How much you worry about Sen. Bernie Sanders becoming the odds-on favorite to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination — even if the process is in its earliest stages — depends on how much chance you believe the independent Vermont socialist has of winning the general election.
I’m nothing if not a morose person who catastrophizes about everything political. I’m not prepper-level or anything, don’t get me wrong, but until I get enough coffee running through my veins in the a.m., I still have heavy-eyed waking nightmares about a President Elizabeth Warren.
Therefore, I’m just a little worried that an avowed man of the old far left who’s shambled through life as a rumpled Clarence Darrow impersonator doing as little work as possible and somehow becoming a senator in spite of it could now possibly be our next president.
There’s not enough coffee in the world to wake me up from that one, given the fact that it wakes me up to a world in which he could well be one out of two feasible choices to become our next president. I almost want to go back to bed, except that would make me like every other Sanders supporter.
I worry because of tweets like this, in which our comrade throws his 78-year-old frame behind the Green New Deal:
I make no apologies for proposing the boldest and most aggressive climate proposal with our Green New Deal. This is a climate emergency. https://t.co/aHAjeUeVCo
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 13, 2020
“I make no apologies for proposing the boldest and most aggressive climate proposal with our Green New Deal. This is a climate emergency,” Sanders tweeted Thursday, along with an ABC News video showing areas of Antarctica denuded of snow.
Weren’t we doing “climate catastrophe” this week? Ah well.
At least there was Texas GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw to the rescue. You know how MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace is fond of saying people who agree with her politically are “chicken soup for your soul?” Crenshaw basically acts as a triple espresso for my soul sometimes.
Take, for instance, the fact that Sanders believes in the Green New Deal so much he refused to vote for it:
Then why didn’t you vote “YES” for the Green New Deal when it came to the Senate Floor?
Maybe because it’s not a plan. Or a good deal. Or even “Green.” It’s a 3rd grade science project that isn’t based in science or engineering.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) February 14, 2020
“Then why didn’t you vote ‘YES’ for the Green New Deal when it came to the Senate Floor?” Crenshaw asked in a Friday response.
“Maybe because it’s not a plan. Or a good deal. Or even ‘Green,'” he added. “It’s a 3rd grade science project that isn’t based in science or engineering.”
Crenshaw then included a shout-out for his own plan, the New Energy Frontiers Through Carbon Innovation Act, which calls for an emphasis on carbon capture.
First, it’s important to explain what Crenshaw is talking about.
After the Green New Deal was introduced as a cocktail-napkin sketch piece of legislation by New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — who, at that point, had taken up shop in the Cannon House Office Building for all of three minutes and 15 seconds — Democrats began signing up for it as a brave vision for the future.
The Green New Deal was then (and remains) a vague promise to save the planet, redistribute money and stop cow flatulence that was estimated to cost nearly $100 trillion if it were actually enacted, which was unlikely.
AOC was then (and remains) much in the news as the Bright Future of the Democratic Party, so there were plenty of people willing to line up behind the plan.
All right, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. Let’s see who’s willing to go on the record supporting the bill.
See, when it was put to committee in the Senate, it was assumed there was no way it would actually make it to the floor because the Republicans controlled the upper chamber.
McConnell and other Republicans reasoned, not unwisely, that we ought to see who was willing to support the bill they were lining up behind.
The final vote was 57 against and 43 voting “present” — not voting against the bill, but not going on the record as being for it, either.
According to Reuters, two Democrats (Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia) and one Democrat-leaning independent (Sen. Angus King of Maine) joined the Republicans in voting against the bill.
The reason for the “present” vote was that Democrats viewed bringing the legislation to the floor as a stunt. If it was a stunt, so was introducing it in the first place.
At the time, McConnell wrote on Twitter that the Democrats “are so fully committed to radical left-wing ideology that they can’t even vote ‘no’ on self-inflicted economic ruin that would take a sledgehammer to America’s middle class.”
More importantly, they also couldn’t even vote “yes” on a piece of legislation they were busy embracing — including Sanders.
Sanders, to be fair, has introduced his own “Green New Deal” as part of his campaign proposals which costs a lot less but is still wholly unworkable. Furthermore, keep in mind that one of Sanders’ top surrogates on the campaign trail has been Ocasio-Cortez.
Assuming Sanders has the White House, House and Senate in his hands when our comrade becomes president (I told you I can get morose), I would assume there’s a likelihood the plan looks a little more like what Ocasio-Cortez and its original proponents pictured it looking like and a little bit less like the voter-friendly Bernie version.
Or maybe that’s just the lack of coffee talking. Bernie didn’t vote for the Green New Deal the first time even though it wouldn’t have changed one iota of his public image if he did.
The plan is unworkable. Even in the depths of my moroseness as I contemplate my President Bernie scenario, I have to concede he might actually realize just how crazy the Green New Deal is — yes, even his version — and quietly scuttle it.
Unfortunately, Crenshaw’s carbon capture plan has as much chance of passing the House as the Green New Deal does of passing the Senate, given that the Democrats currently control the lower house.
However, the fact they’re not willing to consider it demonstrates a great deal about their current ideology.
Yes, Crenshaw’s plan would help the environment.
Yes, it’s technologically feasible.
Yes, it’s not a third-grade science project.
No, it wouldn’t remake society.
No, the price tag isn’t exorbitant.
However, tweeting about the awesomeness of the Green New Deal will certainly earn you a lot more plaudits among the liberal set than voting for a plan put forth by a (gasp!) Republican.
Perhaps you begin to see why I tend to be a bit morose about these things.
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