This is just a quick one, without any ponderous pondering. Common Dreams has a an article or an opinion piece involving Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez almost every day. Two recent pieces about her Madd Twitter Skillz have caught my eye: this one and this one. And almost every time there's a teaser about an AOC item, I click through.
While I'm under no illusions that Alex from the Bronx is a dyed-in-the-wool Democratic socialist or the Millennial political savior for US Progressives, she is a phenomenon well worth watching. Seeing how Republican legislators respond to her very presence in the House and her public statements interests me. Seeing how members of her own party respond—not just her colleagues in Congress, but other high-profile liberals as well--fascinates me. (See Mike Figueredo's analysis of Whoopi Goldberg's gentle condescension below.)
AOC fits into my "public service" model of political figures. Her progressive stances on various issues contrast sharply with those of the corporate Democrats in Congress. Progressives who somehow break through the neoliberal wall and get elected, or even get regular allotments of TV time, provide a public service by showing just how corporatist the Democratic Party leadership has become.
In public appearances with AOC, establishment Democrats twitch uncomfortably, worried that she might start talking about Green New Deals and Medicare for All. In op-eds, they whip out adjectives like naive and unrealistic, or more diplomatic equivalents.
AOC may be 28, and not as well schooled in How Things Work in DC as her colleagues. But she knows one very important and undeniable fact: Shit is fucked up, and it's up to ordinary people to fix that. Elected representatives won't do the right thing until the people force them to. The corporate Dems need to get used to that ASAP.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
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