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Last month, a Republican congressman from Kentucky dared Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to try and sell her Green New Deal to the hard-working coal miners in his district, and wouldn't you know it, she readily accepted! And then the Republican, Andy Barr, started finding excuses to rescind the invitation -- not the least of which is the minor detail that his district doesn't have any active coal mines, oops! Of course, that's not the reason he gave. It's almost as if Republicans ENJOY looking like idiots, innit?

The foofaraw all started in a March 27 hearing when Ocasio-Cortez replied rather sharply to a Republican who insisted that only a "rich liberal from maybe New York or California" would worry about climate change. The freshman congresswoman wasn't having a bit of that nonsense, and pointed out that poor kids in the Bronx suffer the highest rates of asthma in the country, that the environment affects everybody, and it's a bit of a problem.


'This is not an elitist issue': AOC on Republican inaction on climate change –video youtu.be

WELL! Andy Barr was ready with a gotcha! How about you say that to some coal miners' faces, huh? Would Ocasio-Cortez be willing to meet some ordinary miners "who will tell you what the Green New Deal would mean for their families, their paychecks"? Of course coal jobs have been in decline, mostly due to automation and competition from natural gas, long before anyone ever talked about a Green New Deal.

Barr probably thought that was a pretty good zinger, but AOC wasn't playing along. Sure, she said, she'd be "happy" to talk to miners, and she pointed out that the Green New Deal resolution already calls for funding pensions and job training for people in fossil fuel industries. "We want a just transition to make sure we are investing in jobs across those swaths of the country "

Fortunately, a new distraction, on a completely unrelated issue, gave Barr an excuse to put a condition on his invitation. The rightosphere blew up over Ilhan Omar's terrible 9/11 heresy, and another Republican congressman, Dan Crenshaw, retweeted a lie about Omar, saying she didn't consider 9/11 a terrorist attack. Then Ocasio-Cortez objected to Crenshaw on the Twitters herself. Oh, come and see the violence!

Barr demanded that AOC apologize to Crenshaw for being so incredibly uncivil, although Crenshaw's lie about Omar was perfectly civil, we guess. Nope, can't have such an uncivil lady coming to Kentucky, because apparently coal miners might get the vapors if they were exposed to her rudeness.

You see, Dan Crenshaw fought in Iraq, where he was wounded, so he's already done plenty about terrorism! Even if that had nothing to do with domestic terrorism by rightwingers. Obviously, AOC must apologize for insulting a war hero if she wants permission to go to Kentucky to talk to coal miners. Got that?

Ocasio-Cortez wasn't impressed by the attempt to make her go away with an unrelated gripe, and her office said she might just as well go to Kentucky without an invite from Barr. As it turns out, AOC's comms director, Corbin Trent, is actually from coal country in Tennessee, and he thinks the Green New Deal, guaranteed employment, and universal healthcare would actually go over pretty darn well in coal country, seeing as how the jobs are going away already and no amount of wishing is likely to make coal come back. He told the Louisville Courier Journal,

Luckily, Kentucky has open borders [...] If we decided to go to Kentucky to visit with coal miners, which we certainly hope to, and talk about the opportunities that can be brought to the rural South ... and to coal-mine country and Appalachia, that can be brought by transitioning to renewable energy and the Green New Deal, we'll be excited to do so.

Trent took a few minutes to talk about all this nonsense with Chris Hayes the other night.

Uninvited: GOP Representative Flip-Flips On Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez | All In | MSNBC www.youtube.com

What people in my neck of the woods and in Kentucky know is that their jobs are being destroyed already. Factories are closing, mines are laying people off -- we've seen that over the last several decades, and what they want to see is a plan for the future. The Republicans don't have one, and they know [...] that if we go out there and push that narrative out there, they aren't going to have a rebuttal for it.

Another Kentucky Republican congressman, James Comer, said on a local sports and politics talk show -- sure, why not! -- he didn't "see any upside" for Republicans in bringing her to Kentucky, since for one thing she's not likely to suddenly embrace coal, and for another,

Ocasio-Cortez is a lot more prepared when she comes to committee meetings. ... She is smart, and I think that we need to be very prepared when we debate her on issues that we're having a hard time with. There's still a future for coal, but we need to make sure that we're debating the right people on that issue.

Let's just translate there: Comer is saying R's need to find some DUMB Democrats to debate on climate and coal. Ocasio-Cortez seems to have noticed why Barr disinvited her:

She also noted that Mr. Barr had turned down her invitation to take part in that televised town hall on the Green New Deal last month, because he had some important college basketball to watch. She even offered to fly him home in time for the game, but nah.

Even so, as she twote yesterday, AOC is willing to reach across the aisle to Republicans, especially when they have other shared concerns:

We'll keep you updated on Ocasio-Cortez's inevitable trip to Kentucky, and Tucker Carlson's probable meltdown. Why is that terrible woman trying to wussify all the coal miners? Will she mandate they eat avocado toast and force them to listen to Fleet Foxes instead of Garth Brooks? Oh the humanity!

[GQ / NBC News / Courier Journal / MSNBC on YouTube / Courier Journal]

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Doktor Zoom

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.

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