Many give Progressive and Democratic Socialists a hard time for being hyphenated Democrats. The recent events on the Green New Deal illustrated why we must do that precisely.
The Huffington Post reported the following.
Democratic leaders on Thursday tapped Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) to head a revived U.S. House panel on climate change, all but ending a dramatic month long effort to establish a select committee on a Green New Deal. Castor’s appointment came as a surprise to proponents of a Green New Deal. The move also kicked off a controversy as the six-term congresswoman dismissed calls to bar members who accept money from fossil fuel companies from serving on the committee, arguing it would violate free speech rights.
Despite weeks of protests demanding House Democrats focus efforts next year on drafting a Green New Deal, the sort of sweeping economic policy that scientists say matches the scale of the climate crisis, Castor told E&E News the plan was “not going to be our sole focus.” She then suggested that barring members who have accepted donations from the oil, gas and coal industries from serving on the committee could be unconstitutional.
“I don’t think you can do that under the First Amendment, really,” she said.
That reasoning echoed arguments Exxon Mobil Corp. made in court as recently as this year to defend its funding of right-wing think tanks that deliberately produced misinformation about climate science to stymie government action on global warming.
Soon after the remarks were published, Castor walked back the statement in an interview with HuffPost, calling it an “inartful answer.” But she said she did not know whether, as chairperson, she could bar members on the committee from serving if they accepted fossil fuel donations.
“Maybe that’s a discussion we need to have in the caucus,” Castor said. It’s a stunning upset, essentially returning Democrats to the original plan leaders laid out before the protests began in November. The announcement comes as a loss for Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Her meteoric rise and devoted base made it seem as if she were poised to win the burgeoning cadre of leftist Democrats a beachhead in a select committee that, even with limited capacity, would have demonstrated tangible power in Washington.
It is clear that the Democratic Establishment which is but the left rail of the train track that moves in the same direction, is attempting to operate true to form. Progressives must stay engaged and call them out as we educate Americans on the issue. We must remove the corporate facade to news.