Okay Congresswoman, Time to Speak Less and Think More

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I am hesitant.

It is a little dangerous to criticize influential progressive thinkers on an influential progressive site. But I attempt to live my life knowing my limits, respecting the fact that others have different beliefs, and that a “voice” comes with big responsibilities. I think Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez needs to do a little thinking on that end. To the extent that it sounds condescending, please remember that I blasted the shit out of one of Biden’s answers just a week and a half ago.

In a recent interview, she thought it important to explain:

Asked by New York Magazine for a profile published Monday about what role she might play as a member of Congress should Biden capture the White House in 2020, the freshman House Democrat from New York responded with a groan.

“Oh God,” she said. “In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are.”

Sigh.

I respect AOC. She accomplished a brave feat which I could never have done. I also like the fact that she’s thrown the board up in the air a few times and put the “establishment” on notice that the younger leaders of the party demand a voice.

She has earned that voice.

But just like every other voice, whether from a Pelosi, Biden, Bloomberg, whomever, she is responsible for the impact, and she should be held accountable by people on her own side. A lot of people have been so excited by her fresh progressive approach that she’s been “beyond-criticism” in many places.

Not here, at least not with me.

Look at the question she was asked, about a possible role she might play in a Biden White House.

First, and most obviously, I don’t care if Biden is your last choice behind Bloomberg (he is somewhere back there for me), the “entry-level” response to that question for any Democratic politician should be noting how grateful she would be to see the White House function again, and then say something like; “I would hope a large one, because any Democrat elected (see? slip Biden’s name back out, like a good Sanders’ supporter) will owe the progressive left a lot for that victory. We will win the right to have a big voice in any new administration, especially as we return to sanity.” (See? Punch Trump).

This is not rocket surgery. Even me, the guy in a hut in rural Mississippi, can do it. No controversy, no slamming a member of her own party, nothing just … stupid!

I don’t care if it is even true! Perhaps her answer is accurate, since the U.S. is one of the few binary political systems in the world, maybe it is true. But what does it have to do with anything? She lives here, she has tremendous power here, in this nation. Additionally, when she is threatened by Trump and Republicans, she needs Democrats – all Democrats – to step-in and show unity, moderate to … AOCs, to blast back. Her voice is infinitely weaker without the “collective” Democrats behind her.

She used a softball question to create controversy and make it less likely we vote out Trump by dividing the party that has the only chance to beat him. Her next line proves it.

Ocasio-Cortez broadly lamented what she identified as the outsize influence that more moderate Democrats wield within the party’s House majority, labeling the chamber’s centrist wing “the tea party of the left.” 

Look, I “broadly lament” the outsize influence of the more moderate Democrats, too, but not as we enter a presidential election and especially not this presidential election. And I really wouldn’t give them such a horrific label. Who does she think she is? The “Tea Party” is a vile, largely racist movement that progressed to the MAGA-heads, and she’s now put that upon people like Biden. Ironic, since the Tea-Party formed to oppose “leftists” like Biden and Obama.

For all she knows, Biden might offer her a cabinet position. No, she would not get State or Treasury, but maybe Health and Human Services. Maybe Biden sees a bit of himself in her (he was 29 on election day to the Senate, and was told to shut-up more than once). He might set her up to run for the Senate or President.

I know one thing, she’s not going to get it with those answers and she’s not going to be able to get anything done as the most isolated voice representing the hippest crowd in Brooklyn.

I realize she’s attached to the Sanders’ campaign. Good for her! I hope they’re successful. But I gotta tell you, if Sanders is successful in getting the nomination, no one, and I mean no one, is going to regret those comments about the moderates more than AOC as they go into the general election. Because “Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders” is not becoming “President Bernie Sanders” without the Joe Bidens, Nancy Pelosis and Barack Obamas working their moderate asses off to get him there. But every one of these quotes is going to get put right back to her, and her candidate. Then what?

She is going to wish she had thought through some of her answers more carefully. And so this column is nothing more than an invitation to do just that. I hope she succeeds, I hope Sanders or someone from the left succeeds. But she is making it less likely.

Let’s all agree on something. Biden has as good a chance as anyone of getting nominated. If that happens, she is going to have to ask herself which is “worse,” having Joe Biden as president, who would listen to her, or Donald Trump. Trump will mock her, tweet about her, put her and people that look like her in danger, all while using her as a vicious tool.

AOC is a necessary new presence, and a powerful one. She is  needed. But wow, can she can ever shoot herself in the foot sometimes. It hurts much worse when that same shot is against all of “us.” It especially hurts the people for whom Trump represents an even greater danger, which – ironically, includes people of color and … people like her.

UPDATE: Some extremely “woke” person just emailed me to explain why I need to now kill myself, and no, I am not kidding. It was more vile than anything I’ve gotten from the right. I am not feeling sorry for myself, with a voice comes responsibility and risk. Just know what we’re dealing with.

