A Serious Party Takes Climate Seriously

Bill Scher

We stand with science.
– Sen. Barbara Boxer (R-Calif.)

When Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wanted to talk to the nation about health care, he read “Green Eggs and Ham.”

When 30 senators seized the Senate floor last night for an all-night talk-a-thon to sound the alarm about climate change, they delivered thoughtful speeches with scientific facts.

The contrast in seriousness is devastating.

Granted, nothing last night would warm the heart of a professional political consultant or communications strategist. There were no stunts, no mind-blowing turns of phrase, no sarcastic insults to upload to YouTube, no snide gestures to turn into GIFs.

Just the facts.

Liberals know all too well that facts don’t always win elections. And no one should expect last night’s event to spark such intense grassroots action that the Republican Party will be shaken out of its obstructionist stupor.

But take heart that Cruz’s antics have only further damaged the Republican Party’s already battered reputation.

Everyone outside the right-wing fever swamps understands that, whatever frustrations you might have with the Democrats, today’s Republican Party simply is not serious about governing.

Meanwhile, the lion’s share of the Democratic Party dropped everything for a night in order to elevate an issue that is not top of mind for many voters and probably will not be the key to electoral successes, simply because we have an urgent problem that is politically difficult to solve and they want to educate the public so we can solve it.

In other words, they put governing ahead of politics. They put the public’s long-term needs ahead of their own short-term political desires.

That’s called leadership.

It’s the kind of thing we always say we want our politicians to do, but usually neglect to notice when politicians do it.

But perhaps because Senate Democrats did it knowing not many people would be looking, and not many reporters would care, that is one of the reasons they are the only serious party in today’s two-party system.

And that is one of the reasons why the Republican Party’s hopes for the future are so limited, until they grow up and read books with bigger words.

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