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There is an amazing report in the New York Times today about the Republicans' latest brilliant political strategy. It's the kind of article that should be saved and framed to show people in fifty years and shock their senses. The title of the report is "G.O.P. Sees Opportunity for Election Gains in Obama’s Climate Change Policy." It's an inspiring tale of how the party of Teddy Roosevelt is explicitly planning to punish the Democrats, politically, for their puzzling insistence on taking the threat of environmental catastrophe seriously.

In the wake of Obama's climate speech last week, Republicans believe they now have a "powerful issue" to use against Democrats in "energy-rich states from Texas to Minnesota." They're not even making a pretense of caring about things like policy, human beings, the world, etc. Right-wing Democrats are also joining in on the movement to accelerate the most dire threat the species has ever faced, attacking Obama as "anti-coal" for his centrist-though-maniacal regulatory proposals.

Former Democratic congressman Ben Chandler is a luckless soul who made the poor strategic decision to oppose destroying the environment in a district that, while it contains no actual coal mines, nonetheless has a "strong cultural affinity for coal," whatever the hell that means. Voters evidently treasure this long-distance relationship with coal, and, convinced that Obama was "waging a war on them," they booted Chandler out of office after eight years. This is presented as a cautionary tale for any Democrats who harbor any illusions about serving as foot soldiers in Obama's War on Coal and surviving politically.

Republicans smell blood and they plan to tie anyone with a D in front of their name to this dastardly environmentalist ideology (similar to what they did in 2010 over the equally nefarious Democratic plot to provide people with health-care).

Obviously, the fact that Republicans (and right-wing Democrats) are openly sacrificing the fate of the species in the name of possibly picking up a few congressional seats is not surprising. Still, though, we should not cease pointing out the absolute lunacy that is at work here. Consider the context. Jeff Goodell recently informed us in the pages of Rolling Stone that the City of Miami will, in the not-too-distant future, cease to exist. By the end of the century, if not sooner, SpongeBob will be the sole resident of this great American city. We are seeing record heat, droughts, and wildfires across the American West (as predicted by scientists a decade ago). Over 800,000 residents of New York City will be living in "flood zones" by 2050, more than double the current amount. Atmospheric CO2 levels are set to reach levels never before seen in human history.

The Republican response to this unprecedented threat is to slaughter the Democrats politically for caring about it at all (and, while they're at it, slash public investments in renewable energy). It's unconscionable, and the fact that it doesn't even shock us anymore is itself terrifying.

{Originally posted at www.justindoolittle.net}
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Originally posted to Justin Doolittle on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:13 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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