Barack Obama’s energy czar appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to discuss the cap-and-tax bill passed by the House last week on a razor-thin margin. Carol Browner got stumped by Fox’s Steve Doocy while questioning her ability to speak to the subject, which prompted her to declare Doocy “unfair” for blindsiding her. You be the judge — should Doocy have wondered whether Browner had bothered to read the bill she was promoting on national TV, or is that “unfair”?
STEVE DOOCY: “[I] know the bill is over 1,000 pages long. Have you have read it?”
CAROL BROWNER: “Oh, I’m very familiar with this bill.”
DOOCY: “Have you have read it?”
BROWNER: “We have obviously been watching this for a very long time. I am very …”
DOOCY: “I’m sure you’ve got an idea of it, but you have read it?”
BROWNER: “I’ve read major portions of it, absolutely.”
DOOCY: “So the answer no you haven’t read it. But you’ve read a big chunk of it.”
BROWNER: “No, no, no that’s not fair. That’s absolutely not fair.”
DOOCY: “No, I’m just asking you if you read the thousand pages.”
BROWNER: “I’ve read vast portions of it.”
“I’ve read vast portions of it.” Vast portions? That would put her ahead of the Congressional curve, where 219 people — including eight Republicans who made the difference — voted for it without reading it at all. We know that because the House never produced a complete, up-to-date, and integrated copy of the bill to its members before the vote took place.
I don’t think it’s “unfair” to ask a policy expert whether they’ve read a policy they’re promoting on national television, nor do I think it’s unfair to expect politicians to have read bills before voting on them. Will Barack Obama read the bill before signing it, assuming that it passes the Senate? Or will he just read “vast portions” of the 1300-page nationalization of the American energy sector?