Nancy Pelosi is many things, few of them laudable. But though she’s a liar and an extremist, she’s not stupid — at least, not as stupid as many of the other members of her caucus.
As you know, freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave the Democrats a major black eye with her massively-expensive Green New Deal proposal, which calls for draconian bans on energy production, mass overhauls on almost every overhaul in America, and insanely expensive renovation of American buildings while simultaneously blowing away the concept of having a budget with new housing, education, food, and income entitlements.
While some 2020 presidential hopefuls jumped to embrace it without bothering to read it, Democrats eventually realized they had a political disaster on their hands, to the point of trying to argue that simply voting on a proposal by one of their own rising stars was some kind of dirty trick.
Enter Pelosi. This week, the House Speaker gave an interview with Rolling Stone in which she officially confirmed the Green New Deal was a non-starter. As the Daily Wire reports:
“The Green New Deal,” Pelosi said, goes “beyond our charge.” and “is not what we hope to achieve.”
“Now, in terms of the Green New Deal [as conceived], that goes beyond what our charge is. Our charge is about saving the planet,” Pelosi told RS. “They have in there things like single-payer and … what is it? Guaranteed income?”
An aide quickly added, “Guaranteed income, and then a jobs guarantee.”
“And then they have, I don’t know if it’s single-payer or Medicare for All,” Pelosi continued. “It’s kind of, like, a broader agenda. All good values, but nonetheless, not what we hope to achieve with this focused, determined, decision-making: You’re either for the planet or you are not. There is no ‘plan B’ for the planet. We have to preserve it, and it is in great jeopardy.”
While careful not to insult the eco-lunatics that make up one of the Democrats’ oldest constituencies, Pelosi shut down the Green New Deal as something Democrats would consider in its current form.
This isn’t the first time Pelosi has shown an ability to separate her true leftist aspirations from Democrats’ electoral aspirations. Last November, a New York Times report detailed as Democrats prepared to take back the House, she made a point of telling House Dems not to talk about things like taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and instead stick to talking points about about dinner-table issues like health insurance and pre-existing conditions.
Ms. Pelosi acknowledged it would require restraint from Democrats. In her own San Francisco district, she said, people wanted her to fight the health care battle over funding for Planned Parenthood and Medicaid. “Those things are in our DNA, but they are not in our talking points,” Ms. Pelosi became fond of saying, according to a close associate.
That’s why, as amusing as it is to watch the catfight between Nancy and AOC, it’s important to keep in mind the Democrats’ shell game. They’re fully capable of faking reasonableness, but even if their legislative agenda doesn’t seem entirely insane, they hope to eventually reach the same place through more gradual change — easier-to-spin bills, judicial rulings they can claim are out of their hands, and bureaucratic meddling out of the public’s view entirely.
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