California Senator Diane Feinstein’s condescending reaction to a group of schoolchildren brought into her office to plead for her support for the Green New Deal is going viral, provoking an apology and a climate bill of her own.
When 15 young people from Sunrise Movement, a group whose stated mission is “building an army of young people to stop climate change,” arrived at Feinstein’s office to demand she back Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal in order to avert the environmental catastrophe predicted by last year’s IPCC report, the Senator’s reaction ranged from dismissive – “We have our own Green New Deal” – to insulting – “You didn’t vote for me,” sparking hot debate on social media.
In the video, with the same “Now This” viral branding as the infamous edit of the Covington Catholic School confrontation, the school-age activists outline their concerns, focusing on the report’s 2030 deadline for action, while the Democratic senator appears to brag repeatedly about the number of votes she got in the last election and to mock the young idealists.
Many, predictably, saw Feinstein as a monster,
Sen. Diane Feinstein to determined and sincere kids who want to make the world a better place: STFU.
— Blair A. Robertson Ⓥ (@Blarob) February 23, 2019
Feinstein could have asked the kids about their ideas. She could’ve told them *why* in her view a different variation of the plan will help them. Maybe there’s more to it. I didn’t find her smug. I found her, from the perspective of a kid who thinks we have 12 years left, scary.
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) February 23, 2019
Is Ruling Class Privilege a thing? It really needs to be a thing, if only so we know what to call the oily substance oozing out of Sen. Feinstein’s pores here. https://t.co/UtZfiIAIh1
— Eric Frazier (@ericfraz) February 23, 2019
KIDS: We’re the ones that will be impacted by climate change
SENATOR FEINSTEIN: Well goodness I have seven grandchildren you know! Why some of you might end up working in their bunkers, or serving as their protein source someday
— Chris Mohney (@chrismohney) February 22, 2019
while others rolled their eyes and applauded her for not giving in to “emotional manipulation.”
Dragging these ignorant, entitled brats and their socialist airhead teacher is the most likable thing Dianne Feinstein has ever done
— John Hawkins (@johnhawkinsrwn) February 23, 2019
Senator Feinstein refused to be lectured and bullied by a mob of brainwashed tweens on the insanely stupid Green New Deal.
Good for her. https://t.co/MfMYA1NVbF
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) February 23, 2019
This is why Feinstein probably made the right choice. Even if she politely told them she disagreed and explained pragmatism and policymaking, it would be “discouraging” or “deflating” or whatever to “literal children.” Using kids is a propaganda ploy not an attempt at engagement https://t.co/zEV3RmjHix
— I’m real (@edkrayewski) February 22, 2019
Others said regardless of whether the kids were “right,” it was Feinstein’s treatment of the kids that was problematic.
Regardless of her position on the #GreenNewDeal how disappointing to see @SenFeinstein‘s response. These kids ought to be praised for their care, concern and activism, not schooled with misplaced and demeaning arrogance.
— Anna Herrington (@JustThinkingNow) February 22, 2019
Did you watch the video? I don’t care what the issue was or who the constituents are, Feinstein shouldn’t have spoken to the kids, trying to do the right thing on a critical issue, that way.
— Peter Gleick (@PeterGleick) February 23, 2019
Feinstein may be ‘realistic’ about the financing issues and politicking of the Green New Deal but why articulate it in *this* way? There’s being honest with them and then there’s being dismissive about their concerns as future voters.
— Mythili Sampathkumar (@MythiliSk) February 22, 2019
…or was it Sunshine Movement activists’ use of the kids that was worse?
Don’t use kids as political props if they aren’t capable of receiving criticism, oh wait… That’s why these socialists used kids for their political game, to escape criticism. The adults who put the children up to this are to blame, not Feinstein for giving them a reality check. https://t.co/eholVNdvkr
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) February 22, 2019
I don’t think her contempt was for the children, but instead for the pathetic adults who fed them with talking point and shamelessly pushed them forward as props in a PR stunt.
— Jeff Droubay (@Dr_Oubay) February 23, 2019
By lying to them? Using children who have zero wherewithal regarding anything political, civic or scientific as props is child abuse. The only people who would “hammer” Feinstein over this are the severely ideologically beholden, and the aggressively uninformed.
— Adam Trahan (@AdamTrahan) February 22, 2019
Others argued over the Green New Deal itself,
Perhaps she will reconsider now that she sees the reaction she’s getting. I’m 52 and I want things to change ten years ago. I’m sick about it and my two grandkids deserve better than an action that won’t make a massive impact.
— Poppy in Portland (@CDBeee) February 23, 2019
Oh god. OAC will DERAIL environmental progress with this manipulative propaganda. I am pissed.
— MightyGoodChat (@blechtimes) February 23, 2019
Or pointed out that Californians have been trying to remove Feinstein for years now.
To the surprise of no one @SenFeinstein fails her constituents as she has for entire political career.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (@ralphwaldo123) February 23, 2019
A lot of us tried to get rid of her, but she’s too well connected. The establishment is unfortunately still strong here in CA. She’ll go down the next election, if she’s still alive by then that is.
— Progressive Crown (@JCrown89) February 22, 2019
The public shaming actually had an effect, leading Feinstein to release a brief public statement…
I want the children from the Sunrise Movement 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. pic.twitter.com/JLoIMDf26u
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) February 23, 2019
…and when that didn’t work, draft climate legislation of her own!
“Mission accomplished, eh Putin?” said no one at all.
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