Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has infuriated colleagues by aligning with a progressive outside group that’s threatening to primary entrenched Democrats. Now some of those lawmakers are turning the tables on her and are discussing recruiting a primary challenger to run against the social media sensation.
At least one House Democrat has been privately urging members of the New York delegation to recruit a local politician from the Bronx or Queens to challenge Ocasio-Cortez.
“What I have recommended to the New York delegation is that you find her a primary opponent and make her a one-term congressperson,” the Democratic lawmaker, who requested anonymity, told The Hill. “You’ve got numerous council people and state legislators who’ve been waiting 20 years for that seat. I’m sure they can find numerous people who want that seat in that district.”
She poses problems to the Democrats on two fronts. Firstly, she is drawing attention to real, existing social and economic problems that both parties have ignored for years. She has a habit of taking to Twitter and discussing things with her 2.7m followers that establishment Democrats would rather stay buried:
Gonna keep it 💯: The biggest threats to journalism right now are tech monopolies & concentration of ownership.
Healthy democracy *requires* high-quality journalism.
W/o a wide range of independent outlets & the revenue to sustain them, our democracy will continue to crumble.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 26, 2019
Which party do you think the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos support? Which candidate do you think Google and Twitter favour in a presidential election? I suspect a few establishment Democrats have received sharp words from powerful donors with respect to putting a leash on this Latina upstart, and she’s having none of it. On the contrary, she seems bent on unseating some of her party colleagues.
It goes without saying that AOC’s solutions to problems either real or imagined are insane. When it comes to actual policy she’s about as well-informed as you’d expect for any product of the American education system, but that doesn’t matter. Bernie Sanders thought socialism was a cure for America’s ills, but that didn’t mean he was wrong when he criticised the corrupt, crony capitalism that underpins corporate America and the difficulty millions face finding decent work. This so dented Hillary’s run for Democrat party nominee she had to resort to skulduggery to secure it (which in her case is a bit like saying a career thief had to resort to stealing in order to make a living). When a socialist candidate appears on the political left and starts pointing out obvious problems and the hypocrisy of those who occupy the centre, it’s not the opposition party which feels the heat but the establishment left. On whom has Corbyn’s Momentum wrought more damage: the Conservatives or New Labourites?
The second problem is the Democrats desperately need a presidential candidate who is not a raving lunatic. Thus far we have Elizabeth Warren who is laughably inept, and Kamala Harris who has staked out her stall way over on the left, probably to outflank Warren and Sanders. The only centre-left candidates on the horizon are Joe Biden (who is my father’s age) and Tulsi Gabbard who has been ostracised for wrongthink. Any sensible Democrat candidate who puts themselves forward will have to contend with AOC’s Twitter army trashing them in favour of (probably) Harris. And woe betide them if they happen to be a white man with greying hair; he’ll be trying to talk about economics, foreign policy, and compromise while AOC and Harris will be shrieking about white supremacy, misogyny, and Nazis. He’ll not get a word in edgeways, and will receive the same treatment as McCain and Romney when they dared run against the Messiah. For this reason I’d be surprised if we see any white men putting themselves forward. Aside from being a rather large handicap going into the race, I’m not sure wealthy Democrat donors will like what they’re seeing. If the Democrats don’t rein in AOC and her fellow travelers soon, chequebooks will start closing.