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At some point last year, Christopher Hitchens took an insurmountable lead in the “idiocy in the name of contrarianism” contest he was having with Gregg Easterbrook. I missed this when it came out, but Easterbrook is trying to mount a comeback. Easterbrook has already tried to give Bush credit for being a strong environmental president for failing in his efforts to gut various environmental regulations. Now this:

There remains a chance that history will come to regard the invasion of Iraq as a liberation and a progressive turning point in Arab society, but the odds are greater the invasion will be pronounced a colossal folly. A reelected Bush, if he wants to win favor with historians, will have to do something impressive, statesmanlike, and out of character.

A bit of understatement there (and I do think “if he wants to win favor with historians” is a pretty big if), but so far so good…

Which is why I think a second-term Bush will be the president who imposes global-warming controls.

I’m currently trying to contact Mr. Easterbrook to arrange a wager. I’ll put up my earnings for the entire second term of the Bush presidency, against whatever he’s got in his front left pocket. Sounds about fair, no?

(And no cheating. When Bush rams the “stop global warming act of 2006,” the main impact of which is the deregulation of the coal industry, it doesn’t count.)

via the grist.

Update: In all seriousness, why would the Washington Monthly publish this? Contrarian views are to be encouraged, and I actually liked that they published that piece by Grover Norquist a while back, but this is simply an outrageous assertion, followed by not a scintilla of evidence or reasoning to back it up (the rest of the article is all about why it would be a good idea for Bush to do it. Well, yeah. It’d be a good idea for him to do a lot of things, but those things have a habit of not getting done). The Oppenheimer piece at Grist actually tries to make the case for Easterbrook, before pointing out how silly this line of reasoning is.

The only chance anything like this has of happening is if several big Oil companies decide to do it first and suggest the Bush administration follow suit. This is unlikely for all kinds of reasons, one of which is that the most progressive big oil companies on climate change (primarily BP) are not the ones with the greatest political clout in the United States.

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