The rollout of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal hasn’t exactly been smooth. The bill is a strange hybrid of environmental and social legislation designed to make the United States carbon neutral in a ridiculous amount of time and to ensure financial security for everyone whether they want to work or not.
Oh, and if it were to be followed, it would attempt to eliminate air travel.
None of this is likely to happen, mind you; as Jim Geraghty points out at National Review, the bill in its current form wouldn’t have any binding consequences. It simply states that “it is the sense of the House of Representatives that it is the duty of the federal government to create a Green New Deal.” That doesn’t exactly have the force of law to achieve the objectives it sets out to.
But don’t tell that to Ocasio-Cortez.
“Today is the day that we truly embark on a comprehensive agenda of economic, social and racial justice in the United States of America,” the New York Democrat said on the steps of the Capitol as she unveiled the plan, according to Fox News. “That’s what this agenda is all about.”
There are plenty of people willing to cosign this, including three of the major 2020 presidential hopefuls on the left. Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey all voiced their support for the Green New Deal.
Booker, in particular, went over the top in his praise for the resolution. This isn’t necessarily a surprise; this is the man who allegedly invented a drug dealer friend named T-bone he would use in many of his anecdotes on the campaign trail and earned the nickname “Spartacus” for bravely declassifying information that was already declassified. He’s known for bouts of ill-conceived emotion.
Even for Booker, however, his defense of the Green New Deal at a campaign stop in Iowa on Friday was unusually, well, Booker-ish.
“Our planet is in peril, and we need to be bold,” the senator said.
“There’s a lot of people now going back on the Green New Deal. They’re like, ‘Oh it’s impractical, oh it’s too expensive, oh it’s all of this,'” Booker said.
“If we used to govern our dreams that way, we would have never gone to the moon,” he said. “‘God, that’s impractical. You see that ball in the sky? That’s impractical.'”
And then came the inevitable comparisons to World War II.
“We need to push the bounds of human potential because that is our history,” Booker continued.
“When the planet has been in peril in the past, who came forward to save Earth from the scourge of Nazis and totalitarian regimes?” he said. “We came forward. Who came forward to save the planet, or continents, from financial ruin? We came forward with the Marshall Plan. Our history is standing up and saying, ‘Look, humanity is in crisis, America is going to be the light and the hope.'”
Ocasio-Cortez has used language like this before. “This is going to be the New Deal, the Great Society, the moon shot, the civil rights movement of our generation,” she said during one recent town hall meeting. She also has said that her blueprint for the kind of mobilization this would require would be defeating the Nazis in World War II.
However, Ocasio-Cortez was more … well, measured in her praise of the bill, which is somewhat surprising considering who we’re talking about here. Then again, Booker isn’t a subtle man, treating every speech like a bad amateur actor chewing the scenery.
And even after all of that moonshot talk, he seemed to concede that the ambitious plan had a significant chance of failure.
“My parents told me reach for the moon, reach for the stars,” he said. “Even if you come up short, at least you’ll be hovering above the ground.”
Well, not really, at least in this circumstance. The Green New Deal, if followed through upon, would impose impossible challenges upon America, such as eliminating most air travel. (While Ocasio-Cortez says that she wants to get to a point where “air travel stops becoming necessary,” the FAQ page for the Green New Deal once read that it used the words “net-zero emissions” because “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.” That page, according to CNBC, has since been removed.)
Oh, and beyond being a Green New Deal, it would also provide “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work,” according to the FAQ. This is signing onto an untold amount of spending on people, essentially creating a universal basic income via an environmental program. That’s not even taking into account the number of jobs this program would cost because of the environmental restrictions.
But Nazis! The moonshot! Those are things you millennials have heard of, right? You know that Nazis are bad and moon landings are good, I’m assuming? Well, that means you ought to support the transformation of the United States to a socialist-style command economy dedicated to eliminating our reliance on one of the single greatest drivers of economic growth, carbon-based energy. Remember, Nazis!
These sorts of dramatics aren’t going to persuade either conservatives or independents to get behind this plan, no matter how outlandish they are or how many inappropriate references to the Nazis they make. When even Nancy Pelosi thinks that this thing is a nonstarter, it’s a nonstarter. But it’s an outlandish narrative the Democrats can tout — and as we’ve discovered before, Cory Booker loves outlandish narratives. Just ask T-bone, if you can find him.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.