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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

About Paris

Category: Environment
Posted: 06/03/17 11:53

by Dave Mindeman

When Donald Trump opted out of the Paris Agreement, most people believe that he followed the lead of Steve Bannon. The former Breitbart exec is not so much a climate denier (although he espouses that sentiment) as he is an anti-globalist. He thinks of any international cooperation as a threat to our own national sovereignty. If you think that is delusional, you are right; but a large majority of Trump's base think in those terms.

If the climate "facts" that Trump sited are any indication, Bannon filled Trump's head (and remember it does not hold much) with debunked studies and selective information on other studies. It was a typical piece of Breitbart information.

That is no way to make a major decision.

There is a positive in what Trump did here. It united the world and a large portion of this country into a more united front on climate. The attention has brought out more informative facts. The alarm bells were raised with more people listening. Trump took us out of an agreement which was largely voluntary, but it gave us guidelines to follow. Those guidelines can still be done with or without Trump's help.

The world will be looking less to the US for leadership because of this. And as long as Trump is President that may be a good thing. In a way, the rest of the globe will have to examine their own contribution to climate change in a more realistic way - and not wait for the US to weigh in.

Don't get me wrong - Trump pulling out of Paris is a big deal. And the policies that may result could be very harmful. But their is a strong resistance. Trump can only control so much - it is up to us to make things work.

It always has been.
comments (1) permalink

Selective Outrage

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 06/01/17 14:52

by Dave Mindeman

Alright. Kathy Griffin did an obscenely stupid thing. It was ugly and I have not seen anyone, liberal or conservative, that condoned it. No one. She apologized and did so very publicly.

But conservatives and Republicans have a very selective way of approaching these things. They express some justified outrage - and then they start to fundraise and attack.

Al Franken had a scheduled fundraiser with Kathy Griffin. He didn't cancel it. So the right makes the assumption that Franken is OK with what she did. He is not. He said so - clearly. But when the right sees an opening, they can't help themselves.

And they are very selective about what outrages them. Ted Nugent talked of killing Obama. Donald Trump mocked a handicap person. Nobody on the right is talking about the noose appearance at the African-American museum and other places. It was the left that gave voice to the outrage of the scaffolding art exhibit at the Walker. These things seem to be acceptable to our right leaning cohorts, because of who did the offending. That kind of reasoning is not OK.

The right jumps on an idea to encompass all liberals and Democrats under any banner they find offensive - even if it comes from one person. At the same time, they defend the free speech of people who say and do outrageous things that offend liberal groups or even entire ethnicities.

Trump embraces white supremacists. Many Republicans say OK. Trump leaves out the word Jewish while discussing the holocaust. A large number of Republicans yawn. He says disgusting things about women. Too many Republicans snicker. Tweets a Taco Bowl lunch as some kind of outreach to Latinos. Too many Republicans shrug.

And I do not mean to lump all Republicans either (although the right never misses an opportunity to lump all liberals into one class). But too many Republicans act in a tribal manner. They defend their own to the utter extreme of civility.

What Kathy Griffin did with that Trump photo and video was reprehensible. But the left issued their outrage at it immediately. The right used it to rake in a few bucks.

Kathy Griffin pushes the envelope. Way more than I have ever been comfortable with, but entertainers tend to do that. Trump has pushed the boundaries himself....and frankly, he gets away with it when he shouldn't.

And if any association with someone who has done something offensive is somehow supposed to envelope anyone associated with them, then why doesn't Trump, or anyone in his sphere, pay a price for associating with Richard Spencer....or his sexist actions on that bus....or mocking a disabled person....or offering to pay legal fees for anyone who roughs up a protester...or any of his Russian affiliations? Why is all of that OK, while everyone on the left is lumped into the actions of Kathy Griffin?

It boggles the mind.
comments (0) permalink
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