It's an interesting thing to note, as she, or their public of her, is the villain in their minds, and take everything she says under a microscope. Most recently, they've been hounding her for her comments about Amazon's possible tax rebate for building their new headquarters in New York City.'AOC TMZ': why Republicans obsess over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Some on the right say it’s wrong for Trump and his followers to fixate on the young New York Democrat. Others are convinced she’s electoral poison
David Smith in Washington
Sun 31 Mar 2019 01.00 EDT Last modified on Sun 31 Mar 2019 01.01 EDT
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez greets the audience at a televised town hall event on the Green New Deal in the Bronx.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez greets the audience at a televised town hall event on the Green New Deal in the Bronx, New York. Photograph: Jeenah Moon/Reuters
“It’s weird,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mused on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers earlier this month. “Why are so many grown men just obsessed with this, like, 29-year-old?”
Ocasio-Cortez says Green New Deal critics are making 'fools of themselves'
Obsessed would seem to be the right word for conservatives regarding the progressive, provocative Democratic congresswoman from New York who is known as AOC.
Barely a speech went by at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington without a jaundiced reference to Ocasio-Cortez. There was even a cardboard cut-out of her next to a “Socialism Bread Line” at one of the event’s after-parties.
At Donald Trump’s rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this week, Donald Trump Jr described Ocasio-Cortez’s rise to prominence as “pretty scary”. The crowd chanted “AOC sucks!” with the kind of gusto usually reserved for another Democratic woman and Trump bete noire, Hillary Clinton, in the form of “Lock her up!”
Ocasio-Cortez is also the subject of a Republican attack ad in North Carolina’s third congressional district. Michelle Nix, a Republican, warned Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed Green New Deal would be bad for the locals.
“She has the media,” Nix said. “She has the followers. But bless her heart, she has some terrible ideas.”
Trump always needs a foil and she’s a very useful foil for him to say, ‘I’m running against radical socialists’
In short, just as supporters have lionised AOC as the new face of the progressive movement, so the right has demonised her as the new face of socialism, a successor to Barack Obama, Clinton and Nancy Pelosi as the bogeyman or woman to rally the conservative base.
A recent Time magazine profile argued: “Wonder Woman of the left, Wicked Witch of the right. Ocasio-Cortez has become the second most talked-about politician in America, after the president of the United States.”
Time’s cover photo was a vivid sign of how quickly a phenomenon has formed. Charlie Sykes, a conservative commentator, said: “She looks like Evita. She’s obviously an exciting and charismatic figure, but I’m not sure she represents the direction that Democrats want to take in 2020.
“Republicans would love to make her the face the Democratic party. It’s from the Trump playbook: they would love to characterise the Democrats as this young, radical socialist from New York. To some extent, the Democrats are playing into their hands by elevating her. Instead of talking about members of Congress such as Abigail Spanberger and Conor Lamb in swing districts, we’re talking about AOC.”
Sykes, editor-in-chief at the Bulwark, added: “Trump always needs a foil and she’s a very useful foil for him to say: ‘I’m running against radical socialists.’ That’s exactly the way you’d build it up in the Trump White House.”
Ocasio-Cortez has duly emerged as an unwitting star of Fox News, the Rupert Murdoch-owned cable network where opinion hosts have shown devout support for Trump and a close relationship with the White House. When Trump gave a phone interview to close confidante Sean Hannity this week, his criticisms of the Green New Deal were accompanied by footage of Ocasio-Cortez, who has championed the proposal.
According to research for the Guardian by Media Matters for America, a not-for-profit that monitors coverage, Fox News mentioned – or played clips mentioning – Ocasio-Cortez 299 times over the past two weeks.
The freshman congresswoman has complained that the network “has turned into ‘AOC TMZ’”, referring to the celebrity gossip website. Hannity has described her as “the new leader of the Democratic party” who pushes “bizarre, far-left radical ideas”.
This is a millennial female minority, the three things the Fox News audience seem to fear the most
A Fox News spokesperson pointed to coverage in which hosts and anchors have invited the congresswoman on their shows and referred to her as “impressive”. In January she was interviewed as part of a report on healthcare reform.
The New York Post, also owned by Murdoch, recently published 24 articles about Ocasio-Cortez on its website in the space of six days, according to Vanity Fair.
Kurt Bardella, a former spokesperson and senior adviser for Republicans on the House oversight committee and ex-spokesperson for rightwing Breitbart News, said: “I think they’re looking for someone now that Hillary Clinton is gone from the day to day public eye.
