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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during an event to open a campaign office at Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan, on December 21, 2019.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during an event to open a campaign office at Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan, on December 21, 2019. (Photo: Jeff Kowalski/AFP via Getty Images)

DNC Showing Its True Colors (Again)

The Democratic elites so fear Bernie's political revolution they are changing the rules to promote a Wall Street centrist.

Tom Weis

On Friday, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) showed it has learned nothing from the 2016 election disaster. The same DNC that recently complained it could not change the rules to allow the candidates to debate the gravest challenge facing humanity—the global climate emergency—has now rigged the rules to make it easier for Michael Bloomberg—a billionaire—to qualify for the Feb. 19 Nevada debate. This is an outrage.
 
In response to the news, Jeff Weaver, senior adviser to Bernie Sanders, told POLITICO: "To now change the rules in the middle of the game to accommodate Mike Bloomberg, who is trying to buy his way into the Democratic nomination, is wrong… That's the definition of a rigged system where the rich can buy their way in." The Democratic elites so fear Bernie's political revolution they are changing the rules to promote a Wall Street centrist who just happened to contribute $300,000 to the DNC less than a week before entering the presidential race.
 
Here's what else scares the Democratic establishment: allowing a climate debate where the two most progressive candidates in the race will shine. They're afraid of a debate where the climate emergency candidate will dominate. Party bosses know how feeble Joe Biden's climate plan will look stacked up against Bernie's robust Green New Deal.
 
So I ask again: how do Democrats plan to make the leap from fearfully refusing to sponsor a climate debate to somehow suddenly having the next President of the United States positioned to rally an entire nation to get behind a WWII-scale climate emergency mobilization, as the Democratic Party's governing platform dictates? Either the Party is committed to mobilizing America to "address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II" or it isn't. If it is, the DNC needs to sponsor a damn debate. If it isn't, why is the Global Climate Leadership plank in the Democratic Party Platform?
 
After pulling this stunt with Bloomberg, DNC Chair Tom Perez cannot credibly refuse to allow a DNC-sponsored debate on the existential climate emergency. All of the candidates who have qualified for the Feb. 7 New Hampshire debate have said they want a nationally televised, prime time climate-specific debate. The American voting public needs such a debate to help separate the Earth defenders from the pretenders. We need to know which candidate is best prepared to lead a climate emergency response.
 
A few short months ago, more than 11,000 scientists from 153 nations sounded the latest worldfire alarm by declaring we are in a "climate emergency." The scientists wrote: "The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity." Soon after, an international team of climate experts echoed this alarm by declaring "we are in a climate emergency" that "requires an emergency response." The lead author of their study, Exeter University's Tim Lenton, warned, "A decade ago we identified a suite of potential tipping points in the Earth system, now we see evidence that over half of them have been activated." Lead researcher Will Steffen from Australian National University explained: "The real concern is these tipping elements can act like a row of dominoes. Once one is pushed over, it pushes Earth towards another. It may be very difficult or impossible to stop the whole row of dominoes from tumbling over." Please let the gravity of that sink in.
 
Humanity is foolishly playing with fire. Meanwhile, the DNC keeps dithering, while the world keeps burning.

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Tom Weis

Tom Weis

Tom Weis is the president of Climate Crisis Solutions in Boulder, Colorado.

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