Last month, with all the subtlety and real-world sophistication of my 21-month-old daughter demanding pasta for breakfast, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman blurted out:
I want my own Tea Party. I want a Tea Party of the radical center.
Today, an anxious Tea Party nation finally received word from a guy they don't like and have nothing in common with about how to make theirs a lasting and powerful political force:
Become the Green Tea Party.
I'd be happy to design the T-shirt logo and write the manifesto.
In crayons, I'm sure.
Along the way, Friedman escalates his usual "win, win, win, win, win" formulation to describe carbon tax with yet a sixth win, quotes T. Boone Pickens as if he was a disinterested observer of energy economics, posits that his fantastical "radical center" is a place populated by John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman; and complains that "the Tea Party is heading to the hard libertarian right." Which is all mere set-up for a closing flourish of telltale Sinophilia/phobia:
In short, the [cap and trade] bill is a step in the right direction toward reducing greenhouse gases and expanding our base of clean power technologies so we can compete with China in this newest global industry. It ain't perfect, but it ain't beanbag. And if we don't start now, every solar panel, electric car and wind turbine we'll have to buy when climate change really hits will come with instructions in Chinese. Go Green Tea Party.
Is there a worse successful columnist in America?
UPDATE: In a telegram from the real world, would-be Green Tea Radical Centrist Lindsay Graham has withdrawn support from the cap-and-trade bill. Some bumper-sticker slogans are apparently not built to last.