Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has been in the news lately for her failure to pay taxes on an airplane. McCaskill is not known as the most congenial member of the Senate. And every now and then her lack of tact comes out in public. A GOP operative passes on this clip of her speaking to a Georgetown Law School audience:

Well, it’s not “really good news” but just a “silver lining” that the recession has brought down emissions.

Aside from that gaffe (which she realizes along the way), there is something significant here. What she is saying that the recession did an even “better” job of bringing down emissions than cap-and-trade would have. Um, isn’t that the problem with cap-and-trade? Critics complain its’s going to increase costs and thereby suppress economic activity, and those emissions in the process. Now, McCaskill seems to agree.

I don’t think McCaskill thinks the recession is funny; nor do I think she wants to cause an economic downturn by the imposition of cap-and-trade. But she sure provides fodder to opponents who claim the real McCaskill is a whole lot less appealing and less moderate than the image she’d like voters to believe.