Scared Democrats should give AOC her due
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez deserves more respect from the Democratic establishment.
Add that sentence to my list of “Ways I never thought I’d start my column.”
But alas, here we are.
It is becoming increasingly more apparent that the lifelong hacks in D.C. only make room for AOC when it suits them — and just so long as she doesn’t make their masks slip too much.
Earlier this month, Mediaite reported, “Obama Releases List of Endorsements, Snubs Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”
Shortly thereafter it was revealed that the freshman congresswoman is only going to be slotted 60 seconds of airtime at the Democratic Convention … for a pre-recorded message.
I’ve seen several “Bachelor” contestants who get more screen time — and I mean the ones who don’t even get past the first rose ceremony.
So why is the one person who has extraordinary popularity with young liberal voters getting edged out by DNC Chairman Tom Perez & Associates?
There are a few reasons.
The first one being that Ocasio-Cortez scares the bejeezus out of the establishment.
In fact, she frightens them so much that the higher-ups in the DNC are more comfortable with the idea of Bill Clinton speaking at the convention than they are with AOC.
Think about that — in the eyes of the establishment, the 30-year-old socialist poses a more significant PR risk than Jeffrey Epstein’s travel buddy.
Naturally, like just about everything in 2020, the AOC snub caused an immediate backlash on Twitter, with some on the left especially mad about the inclusion of “Never Trump” former GOP Gov. John Kasich.
Wajahat Ali, a contributing op-ed writer at The New York Times, tweeted, “@AOC needs more than 60 seconds if we’re fine wasting time & space bringing Bloomberg & Kasich. This is more proof the DNC still doesn’t understand the Democratic base, the youth, people of color, or the fact they are not a conservative party. It’s OK to be progressive. It’s OK.”
First off, the convention is featuring Mike Bloomberg AND John Kasich?! I hope the Wisconsin Center is large enough to hold all of that sheer charisma.
But Ali is overlooking the DNC’s real issue with Ocasio-Cortez. The DNC’s problem with AOC is not that she is “progressive.”
Rather, their problem is that she makes zero efforts to conceal just how progressive she is.
Ocasio-Cortez is proud to be part of the far-left wing of radicals in the Democratic party. And why shouldn’t she be?
Her political views have landed her on the cover of Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and The Hollywood Reporter. Netflix released a documentary covering her rise to stardom. Most notably, she has over 8 million Twitter followers.
AOC’s leftist ideologies are working for her. They just aren’t working for the DNC.
What the Congresswoman envisions for America — whether it is defunding of the police or universal health care — isn’t out of line with her party’s goals.
In fact, her radical ideas line up perfectly with those of the Obamas and the Clintons.
But unlike former President Barack Obama or almost-President Hillary Clinton, AOC doesn’t concern herself with subtlety.
She doesn’t pretend that if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. She doesn’t even pretend you can keep your gas-powered car or your farting cow.
The Democrats in leadership, like Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, cling to the false claim that they are still a party of moderates.
AOC spoils that pretense.
But the power-hungry hacks are nothing if not advantageous. Sometimes Ocasio-Cortez’s popularity suits them.
For instance, she is good enough for Sen. Ed Markey.
The desperate incumbent’s back is against the wall as his primary race tightens.
He’d rather be associated with AOC and scrape by with a win than be associated with sanity and lose to a Kennedy.
So he features the congresswoman in all of his campaign ads and brags about his partnership with the woke young Squadster.
But that’s a Senate race in deep-blue Massachusetts.
When it comes to the big leagues, i.e. the presidential race, AOC barely makes the cut. She is persona non grata.
Of course, the DNC has to include her in some fashion, but they won’t risk giving her untethered airtime.
So the powers that be give her 60 seconds, a TikTok length of time, to appease the far-left wing of their party.
The DNC wants to have their cake and eat it too.
They are hoping a sliver of socialism will satisfy the impatient revolutionaries. The establishment wants to benefit from the energy and enthusiasm that AOC creates, but they don’t want to appear as though they are committing to her agenda.
I don’t agree with any of Ocasio-Cortez’s ideas, but unlike the DNC, I appreciate the fact that she doesn’t try to sugarcoat them.
If it is any consolation to the congresswoman, though, Joe Biden is the presidential nominee and I’m not sure his handlers will give him much more than 60 seconds of airtime, either.