If you can’t win your legislative fight in Congress, then take it to the court of public opinion.
That’s the thinking behind a new push by Congressional Democrats to pressure their GOP counterparts toward a tipping point on taking legislative action to regulate climate change out of existence.
Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) told The Hill Thursday he and other Democratic members of the Safe Climate Caucus (there’s a “Safe Climate” caucus?) are planning to write weekly op-eds that will appear on The Huffington Post’s website, as well as publish a roster of YouTube videos that describe the perils of ignoring mankind’s contribution to global warming.
“We can’t see the agenda in the committees,” Waxman told The Hill. “The Republicans are doing nothing, but we will not be silenced… I think the American people, as they see one climate disaster following another, they are going to wake up and say to their representatives, ‘How can you deny this?’”
The idea, of course, is to turn the debate into a popularity contest by placing Congressmen in the realm of infotainment, where the general public is supposed to heed the climate change warnings of Washington politicians — a bunch loaded with street credibility, coolness and an inborn natural rapport with the American people.
Yeah, that should turn out great.
Waxman, who recently announced he will not run for re-election when his present term expires, offered an ambivalent message about how the government can tackle climate change until Democrats can tip the scale of public opinion far enough to incite a grass-roots call for action. He seemed to indicate Congress is properly the originator of any new laws that would address the “problem” — after all, his whole plan to start blogging was based on his frustration that Congressional Republicans won’t budge — but he took comfort in the arbitrary power of President Barack Obama’s pen.
“I think Congress will get to a point where we will start acting, but in the meantime, we have to rely on the President to do much of what we could do by law in ways I think may even be more conducive to reducing climate threats,” he said. “But in meantime, the President has authority to take a lot of actions on his own.”