Dianne Feinstein gains unlikely fans after clash with environmentalists: conservative pundits

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is receiving praise from an unlikely group after video of her confrontation with a group of young environmentalists went viral on Friday: far-right Republican pundits.

Both Ben Shapiro and Erick Erickson, both far-right conservatives, said that they “love” Feinstein on Twitter, retweeting a video posted by the Sunrise Movement, an environmental activist group.

In the video, a group of young people confront Feinstein at her office, lobbying her to support the Green New Deal bill that’s co-sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). The bill calls for more aggressive action to address climate change, including a 10-year plan for the United States to move toward 100 percent clean and renewable energy.

One of the children in the video, which appears to have been edited, tells Feinstein, “Some scientists have said that we have 12 years to turn this around,” referring to the United Nations’ latest report on climate change.

Feinstein replied, “Well, it’s not going to get turned around in 10 years.” In the video, she appears to continue to disagree with the children, teenagers, and adults accompanying them on how to address climate change.

And conservatives, usually on the opposite end of Feinstein’s politics, are enamored with how she seemed to handle the situation.

“Even as radically left as [Feinstein] is, she recognizes the sheer stupidity of what you clowns proposed,” former professional baseball player and conservative pundit Curt Schilling wrote in a quote retweet of the video. “But please keep it up, you’re helping conservative causes in ways we could never have paid for via advertising!”

And Doug Stafford, a political strategist, asked, “Why is Twitter trying to make me like @SenFeinstein now? Oh hey if you think she’s the villain in the video, not the parents and teachers of these kids, you’re very, very wrong.”

After hours of furor over the video from environmentalists, Feinstein released a statement on Twitter: “Unfortunately, it was a brief meeting but I want the children to know they were heard loud and clear. I have been and remain committed to doing everything I can to enact real, meaningful climate change legislation,” the statement said.

Feinstein said that she presented the group with a draft of a climate change-related resolution that she plans to introduce to in the Senate “soon.”

Many supporters of the Green New Deal legislation expressed outrage at Feinstein after the release of the video, with at least one person, journalist Kate Aronoff, calling for her resignation.

“A lot of people are dragging Dianne Feinstein, but when children come into my office, I also calmly tell them to prepare for an early, excruciating death by toxic air and famine,” joked television writer Bes Kalb.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Dianne-Feinstein-Sunrise-Movement-Green-New-Deal-13638455.php.

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