Over the past 72 hours, the online left has collectively ripped into Carly Fiorina for an ad that shines a spotlight on Barbara Boxer’s assertion that "One of the very important national security issues we face, frankly, is climate change." Naturally, the media has been carrying Boxer's water in wildly distorting Fiorina's point.
Ultimately, this election is going to be fought over questions about who can address the problem faced by our national economy (hint: taxes and debt bad) and who can address the real problems faced by Americans. That's why it is important to get Fiorina's point right on both national security and the economy.
Fiorina's first point is that our country and California face very significant proximate challenges, like the economy, what does Barbara Boxer focus on? Climate change. But she has got nothing to say about the economy, other than more taxes and money for the public sector unions that are bankrupting her state. Right now, California’s unemployment rate stands in excess of 12 percent and has shown no signs of falling. According to the US Department of Labor, 11 of the 14 metropolitan areas currently suffering from unemployment rates of at least 15% are located in California.
Fiorina's second point is that on actual national security issues, she is an embarassment. Her record:
- In 2007, Boxer was one of just 25 senators to vote against supplemental funding for US efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- In 2003, Boxer voted against $87 billion in supplemental funding for Iraq and Afghanistan reconstruction. 87 senators voted for it.
- Back in 1999, she also voted against funding for efforts in Kosovo.
Even if you grant that there are national security implications to climate change, and that's not a point I really dispute, even Matt Yglesias called climate-change-as-security-threat a form of "threat inflation" that leads to "bad foreign policy decisions." See above, for examples of "bad foreign policy decisions."