To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Sunday, October 1, 2023


Stop Obsessing Over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez



The right can’t stop talking about the incoming youngest member of the House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The left isn’t much better.

You know AOC. She rose from obscurity to instant celebrity as a self-described socialist running for Congress. The former waitress did it with a brilliant campaign combining social media genius with just showing up.

In the end, however, she will be only one of 235 Democrats in the 435-member House. Fans and detractors should keep that in mind.

The professional right has portrayed this Latina daughter of the Bronx as a threat to the free market system. During the midterm campaign, Republican ads kept flashing her face as the new Red menace.

Problem is, her face is pretty. She comes off as a hard worker from the working class. And her tailored suits have messed up many a storyline.

Fox News assembled a panel to discuss a pair of her shoes. They were on display in an exhibit at Cornell University titled “Women Empowered: Fashions from the Frontline.”

Ocasio-Cortez cleverly trolled the panelists in Spanish, tweeting the words of a popular song. In English, “No, it’s not love. What you feel is called obsession.”

When a follower asked whether Fox News would have to hire a translator, she tweeted, “Don’t worry, Fox News has made it clear that they are far superior to + more intelligent than me, who they’ve called a ‘little, simple person.’ So I’m sure catching up to me in spoken languages shouldn’t be a problem for them.”

Serious interviews show that she clearly needs to bone up on public affairs. But dumb she is not. Those on the right depicting her as such should, in the interest of consistency, demand that Donald Trump read something every now and then.

Writing on the conservative website The Federalist, Houston talk show host Jesse Kelly cited a “mind-numbingly stupid” tweet by Ocasio-Cortez. His real concern, however, is that the right isn’t sufficiently scared of her.

“In politics,” Kelly wrote, “there is no ability like relatability.” Consider AOC’s bull’s-eye tweet about health care costs facing ordinary people: “As a waitress, I had to pay more than twicewhat I’d pay as a member of Congress.”

Kelly waved a poll taken the May before the 2016 presidential election as evidence of the threat. It showed Bernie Sanders – another avowed socialist and an Ocasio-Cortez comrade – leading Trump by over 10 percentage points in a hypothetical race.

Actually, the poll reflected realities Kelly chose to ignore. One was how unappealing most voters regarded Trump. Another was that Trump and his backers were themselves promoting Sanders at the time to sabotage Hillary Clinton. Finally, a lot of people who don’t like Sanders don’t like Trump even more.

Anyhow, a recent poll of Democrats on prospective 2020 presidential candidates shows Joe Biden leading the pack, with 26% support, and Sanders at only 19%. [A Politico/Morning Consult poll had Trump losing to either one.]

Kelly does not give up: “Socialism is just communism dressed up in high heels and lipstick.”

It’s not, but that’s beside the point. Ocasio-Cortez isn’t really a socialist. She’s more of a social democrat common in Western democracies. She’s for “supporting seniors” and “clean campaign finance.” Would Republicans care to run against that? Her “Green New Deal” to address climate change would draw bipartisan support.

Ocasio-Cortez’s ability to come off as “real” and to fearlessly mock her foes on social media has been likened to Trump’s. That’s what might concern Republicans. It’s like the left found the secret sauce.

On the other hand, AOC is just a junior member of the 116th U.S. Congress. Trump is commander in chief. There’s a difference, you know.

Froma Harrop’s columns appear regularly in The Oklahoma Observer

Froma Harrop
Froma Harrop
Harrop is an American writer and author. She is best known for her bi-weekly syndicated column which appears in about 200 news outlets including the Seattle Times, Newsday, Denver Post, Dallas Morning News, Arizona Republic, Detroit News, and Real Clear Politics and The Providence Journal. She is represented by Creators Syndicate Inc. in Los Angeles. Media Matters ranks her column 20th nationally in total readership and 14th in large newspaper concentration.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.