In case you somehow hadn’t noticed — the Trump camp is fond of antagonism. This past week at a Trump rally in Michigan, the crowd erupted into a chant of “AOC Sucks!” targeting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) after Donald Trump Jr. mocked her as incompetent while discussing her “Green New Deal” proposal to combat climate change. Ocasio-Cortez responded to the criticism this week, dismissing the episode as indicative of the president’s team’s long-running attachment to vilification of their opponents.
As she explained it:
‘He doesn’t have another woman — Hillary Clinton or whoever else – to vilify anymore so they need to find another woman to kind of prop up and become a lightning rod.’
.@AOC: “[Trump] doesn’t have another woman — Hillary Clinton or whomever else — to vilify anymore, so they need to find another woman to kind of prop up and become a lightning rod.” pic.twitter.com/8GSb9Q3Gkp
— The Hill (@thehill) March 30, 2019
She’s certainly onto something — she has been mentioned more frequently on Fox News than any other Democrat so far this year, even as the United States prepares for the incoming 2020 presidential elections. They have torn into everything from the Green New Deal to her pronunciation of her name, which host Laura Ingraham mocked at one point for being too ethnic.
Her Green New Deal, which has attracted the support of a number of Democratic Senators inside and outside of the presidential candidate field, calls for the United States to maintain net zero greenhouse gas emissions within some ten years, which while ambitious, lays out a clear path to addressing the looming climate change threat that President Donald Trump has said he simply doesn’t believe in.
Trump is far from alone in dismissing the urgency of the issue. In recent days in a Senate floor speech, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) brought out an outlandish argument, asserting that the solution to climate change is… wait for it… babies. To roughly summarize, he argued that people should have more children so that they can contribute to the discussion over tackling climate change issues. In other words, he wants those in the present to do nothing for a couple or few decades.
Ocasio-Cortez quipped in response that:
‘If this guy can be Senator, you can do anything.’
Lee offered his remarks in the context of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell having rushed the Green New Deal to a floor vote without any opportunity for much prior deliberation in an effort to put Democrats “on the spot.” Most of them voted “present” in an effort to avoid squabbling with those in their party who had not had the opportunity to be convinced of the merits of the plan.
President Donald Trump himself has derided the Green New Deal, falsely characterizing it — along with other Republicans — as targeting staples of the American economy like air travel and meat production.
In reality, those Republican talking points were taken from an accidentally posted draft of suggestions for ways that the U.S. could actually achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, but that hasn’t stopped the right from seriously running with the argument anyway.
Trump has repeatedly shunned action on climate change, infamously even withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord, a measure laying out steps towards curtailing climate change signed by nearly every other country on earth.
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