I thought about this today when I came upon this Washington Post interview with Theda Skocpol (Harvard University). The occasion for the interview was the release of "Naming the Problem: What It Will Take to Counter Extremism and Engage Americans in the Fight against Global Warming," a major report that Skocpol prepared for a symposium on "The Politics of America's Fight Against Global Warming." Here's the piece of the interview (by Brad Plumer) that caught my eye:
One of Skocpol’s key insights is that health care reformers spent much of their time in the run-up to Obama’s election studying past legislative failures and seeing what they could learn from them. Environmentalists, meanwhile, assumed they could build on previous successes and continue attracting Republican support. As a result, the climate movement was utterly unprepared for the GOP’s sharp turn against cap-and-trade in 2008.The rest of the interview is here. (Hat tip: bookforum)
Parenthetically, the report is part of a larger initiative called the Scholars Strategy Network (SSN), which, according to the SSN mission statement, "brings together many of America's leading scholars to address pressing public challenges at the national, state, and local levels." (Skocpol is at the helm, along with Suzanne Mettler, Jacob Hacker, and others.) I have heard Skocpol speak about SSN, and although the current roster of scholars draws heavily from political science, sociology, and public policy, she encouraged historians to get involved, too.