Good analysis. I completely agree with your disappointment that the Clinton team dismisses a carbon tax out of hand. Not to mention their fear of even mentioning the word “climate” during the campaign.
Instead of fearing that the public would turn against a tax as soon as they hear the opposition’s arguments, progressives should concentrate on properly framing the issue to attract latent conservative support. This slideshow gives some ideas of how to do that: http://www.slideshare.net/dolaneconslide/how-to-talk-to-conservatives-about-climate-change/