The Two Tales of Post-Inauguration, Post-Riot Washington

MSNBC host Chris Hayes spent a good portion of his Wednesday broadcast praising Biden’s climate change stance. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson is obsessed with the fact the National Guard is still protecting Washington from insurrectionists. Neither said a word about the Covid pandemic ravaging the nation.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was all praise for president Biden and his climate-friendly agenda, while deriding newly elected Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene for her fervent pro-gun stance and spreading of conspiracy theories.

Over on Fox News, Tucker Carlson focused on what he believes is a double standard on the part of Democrats about law enforcement, and the “luxury beliefs” he claims are the true modern-day status symbol.

(CN) – MSNBC’s Chris Hayes kicked off his broadcast Wednesday by praising newly inaugurated president Biden for the recent series of executive orders he signed on climate change — a marked departure from the policies of the Trump administration.

“Together it’s the most comprehensive, aggressive action we’ve ever taken on climate in terms of the devotion of the president and executive branch’s energy and attention,” said Hayes.

Meanwhile Fox News Host Tucker Carlson took issue with the prosecution of conservative journalist Doug Mackey, who was charged in Florida with conspiring “to injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate people’s right to vote” for the crime of posting memes.

“What CNN (which Carlson calls “the lynch-mob channel”) is telling us is that [conservative] views are a crime. ‘He’s a criminal, lock him up — give him a longer sentence than we give to rapists,’” he chided.

Climate change

Hayes complimented Biden for immediately focusing his efforts on climate change, particularly his executive orders to replace aging government vehicles with cleaner electric alternatives and to suspend new oil and gas leases on federal land.

One order that especially stands out is Biden’s demand for “federal agencies to rely on science in their rulemaking,” a stark contrast to Trump’s decidedly anti-scientific messaging across the board. Biden also directed federal agencies to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies wherever possible, which could help level the playing field for electric vehicle makers whose own limited subsidies have mostly sunset in recent years.

Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York also praised Biden’s climate change efforts, saying his executive orders signify a good faith openness to engaging with the activist communities who supported his presidential bid. She believes climate change isn’t the losing political issue it once was in America, with ever growing numbers of people recognizing the threat it poses and supporting climate-friendly legislation.

“Climate has become a winning issue,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “It’s gone from being a debated issue to being very squarely in the eyes of voters from Iowa to New York City realizing that we need to mobilize right now to save our planet, to save our agricultural sectors and to preserve our future.”

Occupy Washington

Carlson claims that Washington, and by extension the rest of the country, remains under martial law because thousands of National Guard troops remain stationed in the Capitol weeks after the original threat was quelled.

He said Democrats shunned the idea of bringing in the National Guard to provide security when their own protests got out of hand yet are perfectly happy using the threat of arrest to force their views on others. As a prime example, Carlson again cited the case of Doug Mackey, the journalist arrested in Florida for posting voting memes favoring Republicans.

“Hairy stoners in Viking hats are not the only threat that Sandy Cortez faces tonight — far from it,” Carlson flippantly warned, referring to Ocasio-Cortez by using the name she went by more than a decade ago — the thing he ever calls her. “There are the other members of Congress to worry about. Some of them are Republicans, and you know what that means. At any moment these people are likely to open fire indiscriminately on the House floor purely out of racism.”

Carlson believes this is yet another instance of Democrats embracing a double standard. By supporting calls to abolish the police — which he claims would leave average Americans more vulnerable to violent crime — while demanding that armed troops remain in Washington to ensure their own safety, he believes Democratic lawmakers have either tipped their hand or completely lost touch with reality.

Loose cannon

Hayes denounced recently elected Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia for her aggressively pro-gun messaging, her vocal support for debunked QAnon conspiracy theories and a level of casual racism that’s frankly rare to see in an elected official these days.

Hayes played a recently viral clip showing Greene following Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg down a Washington street and badgering him over his anti-gun activism, claiming that Hogg’s work is funded by prominent Fox News boogeyman/arch-villain George Soros.

Not content with merely harassing young activists, Greene has gone so far as to promote thinly veiled threats on social media toward elected Democrats including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and members of “the squad,” a group of young female Democratic members of Congress that includes Ocasio-Cortez.

While Greene’s rhetoric and behavior would be concerning from any private individual in a position of power, the fact that 229,827 Georgians believed she was the best person for the job despite this information being made public months ago is fairly troubling.

“This is not a person who is pandering to the Trump base when she’s liking a Facebook post that says ‘Put a bullet in Nancy Pelosi’s head.’ No, we have every reason to think that she believes this,” warned Hayes. “That’s the problem the country faces. Marjorie Taylor Greene represents the views of a big part of the Republican coalition.”

Luxury beliefs

Carlson believes the same class of people who have done the best in America, both financially and socially, are trying to destroy the very system that enriched them in a vain attempt to appear hip. He basically equated this phenomenon to burning a bridge after you and your family are safely on the other side.

“In the past, upper class people would display their social positions with expensive clothes or jewelry or other materials displays,” said Rob Henderson, an author and former Air Force veteran. “Today they do it through luxury beliefs, which are defined as ‘ideas and opinions that confer status on the upper class while inflicting costs on the lower classes.’”

Henderson said ideas such as opening borders or defunding the police originate from Americans with power and status showing off to their peers, rather than from any sincere desire to help others enjoy a better life. Because wealthy powerbrokers would be largely insulated from the negative effects of their policies, he posited these individuals can safely espouse a range of unorthodox views knowing that working-class people will ultimately end up holding the bag.

“Anyone who really cares about silly status symbols like that is an idiot and should have no power, obviously,” Carlson concluded.

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