If you have spent any time on the Twitter dot com website, you have surely encountered the extremely irritating argument that refusing to endorse the precise policies being offered by any individual at any particular time is “climate denialism.” Leave it to Matt Stoller to drive the tendency past self-parody:
In general, different strands of the left are far too invested in the idea that word games, strategic redefinitions, and exploiting semantic ambiguities are the key to political victory.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) February 26, 2019
Of course, Matt Stoller thought the problem of climate change was so urgent in 2012 he favored…turning the White House over to the former co-founder of Bain Capital, a climate denier leading a climate denying party with an anti-regulatory agenda. Apparently only Democratic presidents have the special Green Lantern that allows them to control the minds of every member of their party in every respect!
But the key point is Yglesias’s second one. And obsession with “framing” and other label games is an actual form of denialism about the extent to which the American political system is stacked against any policy that is seriously unfavorable to resource-extracting states. Stoller’s implicit argument is that if we could only get the right Daddy in the White House to successfully brand anyone who disagrees with any particular point of his climate agenda a climate denier, opposition to a Green New Deal would quickly melt away. But actually these semantic games are worth nothing, and don’t do anything to address the very real institutional barriers to doing something about climate change that need to be overcome.