Green New Deal Will Steal Your Farting Cow's Bicycle
Looks like the Green New Deal must be gaining support, since rightwingers are going Full Death Panels to suggest it's not merely going to be difficult, but outright psycho-crazy IMPOSSIBLE. Obviously, no one in their right mind could support the paired goals of keeping the planet habitable for large mammals like ourselves while also creating jobs, because nobody wants jobs or a sustainable environment, not really. So you get spectacles like Fox News smartperson Jeanine Pirro somehow equating reduced greenhouse gases with infanticide, because don't those always go together? Let's take a moment to separate the facts from the farting cows, shall we? We shall.
Most of what the wingnuttosphere is having hissy fits about isn't in the actual New Green Deal resolution introduced last week, but rather an unofficial draft FAQ about the proposal which included talking points that aren't actually in the resolution. That FAQ was released by staff in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's office last week, and it contained a number of points wingnuts seized on as evidence the Green New Deal is madness, just madness. Ocasio-Cortez's people soon took it down, but the internet is forever, so look for most rightwing discussions of the proposal to just out and out lie. Not that it makes a lot of difference, really -- if AOC's staff hadn't screwed up and posted the FAQ, Republicans still wouldn't argue about the Green New Deal in good faith. Now they're simply insisting the FAQ is the real radical agenda all Dems want but are trying to hide from you.
For a good detailed summary of the REAL proposals in the Green New Deal, see this Washington Post piece (also conveniently reprinted elsewhere for those of you who might be paywalled). Basically, it's all about creating jobs and keeping the planet livable through a crash program to move away from a fossil fuel economy to green power sources. Most of the hand-wringing on the right focuses on a few sections of that FAQ, which (let's say it again!) are not actually part of the Green New Deal framework. So with that in mind, let's get to debunktioning!
Bullshit Claim #1: Dems Coming For Your Planes 'N' Cows!
Here's Donald Trump fibbing about the plan in a tweet, because he saw it on Fox News (he does not read):
Nope. Not in the proposal, and for that matter, some of that isn't even in the FAQ, like the claim that cars and "the military" would be eliminated (the word "military" just plain doesn't appear in either document). Yes, oil and gas need to be replaced, because that's carbon. The biggest energy goal for the Green New Deal is switching over to 100 percent renewable electricity in a generation; as for transportation, the goal, as written, is more general:
Overhauling transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in — (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and (iii) high-speed rail.
The stuff about planes and cows comes one version of the FAQ, and we're fairly certain we've mentioned it isn't official:
We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren't sure that we'll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.
This doesn't mean that methane, in the form of cow farts and burps, isn't a real concern for the climate -- it is a genuine problem that may be addressed through changes in cattle feed (or forcing everyone to go vegan at gunpoint). But again, there's nothing in the actual proposal about how that problem will be addressed, since the framework sets overall goals and leaves the mechanism for getting there for later legislation.
Along similar lines, a widely condemned line claiming Dems want to end all air travel -- by building out "highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary" -- is from the FAQ and reflects some staffers' wishful thinking, not what's in the resolution. Evil socialist trains!
Nonetheless, Republicans were quick to express their outrage at the proposals that were not actually being made. Here's Wyoming's congresswoman, Liz Cheney, with a load of cowflop, not to mention planeflop and carflop:
Of course, even if the FAQ were the actual policy (which it isn't. It really isn't), it says nothing about outlawing plane travel. It says we should expand other options, especially high-speed rail. But sure, Liz, it's really all about government death panels for airplanes.
Wyoming Republicans really got into panicking over the threat to cows, although again, nobody's talking about cow confiscation (OK, we want to take away Devin Nunes's cow, but that's for the cow's protection). Over in the Senate, John Barrasso offered this nightmare vision of the evil Democrats' Cowpocalypse:
Also, we like the way Barrasso calls it the "Green Deal" there -- in her weird rant on Fox, Pirro also called it the "Green Deal" again and again. Not sure whether that's intentional, but maybe. People still think good things about the New Deal, and good heavens, we can't have that.
Bullshit Claim #2) They're Gonna Give Money to Lazy Loafers Who Refuse To Work!
Nah. There's a line in the FAQ -- hey! Not. The. Resolution. -- about "economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work," but the resolution says only that one goal is "guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage." And sure, lots of lefties like the idea of a guaranteed basic income, but it's not really included in the Green New Deal. AOC's Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti fielded that one on Twitter, explaining that it was meant only to refer to older workers in dirty energy industries:
And so on. Other wingnuts went nuclear over a line in the FAQ that said the goal of carbon-zero energy production would be met without any nuclear power, but again, the real proposal is agnostic on nuclear.
We would caution staff of first-year Congress members to be more cautious before posting documents that don't really reflect legislation, but as we say, Republicans gonna just lie about it anyway.
The VERY BEST poutrage over the Green New Deal came from Republican pollster/strategist Patrick Ruffini, fresh off lying about Elizabeth Warren's eat-the-rich wealth tax a week or so ago. He revealed Monday that a WHOLE LOT of serious Republicans were just about to offer some brilliant market-based solutions to climate, but now they can't because AOC FORCED them to lash out in a wave of denial and idiocy:
We really liked all the times he didn't reply even once to any of the many many people asking him where any of these serious Republican thinkers were, since all the elected ones are still wavering somewhere along the spectrum between "It's not real at all" to "Humans aren't causing it" to "If it's real we can't stop it, also Elizabeth Warren woo-woo-woo heap big paleface!"
Meanwhile, Donald Trump is trying to force the Tennessee Valley Authority to keep two 50-year-old coal plants in operation even though they're not needed anymore -- but they buy a lot of coal from one of Trump's biggest donors, so it's a matter of national security, the end.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.