“Only a climate-specific debate will show whether the candidates are climate ready or not.”
The Democratic National Committee faced increased pressure on Monday to hold a climate debate from progressive organizations demanding the party live up to its own governing platform and “treat this crisis like the emergency it is.”
Efforts to change the DNC’s mind appear headed to a headed to a fever pitch as the committee will meet later this week and reportedly vote (pdf) on a proposed resolution to hold a climate debate—and potentially a resolution put forth by DNC Chair Tom Perez that critics believe represents an effort to kill a climate-focused debate.
Eyeing that potential snuff-out—as well as the severity of planetary crisis— Progressive Democrats of America on Monday called on the Democratic presidential candidates to sign on to an open letter to Perez.
The document (pdf), which has already nabbed signatures from noted figures in the movement including 350.org founder Bill McKibben, Greenpeace executive director USA Annie Leonard, filmmaker Josh Fox, and activist Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., admonishes the party’s “deeply problematic” stance to not make “the existential threat of global climate breakdown” the focus of one of the dozen Democratic presidential debates.
The letter points to the party platform’s own Global Climate Leadership plank, which says, in part, “We are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II.”
Given that stated commitment, says the letter, it “defies common sense” that the party refuses to hold a climate debate.
Russell Greene, and advisor to PDA and an author of the platform’s climate emergency language, said in a statement that if the platform “actually guides anything, the Democrats will sponsor a climate debate.”
“Chairman Perez needs to stop dodging the issue,” said Greene, “and let the candidates debate their plans. Only a climate-specific debate will show whether the candidates are climate ready or not.”
CNN and MSNBC will hold climate-focused forums featuring 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates, a development the youth-led Sunrise Movement welcomed as a sign of their pressure working. But the upcoming forums did little to quell activists’ demands for a climate debate.
“If you needed another reason why the @DNC *must* plan a full-fledged #ClimateDebate, here it is,” Oil Change US tweeted Monday, responding to news that White House hopeful Kamala Harris will be attending a fundraiser instead of the CNN event. “Major candidates may skip a forum, but they wouldn’t skip a #DemDebate.”
Last chance to sign your name!
A #ClimateDebate is on the DNC summer meeting agenda this week & we need to keep the pressure on. A climate debate will allow candidates to share concrete plans to confront this crisis w/ the BOLD action required! Act now: https://t.co/dbUeFphv3x
— Oil Change U.S. (@OilChangeUS) August 19, 2019
Sunrise, in a Monday morning tweet, drew attention to this week being decision time for the resolution for a climate-focused debate. “We need all hands on deck if we want to win the vote,” said Sunrise.
The youth-led group has been putting steady pressure on the DNC, launching a seven-week campaign to demand a climate debate. Their actions have included a three-day sit-in at the DNC headquarters in Washington, D.C. in June.
“This pressure worked,” Sunrise declares on its website. “The day after the sit-in ended, the Democratic National Committee confronted internal pressure to hold a climate debate, and scheduled a vote on this issue at their national meeting from August 22-24 in California, where representatives from every state will come together.”
To make sure the party acts in accordance with the urgency the climate crisis demands, Sunrise is calling on people to “mobilize in every corner of the country to turn up the heat on local and state party officials.”
“It’s time,” the group says, “to turn up the heat for a #ClimateDebate.”
‘There are some women who’d beg to differ’: Watch CNN anchor’s epic response to sexism in politics
On Saturday, CNN anchor S.E. Cupp gave a passionate lecture about the sexism female politicians face during political campaigns.
The host read a quote from a "top" advisor to former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I don't know of anybody who has taken as sustained and vitriolic a negative pounding as Biden ...really the most vicious press I think anyone's experienced,” the Biden advisor told Politico.
"Come again? What's that now?" Cupp asked in disbelief.
"I think there are some women who beg to differ," she noted.
‘Obstructionist-in-chief’ McConnell pilloried by conservative scholar with plea for Kentucky voters to dump him
In a column for the conservative Bulwark, a former assistant U.S. Attorney who worked with under Ken Starr during the Whitewater investigation implored Kentucky voters to dump Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying he has used the rules of the Senate to crown himself king.
According to Kimberly Wehle, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, McConnell has used his ascension to the majority leader's spot to become the "obstructionist-in-chief."
Pointing at a government that appears frozen in place, Wehle wrote, "Voters are pointing fingers, variously, at House Democrats, Republican senators, federal agencies, the federal judiciary, their state and local counterparts, and of course Donald J. Trump himself," before adding, "Much of the logjam in government falls at the feet of a single man whose power does not stem from the Constitution at all. As Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has repeatedly and single-handedly flouted the will of the people and the prerogatives of his governmental counterparts otherwise mandated by the U.S. Constitution."
Why won’t Democrats say they want government to solve problems?
All 10 Democratic candidates in the Houston debate Sept. 13 spoke about investing public money – taxpayer dollars – in education, health care and economic opportunity for Americans. Those ideas depend on an underlying point none of them came out and said directly: Government can help citizens live better lives and achieve their dreams.
Why won’t Democrats come out and say that government is, or at least can be, good?Crisis of distrust
The 2020 presidential campaign is happening in an America facing a historic crisis of public trust in political leaders, branches of government and each other. Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur seeking the Democratic nomination, said it directly on the stage: “We don’t trust our institutions anymore.”