The wacky Green New Deal has two features which, taken together, will make it a nightmare for Democrats in the upcoming national elections. First, it is a wonderful wish list of goals the Democrats hold dear. But second, the actions it calls for are impossible. In particular, they would be impossibly expensive, even for tax-and-spend Democrats. The Green New Deal is simply preposterous.
This unholy combination sets up a dilemma for every Democrat candidate, for the Presidency, House or Senate. It may even spill over into Governor and other state races. The problem is that every Democrat candidate will have to declare whether or not they endorse the Green New Deal.
If they do not endorse it, then they will be asked what they have against it? Are they against renewable energy, ending pollution, clean water, good jobs, equity, etc? The Green New Deal is the darling of the radical wing of the Party, which has found a new, loud voice. Anyone who dares to object to it will be criticized severely.
If they do endorse it, then they will be required to defend the indefensible. In particular, how do they intend to pay for it? So far that question has been ducked, but that duck can’t fly forever. The cost is stupendous. Actually it is incalculable because the Green New Deal is physically impossible, but stupendous will do. Their Republican opponents will press this one home.
The mainstream Democrats are now caught between the rock of the radical left and the Republican hard place.
This mess for the Democrats is about to start playing out. Speaker Pelosi has ducked the issue so far by saying she welcomes all ideas, but that can’t last. The press loves to hammer on a stonewall. Presidential hopeful Bloomberg has said it is unrealistic, but not why. Elizabeth Warren has endorsed it so now she has to defend it. And so it goes.
It will be very interesting to see if this Resolution ever passes the house. To begin with, it is so sweeping that it has been referred to at least eleven different Committees. These include the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Science, Space, and Technology, Education and Labor, Transportation and Infrastructure, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, the Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Oversight and Reform.
Every Committee has to pass the Resolution, in the same form, for it to go to the Full House for a vote. This multi-committee action should be a show in itself.
The Democrat leadership said that they wanted to make climate change an election issue. They meant an issue with President Trump and the Republicans. Instead it is about to become a major issue within the Party. Be careful what you wish for?
Not the belief in catastrophic, human caused climate change, because that is widespread among Democrats. The fundamentally divisive issue for them is the viability, physical and political, of the Green New Deal. It can easily split the Party.
Mind you the elections are still a long way off, so the Green New Deal pot boiler may simply fade from view before then. Or it may morph into something that mainstream Democrats can actually run on. In the meantime the green circus is definitely in town.
This chaos could certainly help President Trump’s second term election. But the Democrats have a well established capacity for tearing each other apart, then coming together to beat the Republicans. The Green New Deal may be an ordeal, but it may not be fatal. Time will tell.