The Socialist That Could……..

The Socialist That Could

By Kimberley A. Strassel……

The Re­pub­li­can Party has a se­cret weapon for 2020. It’s es­pe­cially ef­fec­tive be­cause it’s stealthy: The De­moc­rats seem obliv­i­ous to its power. And the GOP needn’t lift a fin­ger for it to work. All Re­pub­li­cans have to do is sit back and watch 29-year-old Rep. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez . . . ex­ist.

AOC, as she’s bet­ter known, to­day ex­ists largely in front of the cam­eras. In a few months she’s gone from an un­known New York bar­tender to the de­mo­c­ra­tic so­cial­ist dar­ling of the left and its me­dia hordes. Her mega­phone is so loud that she ri­vals Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the face of the De­mo­c­ra­tic Party. Re­pub­li­cans don’t know whether to ap­plaud or laugh. Most do both.
For them, what’s not to love? She’s set off a frat­ri­ci­dal war on the left, with her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, this week slam­ming the “rad­i­cal con­ser­v­a-tives” among the De­moc­rats hold­ing the party “hostage.” She’s made friends with Je­remy Cor­byn, leader of Britain’s Labour Party, who has been ac­cused of anti-Semi­tism. She’s called the Amer­i­can sys­tem of wealth cre­ation “im­moral” and be­lieves gov­ern­ment has a duty to pro­vide “eco­nomic se­cu­rity” to peo­ple who are “un­will­ing to work.” As a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of New York, she’s mak­ing Cal­i­for­nia look sen­si­ble.

On Thurs­day Ms. Oca­sio-Cortez un­veiled her vaunted Green New Deal, com­plete with the de­tails of how De­moc­rats plan to reach cli­mate nir­vana in a mere 10 years. It came in the form of a res­o­lu­tion, spon­sored in the Sen­ate by Mass­achusetts’ Ed­ward Markey, on which AOC is de­ter-mined to force a full House vote. That means every De­mo­c­rat in Wash­ing­ton will get to go on the record in fa­vor of abol­ish­ing air travel, out­law­ing steaks, forc­ing all Amer­i­can home­own­ers to retro­fit their houses, putting every miner, oil rig­ger, live­stock rancher and gas-sta­tion at­ten-dant out of a job, and spend­ing tril­lions and tril­lions more tax money. Oh, also for gov­ern­ment-run health care, which is some-how a pre­req­ui­site for a clean econ­omy.

It’s a GOP dream, es­pe­cially be­cause the me­dia pre­sented her plan with a straight face—as a le­git­i­mate pro­posal from a le­git­i­mate leader in the De­mo­c­ra-tic Party. Re­pub­li­cans are thrilled to treat it that way in the march to 2020, as their set-piece ex­am­ple of what De­moc­rats would do to the econ­omy and av­er­age Amer­i­cans if given con­trol. The Green New Deal en­cap­su­lates every­thing Amer­i-cans fear from gov­ern­ment, all in one bonkers res­o­lu­tion.

It is for starters, a mas­sive plan for the gov­ern­ment to take over and mi­cro­man­age much the econ­omy. Take the cen­tral plank, its dik­tat of pro­duc­ing 100% of U.S. elec­tric­ity “through clean, re­new­able, and zero-emis­sion en­ergy sources” by 2030. As Ron Bai­ley at Rea­son has noted, a 2015 plan from Stan­ford en­vi­sion­ing the goal called for the in­stal­la­tion of 154,000 off­shore wind tur-bines, 335,000 on­shore wind tur­bines, 75 mil­lion res­i­den­tial pho­to­voltaic (so­lar) sys­tems, 2.75 mil­lion com­mer­cial so­lar sys­tems, and 46,000 util­ity-scale so­lar fa­cil­i­ties. AOC has been clear it will be gov­ern­ment build­ing all this, not the pri­vate sec­tor.

And that might be the easy part. Ac­cord­ing to an ac­com­pa­ny-ing fact sheet, the Green New Deal would also get rid of com­bus­tion en­gines, “build charg­ing sta­tions every­where,” “up­grade or re­place every build­ing in U.S.,” do the same with all “in­frastructure,” and criss­cross the na­tion with “high-speed rail.”

Buried in the de­tails, the Green New Deal also promises gov­ern­ment con­trol of the most fun­da­men­tal as­pects of pri­vate life. The fact sheet ex­plains why the res­o­lu­tion doesn’t call for “ban­ning fos­sil fu­els” or for “zero” emis­sions across the en­tire econ­omy—at least at first. It’s be­cause “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of fart­ing cows and air­planes that fast” (em­pha­sis mine).

This is an ac­knowl­edg­ment that planes don’t run on any­thing but fos­sil fuel. No jet fuel, no trips to see granny. It’s also an ac­knowl-edg­ment that live­stock pro­duce meth­ane, which has led cli­mate alarmists to en­gage in “meat­less Mon­days.” AOC may not prove able to erad­i­cate “fully” every fam­ily Christ­mas or strip of ba­con in a decade, but that’s the goal.

Fi­nally, the res­o­lu­tion is De­mo­c­ra­tic math at its best. It leaves out a price tag, and is equally vague on what kind of taxes would be needed to cover the cost. But it would run to tens of tril­lions of dol­lars. The fact sheet as­serts the cost shouldn’t worry any­one, since the Fed­eral Re­serve can just “ex­tend credit” to these projects! And “new pub­lic banks can be cre­ated to ex­tend credit,” too! And Amer­i-cans will get lots of “shared pros­per­ity” from their “in­vest-ments.” À la Solyn­dra.

At least some De­moc­rats seem to be aware of what a dan­ger this is, which is why Ms. Pelosi threw some cold wa­ter on the Green New Deal this week. They should be scared. Ms. Oca­sio-Cortez is a freight train gain­ing speed by the day—and help­ing Re­pub­li­cans with every pass­ing minute.