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.