She tweets: “None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with YOU. You’re locked up in here with ME.”
The House Democrats have more on their plate than fighting against President Donald Trump and his wall: Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or AOC as she’s known by her posse.
Ever since Ocasio-Cortez won her primary against a veteran congressman the light has shone brightly on her. This has left a lot of veteran Democrats to grow weary of her.
In an exit interview, former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) warned the Democrats against taking Ocasio-Cortez’s rhetoric to heart:
Democrats, she suggested, should be cautious about the rise of politicians like the 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez, who vanquished a Democratic leader, Joe Crowley, in her primary, and have vowed sweeping changes in policy.
“I don’t know her,” McCaskill said when asked if she’d consider Ocasio-Cortez a “crazy Democrat” like the ones she decried on the campaign trail. “I’m a little confused why she’s the thing. But it’s a good example of what I’m talking about, a bright shiny new object, came out of nowhere and surprised people when she beat a very experienced congressman.”
McCaskill added, “And so she’s now talked about a lot. I’m not sure what she’s done yet to generate that kind of enthusiasm, but I wish her well. I hope she hangs the moon.
“But I hope she also realizes that the parts of the country that are rejecting the Democratic Party, like a whole lot of white working class voters, need to hear about how their work is going to be respected, and the dignity of their jobs, and how we can really stick to issues that we can actually accomplish something on.”
And she concluded: “The rhetoric is cheap. Getting results is a lot harder.”
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman said that Ocasio-Cortez isn’t the future of the party and this is how she responded:
New party, who dis? https://t.co/2cznisv8tB
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 11, 2019
Then Politico dropped a report Friday morning about how the Democrats have started attempts to bring her into the fold and put an end to her anti-establishment tirades.
After I converted from socialist to leftist in 2009, I tried to tell my new friends on my new side that the Democrats and leftists largely succeeded because they show a united front and take care of disagreements behind closed doors. Any fights that emerged to the public was done in a polite manner as well.
But then came 2016 when email dumps showed the DNC actively working against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in favor of failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. I knew then that all bets are off.
Enter Ocasio-Cortez. She has the media in the palm of her hand and over 2 million followers on Twitter. Democrats have shown disappointment that she’s spent a lot of her time bashing those within her own party instead of the Republicans.
Politico found that most incumbent Democrats are “annoyed by Ocasio-Cortez’s threat to back primary opponents against members of their ranks she deems too moderate.”
Ocasio-Cortez recently criticized a piece in Politico about her supposedly “backing a primary opponent against rising star Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who many believe could become the first black speaker.” Jeffries recently became the chairman of the Democrat Caucus.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) told Politico that Ocasio-Cortez needs to understand the outstanding rule: “Don’t attack your own people.” He also said:
“The chances that the Democratic caucus will stand by and watch its chair get attack and people piling on him — by Democrats! — is so obscene that I think you’ll find one of the strongest reactions that could possibly be anticipated.”
This is where Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) comes in. She has taken Ocasio-Cortex aside to discuss what life is like in DC:
In private conversations with Ocasio-Cortez over the past few months, Velázquez counseled Ocasio-Cortez against targeting her Democratic colleagues in future elections. The two had a “long, long conversation” about the dynamics of Congress and Washington, and how there shouldn’t be a “litmus test” for every district, Velázquez said in a recent interview.
After she defeated Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley in shocking fashion last year, Ocasio-Cortez supported primary challengers to Democratic Reps. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, William Lacy Clay of Missouri and Mike Capuano of Massachusetts.
Only Capuano lost. But Velázquez told Ocasio-Cortez she should think twice in the future before backing primaries against her colleagues. Murphy, the first Vietnamese woman elected to Congress, represents a swing district and could lose her seat if she’s forced to move left in a primary, Velázquez said during the talk.
“Washington is a political animal where a lot of the work that you want to accomplish depends on relationships within the Democratic Caucus,” said Velázquez, who described herself as a “bridge” between Ocasio-Cortez and the caucus. “The honeymoon between the voters that you represent and yourself could be a short one. People want to see results.”
Here’s the other thing Ocasio-Cortez needs to remember when it comes to races. Each person represents a district and they are there for the people of that district. It doesn’t matter how you personally feel. You are there to represent and vote how those in your district feel.
The Democrats also hate how Ocasio-Cortez has “railed against their new set of House rules on Twitter the first week of the new Congress.” Others felt disgusted over “a grassroots movement to try to win her a top committee post they feel she doesn’t deserve.” Politico continued:
They point to her first week in Congress: Ocasio-Cortez aggravated Democratic leaders and even some fellow progressives when she tweeted that she’d oppose the Democratic rules package, arguing it would stymie liberal priorities like “Medicare for all.”
House Democrats were also unhappy when she made a play for a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Lawmakers suspected Ocasio-Cortez was behind a massive online campaign pressing Pelosi to appoint her to the panel, though her office said she was not.
Critics inside the caucus felt she didn’t deserve it, given her lack of professional experience on tax issues and her status as a freshman.
“It totally pissed off everyone,” said one senior House Democratic lawmaker of the campaign. “You don’t get picked for committees by who your grass-roots [supporters] are.”
One anonymous House Democrat that agrees with Ocasio-Cortez’s ideology told Politico that she needs to decide if she wants “to be an effective legislator or just continue being a Twitter star.”
The efforts to bring her in may be working as her spokesman Corbin Trent said, “[T]here has been a change in focus – though not a change in ideology.”
Of course Ocasio-Cortez laughed off all of this with a quote from the character Rorschach from Alan Moore’s Watchmen.
To quote Alan Moore: “None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with YOU. You’re locked up in here with ME.” ???? https://t.co/8TCmKNJlkD
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 11, 2019
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