****

Peace, y’all

Jason

jmiciak@yahoo.com and on Twitter @MiciakZoom

 

 

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72 Comments on "Okay Congresswoman, Time to Speak Less and Think More"

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mae
Member

Groan, very thoughtless comment by her. I doubt there will be a zillion stories calling her out, though. She can do no wrong, if you dare criticize her, you will be called a centrist democrat.

catperson
Member

Well I agree with you and Jason and I’m hardly a centrist; not even close. But I will vote for any democrat over Trump or any republican.

mae
Member

I shouldn’t have even used the word centrist. I don’t understand the point of labeling democrats within the party. We are all Democrats. Maybe I am too simplistic about this.

Bareshark
Guest

It’s an honest comment by a first-time politician who is still learning the ropes. She’s as enthused to be in the same party as Biden as I am vis-a-vis Bernie, her political patron…and that’s ALL that was about. I’d only be worried if she makes such remarks in the event Biden sewed up the nomination. Bluntly put, this sort of premature handwringing is for reality TV stars and other folks who think style always triumph over substance. So let’s be better be than the late stage Reagan Coalition if we can.

mae
Member

Bareshark, if her comment is ‘honest,’ as you say, criticism of her words is a reasonable expectation. She should be ready to defend her words, as all politicians are expected to do. She is not exempt frtom the process.

Bareshark
Guest

Oh, agreed, Cmae. All I was doing was explaining why she’d be so foolish as to say such. She has yet to figure out there are some things people in her position should not say out loud. Be reassured that I’m no AOC cultist here, partly driven by my lack of love for her political patron Bernie, partly because she has a lot left to learn (she’s only been in a year, let’s remember). She’ll get it right or she won’t. Life and new leaders will go forward regardless.

mae
Member

I was worried for a few minutes.

catperson
Member

Agrée 🙂

catperson
Member

Agree (Sorry, French spell check).

mae
Member

It happens to us all.😁

mae
Member

😊

Bareshark
Guest

The only thing I am a cultist about, Cmae, is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It does not do to invest our politicians with the same devotion, I’ve found.

mae
Member

My husband loves marvel too. 😊 I love Jessica Jones, I can’t remember if it is marvel, though. Lol.

Bareshark
Guest

Oh yes, Cmae, Jessica Jones is derived from a turn of the century comic series called Alias, written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Michael Gaydos. Due to the presence of the then-better known 2000s TV series by the same name starring Jennifer Garner, the creators of the Marvel show used Jessica’s name for their title. Each episode title starting off with “AKA” is a reference to the source material, though.

Joseph
Guest
“I would hope a large one, because any Democrat elected (see? slip Biden’s name back out, like a good Sanders’ supporter)” Of course, Sanders is NOT a Democrat. He has NEVER been a Democrat–except when he wants to run for President. Then he co-opts the Party FOR HIS OWN PERSONAL GAIN and gets all his supporters to rail AGAINST the Party for not kowtowing to his every demand like letting NON-Democrats vote in primaries and participate in caucuses–the whine about “we don’t have a choice” was ludicrous and the Party should have NEVER “opened” any primaries to people who could… Read more »
Edward
Guest

I agree with Jason’s opinion. I agree with above with less words.

Bareshark
Guest

You’d probably like my man Hoarse Whisperer on Twitter…hates Bernie with a passion, he does. To me, Bernie is and has always been a vain old man with a lot of the same delusions Trump has. My hope for folks like AOC is that they grow past him, something I worry (for them only…the rest of us will find a way) they won’t manage as long as he’s alive.

catperson
Member

Agree 100% Jason. You said it much better than I would have and it needed to be said. I hope she sees your post.

gettin too old for this sh!t
Member
gettin too old for this sh!t

Wow, as my mom used to say, “open mouth, insert foot, chew vigorously!”. You’re right, she could have thought that one out a WHOLE lot better. I totally agree with you. As to that email, by “woke”, are you saying it was from someone calling their self a Democrat? Good Lord.

LOrion
Guest
OKAY PolitiZoom why have you let DKOS garbage on this site? PS Sorry Jason this is a site for Real Democrats who are proud to #BeAMERICANStrong .. Who believe in #RuleOfLaw not #TrumpRussia lawlessness. This entire piece is simply #TrumpRussia SUPPORTING DISTRACTION garbage. We all know AOC is young .. got herself mixed up w Commie Chakrabarti ?sp and even got Paraded at a Fake ‘Women Love Bernie’ Rally. Real Americans know BernieSanders is and always has been a RIS Agent. As soon as any site such as DKOS or CommonDreams (HOOT aka CommieDreams?) back him .. they out themselves… Read more »
catperson
Member

I can can only read English, French, and German (and some Spanish). Would you please repost in one of those languages.

mae
Member

Wow! That is admirable.

gettin too old for this sh!t
Member
gettin too old for this sh!t

Thanks, catperson, I was having the same problem…Google translator no help at all…

mae
Member

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I needed a good laugh today. Thank you SO much for providing one.

