OK, all you progressive voices on YouTube and elsewhere: Go to your rooms and don't come back out until you can talk to each other with civility and respect!
It's been going on for just over a week now, but it already seems much longer. People I admire and respect are spewing toxins at each other on Twitter, second-guessing each other's motivations, smearing each other as either neoliberal tools or saboteurs of the Medicare for All movement.
This needs to stop.
All these folks agree that this nation needs Medicare for All ASAP, as the ongoing pandemic has illustrated so starkly. The disagreement is a matter of legislative strategy...oh, and also of Jimmy Dore's having the temerity to criticize (sometimes harshly) Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for not living up to her campaign rhetoric.
Just a reminder: It's a resolution "Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal," not the actual bill. It contains no details on implementation. As of this morning, it doesn't have a number. It may not be everything that fans of Jill Stein and the Green Party could ask for, but it is historic nonetheless.
If nothing else, it will be terribly amusing to watch Republicans of the ilk of Louie Gohmert and James Inhofe turn themselves inside-out, asserting that they know more about climate science than the degreed professional scientists on the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (It's just common sense, y'know, that if the weather gets really cold, global warming can't be really happening!)
Additional news on the GND front: Kate Aronoff of The Intercept has been doing some good work on the subject. She appeared on Democracy Now! this morning and told us not to get our collective knickers in a knot over Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's not being named to the special GND committee: AOC has noted that she can do more good as lead sponsor of the resolution and working her other committee assignments. In this Intercept post, Aronoff reports that AOC denies that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was making light of the proposal with her comment about "the Green Dream or whatever they call it."
Pelosi on Thursday morning announced Ocasio-Cortez would not be on that select committee, though she was approached for a seat and declined to join. In a separate interview with Politico, Pelosi mocked the notion of a Green New Deal. “It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” she said. “The green dream or whatever they call it — nobody knows what it is but they’re for it right?”
You may see this denial as naïveté, or blind worship of the most powerful woman in the US government, but what I've seen of AOC indicates otherwise. Last month, when she endorsed Pelosi in the House Speaker election and Progressives shat their organic bamboo Underoos in unison, my perception was not that she was just another fauxgressive sell-out. Sure, the optics weren't great, but for a neophyte she's a cannier player than most are able or willing to see. Her currying favor with the Speaker isn't selling out, and it isn't four-dimensional chess; it is a case of playing the angles to get her agenda on the table, so that it has even the remotest chance of passing.
Calling Madame Speaker a "climate champion" is AOC's way of putting her on notice that she needs to start acting like one. (EDIT: The NYT reminds us that Pelosi pushed for cap & trade, a market-based half-measure, as Speaker in 2009; she got it through the House but not the Senate.) It reminds me of when the Nobel Committee gave President Barack Obama the Peace Prize before he'd actually done anything beyond not being George W. Bush: a way of encouraging him to be the promoter peace his campaign rhetoric made him out to be. (His subsequent record on the peace front was mixed, to say the least.)
Similarly, as breathtakingly stupid as Pelosi sometimes appears on video, and as stubborn as she is about not embracing socialistic solutions, House Democrats made her Speaker because she knows where the levers of power are and is well acquainted with their use. She can swat down uppity progressive Congressmembers as easily as she swats aside questions about single-payer health care.
It's an open question whether Pelosi is aware that progressive/socialist policies are popular with the electorate, especially young voters, or whether she gives a flying fuck. To paraphrase Upton Sinclair rather liberally, It's difficult to make a legislator understand something when her campaign contributions depend on her not understanding it—even a legislator in a relatively safe seat.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
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