and those on the right will criticize him for selling out, and the answer is to stand up for your conviction and his beliefs. If his opinion has changed, say so.

So much for that advice. Perhaps Connaughton and the rest hope to avoid being nailed as flip-flopping by denying the initial flip. Sadly, too many news outlets continue to let the administration get away with this 'our opinion hasn't changed' newspeak.

More like this

In an interview with E&ETV last week (subscription required) White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman Jim Connaughton managed to get through the entire interview without touting the much-used but much-cherry-picked claim that the US has been beating Europe in reducing greenhouse…
Spinmeister Frank Luntz spoke with Salon recently, touching on a number of Washington buzz topics. If you're not familiar with him, check out the infamous Luntz memo, and you will understand why he is a chief enemy of transparent policy and scientific debate. At the end of the print interview, they…
Tony Snow denies reports from sources close to UK prime minister Tony Blair that Bush will use next week's State of the Union address to announce plans for the US to adopt a "Kyoto-like" mandatory cap on emissions, part of the administration's move towards "more radical measures" on climate change…
John Marburger, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and James Connaughton, chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality are still peddling their Feb. 7 Open Letter on the President's Position on Climate Change, a letter that plays fast-and-loose with the historical record.…

Nitpicking is afundamental primate bonding behavior.
In that spirit, I must ask:

"Who's" grammar book are you using?

The same one that published your spell-checker. Ed

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 02 Aug 2007 #permalink