In “Why isn’t climate denialism politically toxic?”, Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent writes:
What’s particularly interesting about the targeting of Johnson is that the Senator isn’t up for reelection until 2016, which is to say this isn’t about electoral politics. Environmentalists are aware that Johnson is unlikely to pay any immediate political price for his climate denialism. Indeed, Johnson is currently brandishing LCV’s attacks on him as a kind of Tea Party badge of honor, citing them in a fundraising appeal that calls for donations to fight back against “an extreme left group on an environmental jihad.”
But environmentalists see this as a long game. (To underscore the point, the LCV recently released polling that shows climate change is a pressing issue among young voters in particular.) Right now, the prospects for Congressional action on climate are bleak, and the only hope for action probably rests on whatever Obama can do via executive authority. In the near term, environmentalists and Democrats have no choice but to do whatever they can to generate media discussion of the climate issue, which has historically been hard to generate.