But Ocasio-Cortez did appear to have a learning experience this week, though time will tell if she truly learned from it. Her Green New Deal had an embarrassing launch, released prematurely (says AOC’s office) with a description of a policy granting some form of subsidy to “all who are unable or unwilling to work” (her office later called the accompanying “FAQ fact sheet” a mistake when it was met with immediate criticism). The Green New Deal proposal itself was endorsed widely, including by several of the 2020 presidential candidates, who weren’t eager to answer questions about the mix-up. The goal of eliminating the use of fossil fuels would seem to eliminate overseas flights and prompted not just jokes from Trump but push-back from experts like Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist and secretary of energy under President Obama. “It’s just impractical. And if we start putting out impractical targets, we may lose a lot of key constituencies who we need to bring along to have a real low-carbon solution on the most rapid time frame that we can achieve,” such as labor unions, Moniz told NPR.
Next year Trump is going to do all he can to divide Democrats and independent voters on Israel and socialism, abortion, immigration and air travel — whatever openings they give him. The new agitators will no doubt be all too willing to oblige him, happy to become punch lines at Trump rallies. Democrats seeking to be the party’s nominee, or influence the race next year, should step up now and disavow all of this before it’s too late.