Mark Stein: Light bulbs that don't signify ideas
Everything's difficult, isn't it? In the Democratic presidential candidates' debate, Sen. Barack Obama was asked what he personally was doing to save the environment, and replied that his family was "working on" changing their light bulbs.
Is this the new version of the old joke? How many senators does it take to "work on" changing a light bulb? One to propose a bipartisan commission. One to threaten to de-fund the light bulbs. One to demand the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for keeping us all in the dark. One to vote to pull out the first of the light bulbs by fall of this year with a view to getting them all pulled out by the end of 2008.
In 1914, on the eve of the Great War, British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey observed, "The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime." Whether he was proposing a solution to global warming is unclear. But he would be impressed to hear that nine decades later the lights are going out all over Washington.