Steve787
Guest

What a pile of gibberish. “DKOS garbage?” Are you naturally clueless or do you have to work at it? If Jason had posted this on DK he’d have been ratioed into the ground, if not HRed. AOC has a MASSIVE following on DK and they will hammer anyone who criticizes her. I respecter her as a good fellow Democrat but not above even the slightest criticism.
Then, the “RussianBot” idiocy. At your “level,” anyone you disagree with is a Russian bot. Cheap, stupid, and hollow.
Lastly, you “want” Jason off this site? HaHaHaHaHa! You know what you can do with that.

p j evans
Member

You’ve outed yourself, as someone who stopped thinking years ago.

LOrion
Guest
AND sorry Ursula and Murf.. about Seth Thread. I HAD ASSUMED you had gotten his permission to post his Thread.. as Twitter is quite specific, as are all media that only a bit of another media piece can be used. I still believe Author Attorney Seth Abramson should realize that having his commentary from and about his wonderful Annotated Mainstream Media Compendium on Trump shenanigans, #ProofOfConspiracy, only on twitter .. severely limits its value as an Informational and Sales tool. I know many very intelligent people WHO HAVE NEVER TWEETED! But that is his choice, guess sales of #POC are… Read more »
Bareshark
Guest

Pal, with all due respect, back off, would you? None of anything you posted is helping anything other than your spleen, which is getting a thorough venting with your rant. Jason is just worried about unforced errors on our side. I’m considerably less worried but agree that it’s a valid concern.

p j evans
Member

TL;DR
Also TOO MANY CAPS and otherwise unintelligble sh*t.
I’d rather read dKos than your stuff.

Sharon Metcalf
Guest
Oh please. She’s still human and one of the things we love most about her is that she is brutally honest; whether she takes a misstep now and then so what? I’d challenge anyone to do what she’s done to send the mess of potage we’re served up daily back to the “chef.” I for one do not wish to continue being associated with the Democratic party as long as they work to subvert the changes and candidates the people obviously want. I think her comment was spot-on. You saw how hard they worked to negate Bernie in the last… Read more »
Bareshark
Guest

So long as she learns from the error, yes, it’s not a big deal. She still has time to be able to figure out things Bernie still hasn’t…and for a man his age, the mistakes he’s made which he refuse to own are far less forgivable. He made his bed. He can lie in it.

Sharon Metcalf
Guest

I’ll take Sanders’ “mistakes” over a whole lot of other politicians whose mistakes are very conveniently ignored.

Bareshark
Guest

Ironic words, given how much of a pass he typically gets for the mistakes I noted above. Had he been content with just moving the needle, I could forgive him his trespasses. But he can’t so therefore neither can I.

mae
Member

Would you mind if Biden made this comment about Aoc?

Steve787
Guest

WRT your “update.” I think Sen Sanders is a decent man with some very good policy ideas. But my biggest issue with him is his supporters, so many of which are irrational, my way or burn it all down types. And as your received email shows, some are disturbed and sick. Elizabeth Warren’s policy proposals aren’t that different from Sanders’ and yet she doesn’t engender the same level of vitriol against fellow Democrats in her supporters.

Bareshark
Guest

One could say, Steve, that Liz Warren is Bernie for grownups…but maybe I’m being a little mean.

Steve787
Guest

Oh you meanie 🙂

p j evans
Member

She does need to think more. But Biden is a fairly conservative Dem, though not the far right fringe of the party, which would be Lipinski and probably Cuellar. If she’s going to say she’s not a Dem, though, she’s going to lose some positions that she wants.

bwolofsky
Guest
ok, there’s one thing that really bothers me in general when people talk about AOC, Ilhan Omar and Rashida T. They all refer to them as “progressives”. I call BS! Nonsense. Absolute rubbish! What the hell is “progressive” about jew-hate being a big part of your platform, hell, about who you are as a person?? (please note I did not include Ayana in this list as everyone I know from Boston tells me she is not in the least anti-semitic). Jew-hate has been around for two millennia or more. What exactly is “progressive” about that?! From now on, in the… Read more »
bwolofsky
Guest

By the way Jason, you are a fantastic writer and very insightful. I don’t know that I will ever find myself in Miss, but if you and the family ever find yourselves in Montreal, please ask Ursula Faw my email and phone. I would love to meet you and give your family a really nice tour of my city. Keep writing and thinking, dude.

Cynthia Feaster
Guest
“She accomplished a brave feat”- exactly what “feat” was that? I am a lifelong NYer. AOC has does little to nothing to improve the living conditions of her constituents in the bronx and Queens. AOC is a strong & wrong loud mouth who does NOT speak for all NYers. I don’t like her at all and would never vote for her if I lived in her district, which I’m glad to say I don’t She is NOT the “NY Progressive” that people outside of NYC think that she is. For example we have MAJOR police brutality problems in the City.… Read more »