Night Owls is a themed open thread appearing at Daily Kos seven days a week.
Naomi Klein at The New York Times writes—Why Texas Republicans Fear the Green New Deal. Small government is no match for a crisis born of the state’s twin addictions to market fixes and fossil fuels:
Since the power went out in Texas, the state’s most prominent Republicans have tried to pin the blame for the crisis on, of all things, a sweeping progressive mobilization to fight poverty, inequality and climate change. “This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal,” Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said Wednesday on Fox News. Pointing to snow-covered solar panels, Rick Perry, a former governor who was later an energy secretary for the Trump administration, declared in a tweet “that if we humans want to keep surviving frigid winters, we are going to have to keep burning natural gas — and lots of it — for decades to come.”
The claims are outlandish. The Green New Deal is, among other things, a plan to tightly regulate and upgrade the energy system so the United States gets 100 percent of its electricity from renewables in a decade. Texas, of course, still gets the majority of its energy from gas and coal; much of that industry’s poorly insulated infrastructure froze up last week when it collided with wild weather that prompted a huge surge in demand. (Despite the claims of many conservatives, renewable energy was not to blame.) It was the very sort of freakish weather system now increasingly common, thanks to the unearthing and burning of fossil fuels like coal and gas. While the link between global warming and rare cold fronts like the one that just slammed Texas remains an area of active research, Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, says the increasing frequency of such events should be “a wake up call.”
For decades, the G.O.P. has met every disaster with a credo I have described as “the shock doctrine.” When disaster strikes, people are frightened and dislocated. They focus on handling the emergencies of daily life, like boiling snow for drinking water. They have less time to engage in politics and a reduced capacity to protect their rights. [...]
Large-scale shocks — natural disasters, economic collapse, terrorist attacks — become ideal moments to smuggle in unpopular free-market policies that tend to enrich elites at everyone else’s expense. Crucially, the shock doctrine is not about solving underlying drivers of crises: It’s about exploiting those crises to ram through your wish list even if it exacerbates the crisis. [...]
Mr. Abbott is railing against a policy plan that, as of now, exists primarily on paper. In a crisis, ideas matter—he knows this. He also knows that the Green New Deal, which promises to create millions of union jobs building out shock-resilient green energy infrastructure, transit and affordable housing, is extremely appealing. This is especially true now, as so many Texans suffer under the overlapping crises of unemployment, houselessness, racial injustice, crumbling public services and extreme weather. [...]
THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING
“Good can be radical; evil can never be radical, it can only be extreme, for it possesses neither depth nor any demonic dimension yet--and this is its horror--it can spread like a fungus over the surface of the earth and lay waste the entire world. Evil comes from a failure to think.”
~~Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1961)
On this date at Daily Kos in 2004—The legacy of McCain-Feingold:
Campaign Finance Reform. It was the ultimate political paradox. While Republicans held a 3x fundraising lead from hard-dollar donations, Democrats had parity in unregulated soft-dollar donations.
Yet Democrats voted for it, trapped between their support for good government and their addiction to soft dollars. Meanwhile, the GOP, who apparently had the most to gain, fought it tooth and nail.
Now, the big Ds (DNC, DCCC, and DSCC) face huge money disparities vis a vis their cash-flush GOP counterparts. Bush will have two to three times as much money as our Democratic nominee. So by winning, and by pushing good government, Democrats lost, right?