Some conservatives have gone bananas over everything connected with popular freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
The latest instance of this came on Friday — one day after Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) unveiled their resolution for a Green New Deal. Sen. Tom Cotton (R), the 41-year-old politician from Arkansas, took to twitter to voice his opinions on the ambitious climate plan.
He wrote: “The Democrats’ ‘Green New Deal’ brings to mind an insight from Churchill: Socialism may begin with the best of intensions, but it always ends with the Gestapo.”
But his tweet that her big push for clean energy and a decarbonized economy must end “with the Gestapo” was so absurd that it was quickly mocked by Twitter users, from CNN’s Bill Weir to tennis great Martina Navratilova.
The Democrats’ “Green New Deal” brings to mind an insight from Churchill: Socialism may begin with the best of intentions, but it always ends with the Gestapo.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) February 8, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez and Markey introduced a Green New Deal resolution to address the climate crisis on Thursday. It swiftly gained the backing of several 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls.
Yet, despite the fact that the resolution already has dozens of Democratic co-sponsors, for Republicans, the fact that Ocasio-Cortez is a democratic socialist apparently means that, for conservatives, everything she proposes “always ends with the Gestapo.”
Twitter quickly pounced.
CNN anchor and correspondent Bill Weir tweeted that Cotton had some “Missing context, Senator: Churchill gave the infamous ‘Gestapo Speech’ while running against Labor in ’45.” The result Weir notes, is that “He got crushed and despite his warnings, the left gave Britain the National Health Service but Prince Harry did dress up as a Nazi for Halloween that one time.”
Missing context, Senator:
Churchill gave the infamous "Gestapo Speech" while running against Labor in '45.
He got crushed and despite his warnings, the left gave Britain the National Health Service but Prince Harry did dress up as a Nazi for Halloween that one time.
— Bill Weir (@BillWeirCNN) February 8, 2019
Cotton’s claim was so nonsensical that even tennis great, and former Czechoslovak, Martina Navratilova felt compelled to weigh in with multiple tweets
“Funny how you are so quick to compare socialism with Hitler,” she wrote, “when in fact Hitler and the Gestapo have a lot more in common with you and Trump than it ever did with Sweden, Denmark, Holland etc… get a clue!!! Not seeing any Gestapo like situation anywhere in Europe.”
Navratilova added quickly, “And since I lived in a Socialist country I kind of know what I am talking about so save all the mansplaining by you or your supporters…thank you.”
And since I lived in a Socialist country I kind of know what I am talking about so save all the mansplaining by you or your supporters…thank you
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) February 8, 2019
It’s especially ironic Cotton quoted Churchill to argue against climate action.
Normally Churchill is quoted against the kind of delay and appeasement to fossil fuel interest that American conservatives like Cotton have made a cornerstone of their national policies.
In a famous speech, Churchill warned the House of Commons on November 12, 1936 of the fatal dangers of ignoring the growing threat from Europe. Churchill noted that the British leaders “go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.”
He then continued in words that are far too relevant today about the climate crisis:
“Owing to past neglect, in the face of the plainest warnings, we have entered upon a period of danger… The era of procrastination, of half measures, of soothing and baffling expedience of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences. We cannot avoid this period, we are in it now.”
Yet, criticizing the Green New Deal for being a “socialist” plan seems to be an emerging theme amongst Republican critics. Earlier this week similar language was used during multiple House committee hearings, invoking terms such as Soviet-style.”