During an interview with The New York Times, President Obama admitted that the Republican anti-science climate change deniers are frustrating and that he wants to go off on them.
Do you ever want to just go off on the climate deniers in Congress?
“Yeah, absolutely,” the president said with a laugh. “Look, it’s frustrating when the science is in front of us. … We can argue about how. But let’s not argue about what’s going on. The science is compelling. … The baseline fact of climate change is not something we can afford to deny. And if you profess leadership in this country at this moment in our history, then you’ve got to recognize this is going to be one of the most significant long-term challenges, if not the most significant long-term challenge, that this country faces and that the planet faces. The good news is that the public may get out ahead of some of their politicians” — as people start to see the cost of cleaning up for hurricanes like Sandy or the drought in California — and when “those start multiplying, then people start thinking, ‘You know what? We’re going to reward politicians who talk to us honestly and seriously about this problem.’ ”
The president added: “The person who I consider to be the greatest president of all time, Abraham Lincoln, was pretty consistent in saying, ‘With public opinion there’s nothing I cannot do, and without public opinion there’s nothing I can get done,’ and so part of my job over these next two and a half years and beyond is trying to shift public opinion. And the way to shift public opinion is to really focus in on the fact that if we do nothing our kids are going to be worse off.”
The president finds himself in a familiar position. Most presidents have needed to rely on the public when the members of Congress are behind the times on an issue. The problem is that Republicans don’t have to respond to public pressure. They seem only concerned with what their big money donors like the Koch brothers want. Time and again, the American people have demanded action on everything from expanded gun background checks to extending unemployment benefits and they have gotten nothing, because this Congress does not work for or answer to the American people.
The fact that the one party in Congress has no interest in governing has to be frustrating to the president. There are vital long-term issues like climate change and immigration that are being ignored by a Republican Party that is only interesting in chasing the scandal of the day and raising more right-wing billionaire dollars.
Republicans are living in their own reality that is defined by whatever their big money donors tell them it is. When the anti-science religious right wing of the party is added into the mix, the result is a group of people who have no interest in dealing with fundamental reality, much less the future of the planet.
It was nice to hear that the president shares the same frustrations as the non-Koch owned and science embracing majority, and POTUS offered an attractive remedy to the nation’s current problem.
Voters must start rewarding politicians who are living reality, and throwing out those who have been blinded by Koch dollars and anti-science pandering.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association