The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Deal or Green Deal

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts unveiled an outline for an ambitious climate policy package.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

What We’re Following Today

It’s Thursday, February 7.

New on the Left: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts unveiled an outline for a “Green New Deal”—a highly ambitious policy package to remake the U.S. economy and cut carbon emissions. The legislation is a nonbinding resolution, meaning that even if it passes, it wouldn’t on its own create any new programs.

Trouble in Virginia: Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have called for an investigation into the sexual-assault allegations against Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax. Meanwhile, yet another state political official has become embroiled in a race-related scandal: Republican state Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment reportedly helped oversee a yearbook that featured racist photographs and slurs. On this latest podcast episode of Radio Atlantic, Alex Wagner and the staff writers Vann Newkirk and Adam Serwer discuss what’s rotten in the state of Virginia, and what these revelations say about race and politics across the South.

Boxed In: President Donald Trump, with his push for restrictions on immigration and a wall along the southern border, is steering the Republican Party toward the preferences of a small subset of voters, argues Ronald Brownstein. And in so doing, he may be walling off the GOP from the rest of America.

No Thanks!: Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said he won’t show up to testify before the House Judiciary Committee unless he receives assurances that he won’t be subpoenaed. The move comes after the committee allowed Chairman Jerry Nadler to subpoena Whitaker’s testimony should he not appear or answer lawmakers’ questions. Democrats on the committee want to press Whitaker about his conversations with Donald Trump, and about his decision not to recuse himself from the special-counsel investigation.


Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts hold a news conference for their proposed "Green New Deal" at the U.S. Capitol. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

Ideas From The Atlantic

Will Lamar Alexander Turn on Trump? (Jenny Armini)
“Alexander has the stature to help Congress and the country navigate through possible impeachment and removal proceedings. And, as luck would have it, he’s retiring at the end of his term, so he doesn’t have to worry about repercussions from the still Trump-infatuated Republican base.” → Read on.

Cory Booker Is Damned If He Does, Damned If He Doesn’t (Peter Beinart)
“There are important differences—and even more important similarities—between Barack Obama’s announcement for president in 2007 and Cory Booker’s announcement last week. The similarities could sink Booker’s chances of winning the Democratic nomination.” → Read on.

How Globalization Saved the World and Damned the West (Derek Thompson)
“Global capitalism appears to be saving the world and destroying the West, at the same time. I went to Davos to see whether I could resolve the paradox or, in failing to do so, at least drown my ignorance in hot chocolate.” → Read on.

Sherrod Brown, Throwback Democrat (George Packer)
“Instead of a senatorial pin, he wears a canary on the lapel of his union-made-in-Ohio suit. He has been talking about unions, adequate wages and benefits, affordable housing and prescription drugs, access to health care, and unfair trade deals long after it ceased being fashionable, and long before it became fashionable again.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Making the Green New Deal a 2020 Litmus Test (Ella Nilsen, Vox)

Can a ‘Moderate’ Win the 2020 Democratic Primary? (Perry Bacon Jr., FiveThirtyEight)

Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Mistreatment of Staff Scared Off Candidates to Manage Her Presidential Bid (Molly Redden and Amanda Terkel, HuffPost)

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