Hayward: Ocasio-Cortez Disavows the Green New Deal’s FAQ After It Becomes a Mockery

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks as other House Democrats listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol January 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. House Democrats held a news conference to introduce the 'Paycheck Fairness Act.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Green New Deal (GND) quickly became the subject of such mockery that its godmother, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, attempted to scrub the talking points from her website and pretend they never existed at all. The effort to erase this political disaster is one of the biggest political gaslighting operations in recent memory. It happened so fast that half of the online Left is still touting the GND as the irresistible wave of the future, while the other half thinks it’s a trick concocted by right-wing pranksters.

The Green New Deal was announced on Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s website on Tuesday, February 5, accompanied by a set of talking points presented as “Frequently Asked Questions.” Of course, no one could be “frequently asking questions” about a plan that did not previously exist, but politicians long ago hijacked computer lingo to package their talking points as “FAQ sheets” to give the impression that everyone is buzzing about whatever idea the politician is pushing.

Ocasio-Cortez apparently did not like the buzz that erupted around her Green New Deal FAQ, because she scrubbed it from her website on Thursday, February 7 after 48 hours of ridicule and alarm.

The whole point behind the FAQ sheet was to tease the formal rollout the resolution she and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts introduced on Thursday. The resolution proved to be less specific than the FAQ sheet – but, of course, that’s what FAQ sheets are for. It has become very common for politicians to give relatively vague and aspirational speeches, then direct voters to consult their websites for more details.

The FAQ sheet was revised before it was deleted entirely, which completely demolishes the narrative that it was not a serious document or was posted by accident. Ocasio-Cortez and her staff tried to save the document by surgically altering its most ridiculous elements before they gave up and shipped the whole thing off to the ozone layer.

It is also worth noting that the FAQ sheet was shopped around by Ocasio-Cortez staffers to major media organizations, including NPR and the Washington Post. NPR published the FAQ before interviewing Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday morning, and she raised no objection to what they published. Clearly, this was not some phantom early draft posted on the website by accident.

Inconveniently for Democrat efforts to flush the original release of the Green New Deal down the memory hole, the resolution introduced by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Markey still contained plenty of eye-rolling insanities, such as destroying the American industrial base to achieve “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” within ten years.

Climate cultists love to pretend this is a reasonable objective that could be reached with minimal cost and a bit of compromise – say, zero emissions in 12 years instead of 10, chugging in just ahead of the planetary apocalypse Ocasio-Cortez recently predicted – but in truth it would cost trillions of dollars, shove the U.S. economy back into an uncompetitive Stone Age, end the standard of living middle-class Americans have grown accustomed to, and cause incredible amounts of environmental damage.

This is especially true for zero-emissions schemes that do not rely heavily upon nuclear power, of which the GND takes a dim view. The original FAQ sheet actually called for a total ban on nuclear power and decommissioning every existing reactor within ten years, which is physically impossible.

Markey himself awkwardly admitted the zero-emissions plan assumes currently nonexistent technologies will be developed over the next decade, making it possible for air travel to continue without carbon emissions. Less creative defenders of the proposal grunted that everyone will just have to grow accustomed to changes in their lifestyles.

Even more inconvenient for Green New Deal revisionists, the resolution introduced on Thursday was still packed with all kinds of madcap social-justice spending that had nothing whatsoever to do with the environment.

“This is really about providing justice for communities and just transitions for communities, so really the heart of the Green New Deal is about social justice,” as Ocasio-Cortez herself put it on Thursday.

The craziest passages from the FAQ, such as guaranteeing “economic security to all those who are unable or unwilling to work,” were left out of the resolution introduced in Congress, but it still complains at length about “wage stagnation,” “anti-labor policies,” stagnant hourly wages, income inequality, the amount of money made by the top 1 percent of earners, racism, and the entirely false canard that women earn 80 cents on the male dollar.

The fifth objective of the Green New Deal congressional resolution reads as follows, in its entirety:

To promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this resolution as “frontline and vulnerable communities”).

In short, the resolution introduced by Markey and Ocasio-Cortez is still a terrifying socialist power grab wrapped in a thin layer of Green lunacy. It remains as the FAQ described it: a “massive transformation of our society.” The plan as a whole does not become significantly less deranged, impractical, or contrary to American democracy because the howlers about eliminating cow flatulence and paying people not to work have been removed.

It is painfully clear that some of the left-wing media organizations frantically spinning for Ocasio-Cortez still have not read the actual congressional resolution because some of her most radical ideas are still in there.

For example, the resolution still calls for “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability.” The resolution still tries to bilk taxpayers to pay off the Democrats’ Big Labor allies by mandating union labor for “Green New Deal mobilization.”

And while the red-alert language about providing economic security for those who “refuse to work” has been clipped, the resolution does still conclude by demanding affordable housing and economic security for “all people of the United States,” which would logically include people who can work but refuse to do so.

After a few days of her surrogates pretending not to know what the Green New Deal FAQ said or claiming it was fabricated by Republican operatives, Ocasio-Cortez appears to have settled on blaming her subordinates for sending out an “early draft” of the document by mistake. The notion of a junior representative arrogantly demanding the power to remake and micro-manage the entire U.S. economy, but completely bungling the launch of her signature congressional initiative, is almost as crazy as anything contained in the FAQ sheet. In fairness, she would not be the first power-hungry Democrat who couldn’t run a website.

Ocasio-Cortez is literally telling her supporters to pretend the FAQ does not exist, and the media is going along with her – a service they would never dream of providing to any Republican who claimed to have accidentally released an embarrassing document.

The media will now attempt to pretend that criticism of the Green New Deal is illegitimate because everything bad was contained in the memory-holed FAQ. One of her advisers has already been obliged to retract his accusation that Republicans invented the “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work” line in the talking-points memo … but he was wildly applauded for making that accusation by media types who were too lazy to read the FAQ for themselves and see that he was wrong.

Expect more of that in the weeks to come, as the protean Green New Deal changed with every passing minute to become whatever Democrats need it to be, and “journalists” stubbornly refuse to remind you what they were saying about it yesterday.

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