The weak rollout of the Green New Deal

But at least one of the chief policy architects of the resolution isn’t looking to make other proposals look good; he’s trying to make other Democrats look bad. Sean McElwee of Data for Progress told Vox that the Green New Deal is intended to be a new litmus test: “The Green New Deal is what it means to be progressive. … By definition that means politicians who don’t support those goals aren’t progressive. We need to hold that line. Get on the GND train or choo-choo, motherf—–, we’re going to go right past you.”

In other words, the fact that the Green New Deal divides the Democratic Party is a feature, not a bug. It is designed smoke out anyone who isn’t “progressive” by the standards set by McElwee and his allies.

That may be useful if your project is the ideological purification of the Democratic Party. But if your primary goal is to pass legislation that would help solve the climate crisis, you shouldn’t be trying to shrink your own party. You should be working on building a broad coalition that can get legislation through Congress and on a president’s desk.