On Wednesday, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg weathered the slings and arrows of outrageous Republicans at a committee hearing. At one point, while discussing why his department needed more support in combating the issues presented by climate change, Buttigieg was forced to face off against Republican Rep. Doug LaMalfa, a longtime climate change denier and the guy who supports a push for parts of Northern California to secede from California.
As the extent of LaMalfa’s understanding of the climate begins and ends with looking out of his window every morning, his intellectually undercooked climate denialism is very easily dismissed. But Buttigieg used LaMalfa’s ignorance against him in a subtle yet very effective way. During a tense exchange where LaMalfa obfuscated the task at hand by blathering about percentages of carbon in the atmosphere, Buttigieg bottom-lined him by saying, “What I can tell you is that climate change is real, and we gotta do something about it,” to which LaMalfa attempted to retort, “Yeah, this one’s called autumn, sir.”
Buttigieg responded, “I’m sorry?” This forced LaMalfa to repeat the same joke again … and then Buttigieg shook his head and said, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t make out what you said, sir.” And LaMalfa had to repeat his truly pathetic joke a third time. Then Buttigieg gave a light smile and dropped the hammer: “Yeah, that's the seasons changing, which, respectively, is not the same thing as the climate changing. And as somebody who is hoping to retire in the 2050s and who has kids who will be old enough to ask me as they're getting to their thirties, whether we did enough to deal with climate change or whether we just did what was convenient, I take that really seriously.”
It was the rhetorical equivalent of forcing someone to smack themself in their own face.
RELATED STORY: Republican climate science denier Doug LaMalfa cries crocodile tears over Dixie Fire
Republicans are in a pinch. The hearing comes at the same time the Biden administration is announcing an ambitious climate jobs training initiative called the American Climate Corps. The plan promises upward of 20,000 new positions in the first year alone, and aspires to train Americans in new industries the way that President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal did long ago. The program was pushed by congressional Democrats and has widespread support from the public.
The American Climate Corps is another attempt by Democratic officials to do something about the many problems facing our country, now and in the future. The Republican Party doesn’t have those kinds of policies. In fact, the only policies they seem to have amount to a vague promise that their old, unpopular, and failed policies will somehow work some day—for white people.
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What do you do if you're associated with one of the biggest election fraud scandals in recent memory? If you're Republican Mark Harris, you try running for office again! On this week's episode of "The Downballot," we revisit the absolutely wild story of Harris' 2018 campaign for Congress, when one of his consultants orchestrated a conspiracy to illegally collect blank absentee ballots from voters and then had his team fill them out before "casting" them. Officials wound up tossing the results of this almost-stolen election, but now Harris is back with a new bid for the House—and he won't shut up about his last race, even blaming Democrats for the debacle.