Nancy Pelosi is employing a new weapon in her desperate battle to keep a lid on the restive progressives and “Democratic Socialists” who now represent a sizable voting bloc in the House: Invoking the legacy of President Barack Obama. According to Bloomberg, as the House prepares to vote on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’ resolution, Pelosi is using Obama’s ‘leadership’ on climate change – like joining the Paris Climate Accords – to support her reasoning that there might be more moderate ways to deal with climate change short of banning air travel and calling for the reconstruction of nearly every building in New York City.
The report precedes two climate-change-related votes in the House this week: One on the GND resolution, and another proposal, which has Pelosi’s explicit backing, that would seek to stop President Trump from pulling out of the Paris Accord. Pelosi has made it clear that the latter bill both has a better chance of ultimately becoming a law and producing a tangible accomplishment, while the GND would simply hand Trump and his fellow Republicans a cudgel with which to bludgeon the moderate Democrats in swing districts who were responsible for the Democrats’ mid-term victory in the House.
However, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other far-left Dems, who have done a much better job of amplifying their voices on social media, successfully drowning out their more moderate peers, have made it clear that while they wouldn’t oppose Pelosi’s plan – it’s still a good first step, they’ve said – it falls far short of their goal.
And to be clear, that goal remains: Prevent the imminent climate-change-driven destruction of planet Earth, which – in case you’ve forgotten – is only 12 years away.
“The idea that we can just reintroduce 2009 policies is not reflective of action that is necessary for now in the world of today,” said Ocasio-Cortez. She added that “there is no harm in passing” Pelosi’s bill, but ultimately, the GND is what’s needed.
Fortunately for Pelosi, her approach is popular with moderates, who still outnumber progressives like AOC. The climate change bill by Florida Democratic Representative Kathy Castor already has 224 Democratic co-sponsors.
“That administration put forward real solutions for the American families,” Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said of Obama’s tenure. “There is no sort of ‘moderate response’ here. It’s just that we are at the beginning of this process.”
But that hasn’t stopped progressives from deriding it as “the junior varsity bill”.
Yet that won’t do for progressives who are pushing for more aggressive action and are worried that the vote would be a substitute for meaningful legislation.
“Simply put, it’s the junior varsity bill,” said RL Miller, the chairman of the California Democratic Party’s environmental caucus and co-founder of the Climate Hawks Vote, a political action committee. “It’s nice but extremely insufficient.”
Focusing on the Paris accord allows Democrats to paint Republicans as opposing solutions to global warming and highlight what they say is a lack of leadership on the issue by Trump, who has dismissed climate change as a hoax.
As BBG points out, Pelosi’s strategy on climate change mirrors her tactics on health-care, too, as she has opposed Medicare for All and instead pushed for ‘improvements’ to Obamacare.
But as the progressives have made it clear that they won’t stop pushing until they’ve seized control of the Democratic agenda, all of this might be too little, too late for Pelosi.