Cap and trade support gives California Republicans the losing argument that they voted for fuel cost hikes to save us from even worse taxes. What ordinary voting taxpayer is going to buy that?
Republican refusal to give in to the type of extortion reflected in the cap-and-trade bill may very well have forced the Democrats into approving a CARB-style bureaucracy with a simple majority vote — which, by the way, might still happen. The far-left of the Democratic Party may have cheered but, for Republicans, it would open up vast new demographics — working Hispanics, other ethnic groups and recent immigrants — for whom just a few more cents in a gallon of gas is a big deal.
Unfailing opposition to the deal by Republicans would have provided something else almost always absent from California politics — clarity and accountability. When gas prices go through the roof — which they surely will — there would be no doubt which party to blame.
But we’ll never know as it will be difficult, if not impossible, to repair the damage and restore the Republican brand. Thus the odds of Republicans gaining seats in any of the next four election cycles (thanks to redistricting in 2022) are now in doubt. And for what? So Republicans can now adopt the losing argument that they voted for increased fuel costs to save taxpayers from even higher prices? What ordinary voting taxpayer is going to buy that argument?