NY Times Goes Easy on Wacky ‘Green New Deal’: ‘Liberal Ambition...Breathtaking’

February 8th, 2019 4:02 PM

The New York Times deemphasized the truly ridiculously implausible and radical proposals in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez six-page “Green New Deal” when it gave it front-page play on Friday: “Unveiling a ‘Green New Deal,’ And Ambition on a Vast Scale.”

Instead of showing skepticism, former Climatewire reporter Lisa Friedman and veteran political reporter Glenn Thrush gave the resolution points for ambition:

Liberal Democrats put flesh on their “Green New Deal” slogan on Thursday with a sweeping resolution intended to redefine the national debate on climate change by calling for the United States to eliminate additional emissions of carbon by 2030.

The measure, drafted by freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, is intended to answer the demand, by the party’s restive base, for a grand strategy that combats climate change, creates jobs and offers an affirmative response to the challenge to core party values posed by President Trump.

The Times used euphemisms like “ambitious” to describe the outlandish proposals.

The resolution has more breadth than detail and is so ambitious that Republicans greeted it with derision. Its legislative prospects are bleak in the foreseeable future; Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has no plan to bring the resolution in its current form to the floor for a vote, according to a Democratic leadership aide with direct knowledge of her plans.

This blandished summary of the radical ideas could be read as praise for their “breathtaking” ambition:

But as a blueprint for liberal ambition, it was breathtaking. It includes a 10-year commitment to convert “100 percent of the power demand in the United States” to “clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources,” to upgrade “all existing buildings” to meet energy efficiency requirements, and to expand high-speed rail so broadly that most air travel would be rendered obsolete.

Ben Shapiro at The Daily Wire encapsulated the Green New Deal (emphasis in original):

The proposal calls for the United States to be free of carbon emissions within 10 years without the use of nuclear power. It calls for every building in the United States to be replaced or retrofitted in green fashion. It calls for universal healthcare, free college education, the replacement of airplanes with high-speed trains, charging stations “everywhere” (this is the sort of exactness the proposal contains), replacement of “every combustion-engine vehicle,” government-provided jobs, family and medical leave, vacations, retirement security, and the abolition of “farting cows.” It also calls for total “economic security” for anyone “unable or unwilling to work.”

It's already been endorsed by several Democrats running for president, including Sen. Kamala Harris.

Friedman and Thrush mentioned GOP ridicule without getting into the “zany” specifics:

Republicans seized on the proposal with relish, portraying the entire resolution as absurd.

“The socialist Democrats are off to a great start with the roll out of their ridiculous Green New Deal today!” said Bob Salera, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the political arm of House Republicans, who called the idea “zany.”

The Republican National Committee derided it as “a socialist wish list.”

Despite that pushback, the Times even argued that it was in some ways a modest document.

For all of the resolution’s audacity, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Mr. Markey also steered clear of several thorny issues, and there were even signs of concessions to moderate Democrats and Republicans interested in working on clean energy issues.

For example, the resolution does not specify a date for eliminating planet-warming emissions, instead calling for the elimination of fossil fuels from major economic sectors “as much as technologically feasible.”

There wasn’t much “flesh” put on the “creating high-paid jobs” idea, which would be hard after the economy has been wrecked with oppressive environmental edicts:

The measure also includes social justice goals not usually attached to antipollution plans, like eradicating poverty by creating high-paid jobs.

But the resolution goes far beyond that, touching on themes that are animating a rising left but rarely reach the halls of Congress. It aims to “promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities and youth.”

The reporters politely demurred from pointing out that nothing on the left-wing wish list above has much to do with saving the environment.