March 27, 2019
Who says politicians don't have a sense of humor? As if the Green New Deal weren't entertaining enough, yesterday's floor debate was better than a free night at the improv. Republicans, who've been begging for a chance to take on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) fruitcake climate bill, saved some of their best material for Tuesday, when Mike Lee (R-Utah) managed to make Sharknado seem like a more credible threat to America than global warming.
Lee's montage, which included everything from Ronald Reagan riding a velociraptor to Aquaman saddling a 20-foot seahorse, was his way, he said, of treating the proposal "with the seriousness it deserves." After all, he pointed out, this is a resolution that would eliminate air travel. "How are we supposed to get around the vast expanses of, say, Alaska during the winter?" he asked? "I'll tell you how -- tauntauns," he joked, pulling out a photo of Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. "Not only are tauntauns carbo neutral, but according to a report a long time ago and issued far, far away, they may even be fully recyclable."
"Let me be clear," Lee said, "climate change is no joke, but the Green New Deal is." So much so, conservatives pointed out, that when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) brought the bill to the floor, not a single Democrat voted yes! After weeks of pumping Cortez's tires, the thought of actually supporting such a brainless proposal scared the party silly. Every Democrats but three voted "present" -- and then turned around and accused McConnell of being insincere! That's because even they know: riling up the base is one thing -- trying to win a general election by eliminating cows, airplanes, and children is quite another.
In reality, Democrats don't want the Green New Deal any more than they want to abolish ICE. Even if they do believe the climate hysteria, a plan that costs more than the entire recorded spending of the U.S. government since 1789 isn't a sincere solution. And for what? A "0.173°C difference by 2100." At $98 trillion dollars, we're talking about a $600,000 tab for every household. "The proposal we are talking about is, frankly, delusional," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "This is nonsense. And if you're going to sign on to nonsense, you ought to have to vote for nonsense."
Besides, McConnell argues, this debate isn't so much about the environment as it is about "a radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy." Remember, Frank Miele points out, only a handful of proposals in the Green New Deal even involves with global warming. It's just a fig leaf for their real agenda. "Free college? Check. Free home remodeling? Check. Massive federal investment in mass transit and other infrastructure? Check. Guarantee of high-paying jobs for everyone? Check. Free health care? Check. Free housing? Check." And how will we pay for it? "You just pay for it," Cortez shrugged. After all, it's "other people's money."
Meanwhile, the American people aren't fooled. They see the Left's unicorn-in-every-pot for exactly what it is. According to the Hill, when they polled more than 1,000 people, 67 percent of voters say they see the proposal as "largely socialist." And socialism isn't green, it isn't new, and it's certainly not a deal. Maybe that's why Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was so angry about having to defend it. "This is not a debate," he complained. "It's a diversion. It's a sham."
For once, we agree. At some point, the Democratic party will have to wake up and realize how many empty seats are on the bandwagon. Until then, they're going to have a tough climb. They still seem far too surprised, Charles Cook writes, that there's "still no great appetite in America for post-birth abortion, for the abolition of private health insurance, or for breezy anti-Semitism masquerading as authenticity, and that there is likely to be even less enthusiasm for rebuilding every structure in America, or for phasing out airplanes, or for destroying our current sources of energy while ruling out the only reliable alternatives."
This is what Democrats get for allowing themselves to be led around by the nose by a fanatical freshman who thinks animal flatulence is literally the end of the world. If the Left is going to let Cortez drive their policy to the outer reaches of rationality, then maybe it's a good thing the earth only has 12 more years. At least the Left won't have to spend more time defending its ridiculous agenda.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.