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Opinion Senate Democrats strike a blow against cynicism — and hopelessness

Julian Zelizer: In a democracy, cynicism is the enemy of progress and realism is progress’s friend. A realistic view would insist that what happened in the U.S. Senate on Sunday is a big deal, Zelizer says. He says it would have been a signal that our political system is dysfunctional that it could not enact comparatively painless, positive incentives for moving toward cleaner energy. Zelizer writes: The GOP attitude on climate was epitomized at around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, when Sen. Marco Rubio told his colleagues: “Don’t waste time on stuff that doesn”t matter to real people, but a warming planet sure as heck threatens a lot of real people in his state, he says.

Democrats have promised to contain drug costs for years. They finally did something. Despite partisan obstruction, arcane rules and dilatory habits, the Senate struck a blow against hopelessness. Younger Americans especially were angry when Congress seemed ready to leave town without doing anything about climate change.