It’s been a week since Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez electrified the world by defeating Joe Crowley in a stunning New York City Democratic primary election upset. Since then, the 28-year-old has taken to social media, and media interviews, to spread her political message of Medicare for all, sweeping justice-system reforms, and other progressive issues.
Ocasio-Cortez’s win has rankled many. And, like clockwork, the hit pieces have begun rolling in. This week we’re seeing a fun mix of bizarre opposition research and jumbled attempts to whitewash her socialist platform.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most ridiculous:
Hannity’s accidental praise
Right after the big win, President Trump’s favorite Fox News mouthpiece, Sean Hannity, jumped in. During a segment on his show, he lays out her platform, seemingly in a way to show his viewers how extreme her views are. A graphic included such terrible things as “Medicare for all,” “women’s rights,” and “support seniors.”
Pretty much! pic.twitter.com/73nxk22W55
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) July 2, 2018
While these things may scare Hannity, they’re also a great primer for how rational the Democratic Socialist platform actually is. Perhaps Hannity convinced some Fox News viewers to join Team Ocasio-Cortez.
A pundit points out that she grew up in a small house
Conservative TV show host John Cardillo apparently had an issue with Ocasio-Cortez’s claim that she comes from the Bronx. In truth, what she said is that her father is from the South Bronx and she was born in the borough. But details don’t seem to be Cardillo’s forte. He tweeted an image of a small house in Yorktown Heights, New York, calling it the home she grew up in “before going off the Ivy League Brown University.” Yorktown Heights is a little north of the Bronx, in Westchester County.
This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University.
A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling. pic.twitter.com/xyOtZzVJII
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) July 1, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted back a few corrections:
1. I didn’t go to Brown or the Ivy League. I went to BU. Try Google.
2. It is nice. Growing up, it was a good town for working people. My mom scrubbed toilets so I could live here & I grew up seeing how the zip code one is born in determines much of their opportunity.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) July 1, 2018
Someone once met her and didn’t like her
Perhaps my favorite bad attempt to paint Ocasio-Cortez in a bad light was the New York Post reporter who interviewed an anonymous former coworker of hers. The Democratic nominee used to work at a Manhattan bar, and one waitress had one bad experience once, and this warranted an entire article about this one fateful night.
Supposedly, Ocasio-Cortez, at some time in the past, gave this unnamed waitress an inadequate portion of the pooled tips. This left a bad taste in her mouth. The Post was apparently unable to find anyone else who would say anything bad about the former bartender. So in the end, this was just one anonymous account that the newspaper deemed worthy for publication.
The article even concedes that most of the staff had nice things to say about Ocasio-Cortez, so the take-home, really, is that Ocasio-Cortez is a pretty good coworker.
Pay no attention to the politics
The Washington Post came out with an opinion piece today, which did not really decry Ocasio-Cortez, but criticized the socialist label and some of her most popular talking points. According to the author, Richard Cohen, the term socialist–and some of its associated platforms–is “anathema.”
He writes, “The socialism to which Ocasio-Cortez adheres lacks the militancy of old and is supposedly attractive to young voters who have no memory of any communist association. The trouble is that young voters often don’t vote and older voters do.” He goes on to say that the platform for Medicare for all and free higher education needs no label.
Which is to say that two benchmark socialist policies shouldn’t be labeled as such because he agrees with them. Not only that, but he says that Ocasio-Cortez’s call to abolish ICE, which is shared by a growing chorus of voices, will only fire up Trump’s base.
What Cohen neglects is that Ocasio-Cortez actually won on this radical platform, and she did it while embracing that supposedly toxic label. He cites statistics that young people don’t vote, while talking about a candidate and political movement whose entire strategy is to energize a young and wholly untapped electorate.
Cohen’s focus on older voters completely overlooks the reasons why Ocasio-Cortez won in the first place. It’s a perfect example of the hysteria her win has caused, and how many who were blindsided simply don’t know how to react.