Ocasio-Cortez faces challenges from all sides

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes has become a lightning rod for criticism. The Republicans and right-wingers in general are freaking out about the rising appeal of he socialist polices she is advocating and have decide to throw everything including the kitchen sink at her with comically contradictory results. She is no shrinking violet and has responded accordingly.

Ocasio-Cortez fired back and criticized Republicans: “This stuff is really sad. The GOP is so intellectually bankrupt that they no longer engage to debate issues in good faith, but instead seek to lie, distort, name-call, target, & destroy people/communities [with] any means possible. It’s a virus and a race to the bottom.”

She added that she was astounded at the conflicting rumors surrounding her. She has been accused of both being wealthy and extremely poor. “It’s pretty wild that the GOP can’t decide whether they’re going to run with the conspiracy theory that I’m secretly rich, or the exaggeration & mockery of my family’s struggle after my dad died during the financial crisis,” Ocasio-Cortez concluded. “Instead, they decide to defy logic and run with both.”

But as Aida Chavez warns, the real danger to her may come from within the Democratic party, especially the New York state and city party bosses who are used to running things and see her as a ‘disruptive’ influence whom they cannot control, and the method they may use is to try and eliminate the district that she ran in and won.

Following the 2020 census, every state will draw new district boundaries to reflect changes in the population, the political implications of which will stretch for at least the next decade. In 2014, New York approved a constitutional amendment establishing a nonpartisan redistricting commission, which is set to take over the redistricting process starting in 2020. The 10-member commission, meant to be independent from the legislature, is made up of individuals selected by leaders from the state Senate and Assembly, and the original eight members pick two additional members.

But Ocasio-Cortez’s most determined adversaries are not partisan Republicans, but Democrats who say that she has been a disruptive influence. The Hill recently reported that at least one member of Congress has been urging New York party leaders to recruit a Democratic primary challenger to Ocasio-Cortez. But the news led to a surge of donations to Ocasio-Cortez, suggesting that a more efficient means of ousting her might be simply to eliminate her district.

The 29-year-old congressperson noted (accurately) that it’s generally expected that New York will likely lose a seat, despite the city itself growing at a consistent pace. “I don’t know if that means that all of our districts are going to be redrawn dramatically, because they have been historically gerrymandered, or what will happen, but there’s certainly a possibility, if not a guarantee, that my district in the coming years will not look like my district today,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “So I think it’s entirely possible, and New York politics being what it is, we have no idea where things are going to go.”

The party would be wise not to try this stunt. The backlash will be furious. She has shown herself to have a natural instinct for political ju-jitsu, to turn attacks back on the attacker.


  1. jrkrideau says

    The establishment Democrats appear to be in as greater or even greater panic than the Republicans.

    From my side of the border it is rather amusing to watch the hysteria that new members of Congress especially Ocasio-Cortez and Tulsi Gabbard are inspiring when they suggest wild-assed ideas such as medicare or not invading a country every week. Clearly heresy to both Republicans and Democrats.

    Taking on Ocasio-Cortez seems like a losing proposition at the moment. She is right that the Republicans are intellectually bankrupt but so are the establishment Democrats and the Democratic National Committe.

    I wonder if redrawing electoral boundaries, assuming no really egregious gerrymandering would have a bad effect on Ocasio-Cortez. On name recognition alone she probably would be reasonably well placed in a lot of New York City.

  2. says

    Gabbard does have problems. She can’t seem to clearly indicate whether she supports gay rights or not. You can say that the US shouldn’t be involved militarily in the Syrian disaster, yet also say that Assad is a bastard who’d the world would be better off without.

  3. says

    Ocasio-Cortez did a brilliant performance explaining how corrupt campaign finance is.

    She’s really good.

    Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren is setting up for a run, and I think she’s cynical enough that she’ll circle back to the party line (which will mean leaving the more energetic young members of the party behind) She’s probably pretty pissed off: here she was buffing her “maverick” credentials and now she’s revealed as more of a centrist.

  4. Bruce H says

    If Ocasio-Cortez can maintain her popularity, especially in New York, there’s not much the Democratic establishment can do to shut her down. Eliminate her district? That won’t work; she can primary another incumbent Democrat and win. Worse, from an establishment perspective, she might even be able to primary Chuck Schumer in 2022. And win.

    Nancy Pelosi, for all her strengths, should be very wary of trying to corral Ocasio-Cortez.

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