February 10, 2019

KEVIN WILLIAMSON ON SANDY’S WAR:

“Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” is, at 16 syllables, a mouthful. The day before yesterday, she was “Sandy,” a pleasant-seeming young woman who liked to dance, worked in a bar, worried about her family, and chafed that her advantages and elite education (Boston University shares Case Western’s academic ranking and is significantly more expensive than Princeton: Is there a more appropriate preparation for life in Washington?) left her struggling, obscure, and unsatisfied. And so she set after glory and personal significance in politics, to which she is relatively new — the hatreds and grievances she dotes on are obvious enough and familiar enough that one assumes she has been in possession of those for some time. They are not newly acquired.

If you spend enough time around politics and/or media, you have seen this figure before. Years ago, a young woman beginning what would turn out to be a successful turn on the Washington cursus honorum asked me, earnestly: “Is it wrong to want to be famous?” I asked her what she intended to do with the celebrity she sought — for what purpose did she want it? “Why?” The question obviously had never occurred to her. I might as well have asked her why she wanted two eyes rather than one. She has a lot of Twitter followers now.

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About the details of the Green New Deal, such as they are, there is not really much to say. On Friday, I spoke with one of the world’s leading authorities on North American building practices and asked him about the plan to “retrofit” these structures in the service of a “net-zero energy” agenda. Neither “scathing” nor “derisive” quite captures his response. He has been involved in a number of net-zero retrofits and understands how complex and expensive they are — and how they can destroy a building when done poorly. Ask a farmer, an aerospace engineer, the manager of an electric utility, or a truck-driver about these highfalutin’ schemes and sentiments and you will get another superfluous proof of Robert Conquest’s maxim — “Everyone is conservative about what he knows best” — and Williamson’s First Law: “Everything is simple if you don’t know a f*****g thing about it.”

Read the whole thing.

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