Is there a certificate of global warming?
President Obama’s strongest supporters are executing a play that feels familiar after four years: Use humor and social media to marginalize Republicans as extreme and out of touch on all fronts, from substantive legislation on topics such as immigration to ephemera on the level of unfounded conservative suspicions that the commander in chief was not born in America.
This time, however, the fodder is climate change.
The nonprofit created to promote Obama’s priorities, Organizing for Action (OFA), put together a climate staff in May and last week launched a campaign that handed out unicorn trophies to 135 congressional Republicans who have raised doubts about humans’ role in climate change. These “Denier Awards” made a splashy stage for Obama backers to pre-empt GOP resistance to U.S. EPA emissions rules — while signaling that the president’s team sees a chance to build a national stage for an issue he was savaged as too silent on during his re-election run.
“You’re beginning to hear the Obama team say, ‘OK, you’re going to attack us? It doesn’t make sense for us to ignore it. Let’s heighten these distinctions, let’s expose these individuals,’” Anthony Leiserowitz, director of Yale University’s Project on Climate Change Communication, said in an interview. “It plays into a broader narrative about the distinctions between the two parties.”