Really, if you want to govern halfway decently, all you have to do is ask yourself, “What would George W. Bush do?” and then do the opposite. So I can’t beef too much about the Progressive States Network. Except when they’re simplistic and Pollyannaish.

Simplistic, as when they tout state or regional “cap and trade” systems for controlling carbon dioxide emissions, without acknowledging why such programs need to be national and, probably, international — namely, that it may be cheaper for CO2 emitters to move their emissions than to curtail them. (I should add that this willful blindness to Econ 101 when trying to “do something” is not unique to PSN.)

Pollyannaish, as when they do a drive-by on Illinois’ trainwreck of a legislative session using the hilariously inappropriate headline, “Progress Amidst Conflict.” Their summary gives equal space to a new law forbidding state pension funds from investing in companies associated with Sudan and to the transit situation (which account I quote in its entirety): “The legislature also failed to pass any fiscal relief for the ailing Chicago Transit Authority, causing likely fare hikes, layoffs, and service cuts.” Progressives are better served by Oregon US Rep. Peter DeFazio’s harsh words, front-paged by the Chicago Tribune: “The state and the governor are walking away from a minimal responsibility to maintain an existing system.”