Not Politics as Usual

One of the reasons for introducing the Resolution Recognizing the Duty of the Federal Government to Create a Green New Deal now is because numerous people are saying they support a Green New Deal, but what that means hasn’t been clear because the framework hasn’t been defined. The Resolution’s purpose is to create the framework for a Green New Deal, the details of which will continue to evolve with time and experiences to plug into such a framework.

The fact this proposal is a catch-all of the most progressive programs means it probably isn’t going anywhere in the House, where House Energy and Commerce Chair Frank Pallone has already called the plan too ambitious and unlikely to generate consensus among moderate Democrats in the House, never mind the Senate.
“The goal of trying to reduce fossil fuels and get to a carbon neutral economy is important and something that I agree with,” Pallone told the Asbury Park Press last month. “The Green New Deal says you can do it in 10 years. I don’t know if that’s technologically feasible. … Beyond that it’s probably not politically feasible.”
But to Ocasio-Cortez and Green New Deal backers, that’s not the point. They are banking that the idea will keep spreading. Even some in the House who are skeptical of whether the plan is feasible agree that the branding of the Green New Deal — harkening back to the days of FDR — is a brilliant marketing strategy.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is making the Green New Deal a 2020 litmus test
Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal House resolution is officially here.
By Ella Feb 7, 2019, 8:40am EST

Discussions of the Green New Deal often talk about Democrats but not Republicans. Decisions were made early in the planning for a Green New Deal (GND) to focus on political candidates that do, or might be persuaded to support the GND. A Republican candidate would be supported if they embraced GND. For similar reasons, the Sunrise Movement is a youth-led movement that targets gaining youth members, although they say all ages are welcome, and that has been my experience.

But as the following about Political Engagement says (from the Sunrise Movement website), there are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends. Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles the GND faces is from Democrats who are not progressive about environmental and social justice.
Originally anyone who took fossil fuel many was not going to be asked to serve on the Climate Committee, but that idea has since been scrapped. Really disappointing.

” In primary elections, we only endorse candidates who take the “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge” to “reject contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industry and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.”   

Political Engagement

1. We support candidates who, if elected, would represent a significant break with the status quo for their district. We want candidates who take major leaps forward in one or more of our policy priority areas (see below). This looks different in different parts of America.

2. We support politicians who will represent us, not the fossil fuel industry. Whether or not a candidate is willing to take money from the oil, gas and coal industry is a fairly clear litmus test of whose interests that politician is likely to represent.
In primary elections, we only endorse candidates who take the “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge” to “reject contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industry and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.”
In general elections, we may support (but not endorse) a candidate who has not signed the pledge or has taken money from the fossil fuel industry because we recognize that an imperfect candidate could, in some cases, still represent a significant leap forward (see above) by defeating a powerful opponent with a long history of putting the interests of oil and gas executives first. No matter what, we will make this a major demand for general elections and push candidates on this issue.

3. No permanent friends. No permanent enemies. Our only permanent allegiance is to protecting our communities, our shared home, and our future. We have to make it clear to politicians that our power and support are earned, and not a given. Just because we have supported a candidate in the past doesn’t mean that we will continue to support them in the future if there emerges (or the movement puts forth) a viable candidate that is better aligned with and more committed to our values and policy priorities.

But the most significant reason these can no longer be times of politics as usual (aside from all the turmoil from the Republican administration) is because of the unprecedented severity of the climate chaos we are experiencing, which is rapidly becoming more frequent and devastating.

#NoExcuses is a fundamental part of the movements supporting a Green New Deal (such as the Sunrise Movement I belong to, and Justice Democrats). The remarks from representative Frank Pallone above, and Nancy Pelosi below, are examples of what the youth in these movements will not stand for, regardless of the representative’s political party.

Is it possible this requirement (No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge) might split the Democratic Party? With the implosion of the Republican party, perhaps conservative, establishment Democrats will join the Republican party, and the Democratic party will be the home of progressives who support the Green New Deal?

Nancy Pelosi isn’t all that impressed. Asked about the “Green New Deal” in an interview with Politico on Wednesday, Pelosi dropped this amazing bit of shade on it:“It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive. The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”

Nancy Pelosi just threw some serious shade at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’, CNN, Chris Cillizza February 7, 2019

The multiple consequences of climate change will increasingly dominate all our lives Basically we have two choices

  • create a massive mobilization framework to tackle these environmental catastrophes (GND)
  • or not, and the planet dies

We are in a life and death struggle.

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