A group of schoolkids and adults tried to boss around Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on climate change on Friday — and she wound up pulling rank and talking down to them.
But the now-viral encounter, captured on video, exposes other problems as well.
The group showed up to try to get the senator’s support for the radical Green New Deal, which calls for the U.S. to use 100 percent renewable energy, phase out all fossil fuels within 12 years, and release zero carbon emissions, among other progressive plans.
The kids had a written message for the 85-year-old senior senator from California, which they unfurled before her — and they would not back down from their pro-Green New Deal point of view.
As Feinstein stood there, she finally began lecturing them — and the entire interaction was videotaped.
“I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I know what I’m doing,” said a feisty Feinstein.
“You come in here, and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don’t respond to that,” Feinstein continued. “I’ve gotten elected. I just ran. I was elected by almost a million-vote plurality. And I know what I’m doing. So you know, maybe people should listen a little bit.”
The adults, young adults and kids are members of the Sunrise Movement, a group that says it wants to “stop climate change.” And after the awkward encounter, the group shared a clip of the exchange on its Twitter page Friday, as Fox News and other outlets also noted.
“This is how @SenFeinstein reacted to children asking her to support the #GreenNewDeal resolution — with smugness + disrespect. This is a fight for our generation’s survival. Her reaction is why young people desperately want new leadership in Congress,” the tweet accompanying the video said.
Some people almost immediately began reacting on Twitter to the entire episode.
And below is how someone responded, noting that “these kids were being used as political props by the adults standing beside them.”
Feinstein’s attitude got all the headlines. What should’ve gotten the headlines is the way these kids were being used as political props by the adults standing beside them. Happens in schools all the time, have witnessed it first-hand on too many occasions. https://t.co/rXQRaT4lmr
— Jedediah Bila (@JedediahBila) February 23, 2019
The Sunrise Movement is comprised of fringe lunatics that look to use kids to further their far-left policies.
Feinstein's response to this is pretty hilarious, she basically tells them to pound sand https://t.co/SFcrfrEVDs
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 22, 2019
Senator Feinstein was born in 1933, in the early days of the original New Deal. 85 years later, some elementary school-aged kids with the @sunrisemvmt went to her office to ask her to support the Green New Deal. She basically told them to stuff it. Watch: https://t.co/47G8GG43QC
— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) February 22, 2019
In the original video, the group can be seen and heard saying they wanted to present Feinstein with a letter asking her “to vote yes on the Green New Deal.”
It then showed the group standing and facing the senator — and sharing their request.
In response, Feinstein told the group that “we have our own Green New Deal.”
But a young person in the group declared that she and others were “the people who voted” for Feinstein — and that part of the lawmaker’s job was to listen to the constituents.
“How old are you?” Feinstein then asked the girl.
“I’m 16. I can’t vote,” the girl said.
“Well, you didn’t vote for me,” the lawmaker said.
Later in the encounter, Feinstein could be heard telling the group she’s “trying to do the best” she can, “which was to write a responsible resolution.”
“Any plan that doesn’t take bold, transformative action is not going to be what we need,” a female in the crowd — likely the mother or guardian of one of the kids present — then retorted.
Feinstein told the woman, “Well, you know better than I do. So, I think one day you should run for the Senate. And then you can do it your way.”
In a news release later in the day, Feinstein addressed the whole encounter, confirming that she met with a group of children, young adults and parents who sought her support of the Green New Deal.
“Unfortunately, it was a brief meeting but I want the children to know they were heard loud and clear. I have been and remain committed to doing everything I can to enact real, meaningful climate change legislation,” she said, in part, in the statement.
“We had a spirited discussion and I presented the group with my draft resolution that provides specific responses to the climate change crisis, which I plan to introduce soon. I always welcome the opportunity to hear from Californians who feel passionately about this issue and it remains a top priority of mine.”
Among other issues, the Green New Deal calls for a job-guarantee program offering a “living wage job to every person who wants one,” a plan to aid workers affected by climate change, universal health care — and basic income programs.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the Green New Deal resolution in early February.
Ocasio-Cortez, newly elected to Congress, is a former campaign organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. The congresswoman joined climate change activists in a protest outside the office of now-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during the very first day of her freshman orientation on Capitol Hill back in November.
She’s been urging Democrat colleagues to back the expensive and progressive Green New Deal. The so-called deal is a decade-long initiative to create a greenhouse gas-neutral society. Many scientists theorize that greenhouse gases may be a major contributor to the notion of man-made climate change. The plan is aimed at ensuring economic and environmental “justice” while creating unprecedented levels of prosperity for all.
But those opposed to the plan have shared concerns it would come with unmanageable costs. American Action Forum, a center-right public policy group, and others found that such a plan could cost $5.7 trillion just to invest in renewable energy and storage alone.
Even Nancy Pelosi referred to the plan as a “green dream.”
And check out this video: