Utah Senator Mike Lee OWNS Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez With Oh We Are Just Funning You
Remember "The West Wing"? Aaron Sorkin put a lot of effort into depicting Republicans -- okay, probably just Alan Alda -- as serious-minded, ethical mammals who just had a difference of opinion with the Democratic protagonists. It turns out "The West Wing" was as realistic as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." That's because too many Republicans are like Mike Lee. The Utah Senator more closely resembles a character from a bad USA comedy series.
Republicans are holding a procedural vote today on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal. Lee took to the Senate floor to tell us how terrible it is. He could have done this with facts and data. Instead, he went with Ronald Reagan and a velociraptor.
LEE: This is, of course, a picture of former President Ronald Reagan, naturally firing a machine gun while riding on the back of a dinosaur. You'll notice a couple of important features here.
Oh, sweet Christ! What the hell is he talking about? He even had some poor staffer cart out out the Reagan dinosaur picture. How is this even relevant? Is he trying to sell us the painting? Is this a damn infomercial? Lee goes on to describe the "stirring, unmistakable patriotism" of the velociraptor "holding up a tattered, American flag."
Presumably, Lee believes the Green New Deal is so absurd and ridiculous, it is not worthy of serious debate. This is beneath the dignity of a senator, which is saying something. Lee would probably not appreciate having his own beliefs held up for public ridicule.
Republicans have resorted to some childish and petty displays recently. There was the "liar, liar, pants on fire" visual aid during the Michael Cohen hearings. New Hampshire Republicans wore pearls a few weeks ago to mock women advocating for sensible gun laws. However, Lee seemed positively unhinged. Just straight-up bonkers. All because Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats think we should consider doing something serious about the growing threat from climate change.
LEE: The solution to climate change is not this unserious resolution ...the solution to so many of our problems at all times and in all places is to fall in love, get married, and have some kids.
Yeah, that's what he said -- using his words and mouth organ. We don't know why he chose to address climate change that way Prince flippantly addressed the "Sign o' the Times": "Let's fall in love, get married, have a baby. We'll call him Nate. If he's a boy."
Lee believes more babies are the "solution" to climate change. Are they supposed to keep the oceans from rising? They can't even sit up or change themselves. The fool acts like he's appearing in some Kirk Cameron fundamentalist flick: "The courage needed to solve climate change is nothing compared with the courage needed to start a family." Seriously, that means nothing. Everything he just said was bullshit.
Does Lee really think we're so dumb that all this treacle about babies and families will distract us from doing anything to make sure there's an actual future for our own children and families? Suggesting we just fuck while the world burns is again literally a Prince song but as much as we love the brother, it's not viable environmental policy.
It should surprise no one that Ocasio-Cortez instantly owned Lee in seconds flat.
This is a political master stroke: In a single tweet, Ocasio-Cortez demonstrates a humility that any American can recognize and appreciate. She also shows a wisdom and maturity that casts a brutal spotlight on Lee's arrogance and dismissiveness. We don't claim there are no reasonable arguments against the Green New Deal, but Republicans should at least have the decency to try to come up with one. The more they lie about the program and try to shame it like a bullied school kid, the more pathetic they all look.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.