AOC is (gulp) right?
EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has already topped the fundraising charts in her short time in Congress, but the liberal darling won’t donate a cent of her millions to Democrats’ House campaign organization — a position that has rankled some of her colleagues, Fox News has learned.
Instead, Ocasio-Cortez is building her own fundraising operation for fellow progressive candidates to bypass the official Democratic Party infrastructure. Already, she’s actively funding primary challengers to oust certain Democratic colleagues.
“Sometimes the question comes: ‘Do you want to be in a majority or do you want to be in the minority?’” Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., told Fox News, when asked about AOC’s stance. “And do you want to be part of a team?”
Another Democrat was less diplomatic: “Deadbeat Cortez should pay her bills,” complained the Democratic source. “She’s always whining about people paying their fair share and here she is leaving her friends with the bill.”
Their gripe is that Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t given any money to the DCCC, the party arm with the sole job of electing Democrats to the House. Records obtained by Fox News show the New York Democrat has failed to pay any of her $250,000 in “dues” to the DCCC.
Her goose egg of a contribution is no accident. Ocasio-Cortez says she has beef with the DCCC and she’ll withhold her money in protest of how the Democratic Party won’t back insurgent progressive primary candidates, like herself, in the name of protecting incumbents.
Sandy from Westchester has, incredibly enough, come up with a reasonably smart strategy for promoting her communist ideals. It’s a bold move she’s making, particularly for a newly-elected rookie: she’s rejecting the crusty establishment to build a less-compromised, more radical organization, one she can control herself. Her end-run around thw world’s sleaziest, most dishonest political party is nothing less than a direct challenge to its powerful puppeteers, backroom deal-makers, and geriatric career campaigners whose commitment to hard-Left principles she considers to be much too soft.
Know what, though? I wouldn’t at all mind seeing a similar trend develop in the GOP, frankly. But there’s always risk involved in trying to force real change on any corrupt, ruthless, and firmly entrenched organization:
The problem is that progressives like AOC and the Squad want the benefit of the broad party apparatus and name recognition without having to worry about appealing to a broad section of voters, which has been the primary concern of Pelosi and other members of leadership. They are well aware that around half of Democrats describe themselves as moderates or conservatives. And those voters are overrepresented in a lot of the Trump 2016 voting, Democrat 2018 voting districts which are key to the current House majority.
AOC doesn’t seem to particularly care about that. Nor does she care about the optics of which voters she would want to boot out of the tent in order to achieve her aims. Just as in DeMint’s case, where he was arguing for the priorities of conservative primary voters taking precedence over the general election gaming of the consultant-donor class, AOC wants the progressive activist core – 42 percent of the party – to drive Congressional selection. That requires ignoring the priorities of general election moderate voters.
But unfortunately for AOC, that’s a lot of voters. “CNN data guru Harry Enten observes, contra the conventional wisdom, moderates and conservatives still make up roughly half of Democratic voters, while only 19 to 25 percent consider themselves “very liberal.” Moreover, “Millennials and Generation Z voters (roughly those younger than 40)… made up just about 29% of all Democratic voters in the 2018 midterm, per Catalist [a firm that maintains a voter database for Democratic and progressive causes].” Voters over fifty constituted 56 percent of Democratic voters in 2018.”
So this raises the obvious question: who does AOC not want in the tent? Older voters, working class men, and voters of color all skew more moderate within the Democratic coalition – they also favor Biden, who AOC doesn’t even think belongs in her progressive party.
Actually, she isn’t entirely wrong about that either. Her full statement made an unflattering-by-her-lights comparison between Greasy Gropey Joe’s hackish and incompetent maneuvering, his willingness to make deals with the Republican devil when he must, which does indeed make him a “moderate” when stacked up against, say, European politicians, for whom “conservative” shakes out as “slightly less radically Left than Stalin or Marx. VERY slightly.” If Toothy McBigtits can pull off either remaking the Democrat-Socialist Party in the AOC mold or replacing it outright, the resultant dog’s breakfast of hard-left fanaticism will indeed have no place for an old-fashioned horse-trader like Uncle Gropey in it.
If AOC sticks her neck out too far with her purity purge, though, she may learn that those old-guard powerbrokers still have plenty of dirty tricks up their sleeves yet—and that they didn’t gain and hold onto power for so long by being easy marks for every wet-behind-the-ears Young Turk to come down the pike toting more ambition and ego than intelligence.