After a fairly disheveled week of failing to find an attack on President Biden’s infrastructure/jobs/climate plan that would stick, eventually climate deniers/the GOP (but we repeat ourselves) stumbled upon a line that seemed to resonate: Biden’s coming for your red meat!
Now, before you go running to grab one last meatball, rest assured that as multiple different fact-check responses have pointed out recently, there’s literally nothing in President Biden’s plan that suggests he’s going to be calling the kitchen gestapo to force-feed you gazpacho. Even the Daily Caller fact-checked it, even FoxNews ran a correction, and Biden’s USDA Chief has since confirmed it: “There is no effort designed to limit people’s intake of beef coming out of President Biden’s White House or USDA. Sometimes in the political world, games get played and issues are injected into the conversation knowing full well that there’s no factual basis.” And after the plan’s release, some advocates were disappointed by how little it does to address agriculture and food system emissions. But that’s certainly not stopping the right from trying to make Americans afraid again!
The Daily Mail, the British tabloid with a long, ignoble history of running conservative propaganda disguised as news, started it with a listicle of things Biden’s climate agenda might possibly, if enacted, mean for your daily life. In it, they include a study about meat consumption that suggests a safe climate might require something like a 90% reduction in conventionally farmed red meat.
Yet despite the fact that Biden has said literally nothing about reducing meat consumption, former Trump toady Larry Kudlow went on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News to trumpet the claim, while adding a mocking reference to drinking plant-based beer on the 4th of July, which just makes us wonder what red-meat beers Kudlow’s been drinking. (They do seem pretty strong, at least!)
From there, the piece bounced around the fact-free conservative deniersphere. For example, fresh off her long-haul reading project of all 14 pages of the Green New Deal, Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-nothing better to do), tweeted a picture of Biden having a hamburger and called him “The Hamburglar.”
We wish the childish taunts were the extent of the immaturity, but conservatives are also proving worse behaved than literal children, who probably sat through a recent Nickelodeon PSA with much less screaming and crying than rightwing media.
Last week the kid’s TV network Nickelodeon did a short “Nick News” segment on environmental racism, and boy did it piss off some racists! The Daily Wire was Big Mad (though probably more because of the implications a generational concern about environmental justice might mean for Ben Shapiro’s fracking-backed blog), and the Washington Examiner turned a bunch of tweets from definitely real people into a story, as did Murdoch’s New York Post, which accurately portrayed the real depth of the conservative thought leadership bench by quoting a tweet from a two-week old account with literally zero followers.
It also quoted a TownHall (rightwing propaganda site) “editor” reminiscing about the “good ol’ days” of more wholesome programming on Nickelodeon, like “Rocko’s modern life,” a show so chock full of double-entendres it inspired a whole listicle of the dirty jokes it ran. (And that doesn’t include the whole episode revolving around Rocko’s nudity being turned into an arthouse film, so like the conservative view of American history, even their cartoon history is revisionist!)
But according to the party that’s totally not racist but always gets really upset when you try and do anything anti-racist, Nickelodeon is bad for telling kids about pollution. And according to the party that insists it’s really very serious about finding common-sense solutions to climate change just so long as they don’t involve reducing emissions (more on that tomorrow!) President Biden’s entirely meat-free climate plan is actually a plan for a proof-of-vaccination-like-“Red Meat Passports.”
Lacking any credible response to climate change — because that would mean confronting their fossil fuel campaign donors — the GOP’s increasingly desperate attempts to further stall climate policy are just getting … at the risk of insulting children … more and more childish. Even Nickelodeon’s programming is more mature than they are now, and it’s a network for literal children!