The Roanoke Times yesterday wanted you to know that it has no problem with the government dictating to us what kind of light bulbs we should be allowed to buy. See "Warner illuminates light bulb debate."
Fine. The good folks there don't mind the United States government being involved in the minutia of our lives; they're entitled to their dependencies.
But here's the part that made me toss my Wheaties:
The light bulb regulations passed with broad bipartisan support as part of a 2007 energy bill. President George W. Bush signed it.Got that? The government didn't ban the incandescent light bulb. It simply required that it be completely different from that which it is today.
Since then, the rules have drawn conservatives' ire, and many former supporters in Congress have flip-flopped. They portray the changes as a ban, a government conspiracy to force all Americans to use dangerous, mercury-laden light bulbs that no one likes.
The truth is something else entirely. Starting next year, old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs will not be banned. They simply must be 30 percent more efficient. [emphasis mine]
That's like banning the Lexus but denying it because the wording of the legislation simply required that America's favorite luxury vehicle be dramatically smaller, different in design, and called a Volt.
"The truth is something else entirely."
That from the Ministry of Truth.
You don't recall the Ministry of Truth?
Maybe this will refresh your memory:
"WAR IS PEACE."
"FREEDOM IS SLAVERY."
And now this: "IT'S NOT BANNED. IT CAN JUST NO LONGER BE MANUFACTURED."
Oh, and my all-time favorite, one that seems to have a poignant place in this discussion:
"IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH."
Saith the Roanoke Times.
* You might wonder, after reading the editorial, what John Warner had to do with this. You aren't alone. Little is said about the old dude or about how he involved himself in this debate. Which is a good thing. Retirement suits him. And us.