“Here is someone who has become the most visible figure in Congress in a short space of time. She is bombastic. This is a millennial female minority, the three things the Fox News audience seem to fear the most. Whether it’s the travel ban or border emergency, she embodies the things that scare them.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talks to late-night host Seth Meyers.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talks to late-night host Seth Meyers. Photograph: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
With 3.7m followers on Twitter, Instagram fame and several viral video clips, the youngest congresswoman ever elected has bigger name recognition than many Democrats running for president. She is therefore a more prized target.
Bardella, who has an article about Ocasio-Cortez pinned on his Twitter page, added: “We’re going to hear her name on the campaign trail as much if not more than the Democratic candidates. In their over-zealousness, Republicans are only serving to make her a more impactful and significant figure. I bet you AOC’s name ID on Fox News is absurdly high.”
Progressives believe the demonisation of Ocasio-Cortez is doomed to fail.
Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America, said: “They are obsessed with AOC because she scares the hell out of them. She has electrified Democrats in a way we haven’t seen since Obama. There’s no doubt that’s part of the reason they’re going directly after her.
“She’s a young Latina woman advocating a sharp change in the policy trajectory of the country, and that’s horrifying for them. It’s everything they’re scared of. They think it will work for them in the long term and they can make her Nancy Pelosi II, but they’re going to lose that battle.
“They are only making AOC stronger. They have never had to confront someone who is committed to putting forward a bold agenda and doesn’t care about the criticism.”
My San Antonio
In their minds, she's the ignorant college girl who is going to destroy America with her good intentions, and doesn't know what she's talking about.Amazon blow up shows AOC an economic illiterate
By Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post Writers Group Published 4:59 pm CST, Monday, February 25, 2019
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t get that Amazon’s $3 billion incentives were tax breaks, not a cash handout. Photo: Kathy Willens / Associated Press / Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Photo: Kathy Willens / Associated Press
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t get that Amazon’s $3 billion incentives were tax breaks, not a cash handout.
The left complains that conservatives are “obsessing” over Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Well, there is a reason for that: Ocasio-Cortez is driving the agenda of today’s Democratic Party — and her economic illiteracy is dangerous.
Case in point: Ocasio-Cortez celebrated the recent tanking of a deal negotiated by her fellow Democrats in which Amazon promised to build a new headquarters in Long Island City, N.Y., right next to her congressional district. Amazon’s departure cost the city between 25,000 and 40,000 new jobs. Forget the tech workers whom Amazon would have employed. Gone are all the unionized construction jobs to build the headquarters, as well as thousands of jobs created by all the small businesses — restaurants, bodegas, dry cleaners and food carts — that were preparing to open or expand to serve Amazon employees. They are devastated by Amazon’s withdrawal.
Ocasio-Cortez was not disturbed at all. “We were subsidizing those jobs,” she said. “Frankly, if we were willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district, ourselves, if we wanted to. We could hire out more teachers. We can fix our subways. We can put a lot of people to work for that amount of money if we wanted to.”
No, you can’t. Ocasio-Cortez does not seem to realize that New York does not have $3 billion in cash sitting around waiting to be spent on her socialist dreams. The subsidies to Amazon were tax incentives, not cash payouts. It is Amazon’s money, which New York agreed to make tax-exempt, so the company would invest it in building its new headquarters, hiring new workers and generating tens of billions in new tax revenue.
As New York Mayor Bill de Blasio explained, the Amazon deal would have produced “$27 billion in new tax revenue to fuel priorities from transit to affordable housing — a nine-fold return on the taxes the city and state were prepared to forgo to win the headquarters.” Unlike Ocasio-Cortez’s imaginary $3 billion slush fund, that is real money that actually could have been used to hire teachers, fix subways and put people to work. With Amazon leaving New York, that $27 billion leaves with it. Genius.
Ocasio-Cortez does not seem to understand that by helping to drive Amazon away, she did not save New York $3 billion; she cost New York $27 billion. There is a difference between having bad ideas and not grasping basic facts. Reasonable people can disagree about whether New York should have offered Amazon $3 billion in tax incentives — or anything at all — to build its headquarters in the city. But that is different from not understanding that New York is not writing a $3 billion check to Amazon.
Sadly, Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t learn from her mistakes. She made the same kind of error in December when she tweeted “$21 TRILLION of Pentagon financial transactions ‘could not be traced, documented, or explained.’ $21T in Pentagon accounting errors. Medicare for All costs ~$32T. That means 66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon.”
But, as Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood told the Washington Post, “DoD hasn’t received $21 trillion in (nominal) appropriated funding across the entirety of American history.” Once again, Ocasio-Cortez did not grasp that the Pentagon did not have a magic pile of $21 trillion in cash sitting in a vault somewhere.
Her economic illiteracy matters because she is the principal author of the Green New Deal, which has been endorsed by most of the leading Democratic candidates for president. From this unschooled mind has sprung the most ambitious plan for government intervention in the economy since Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s train pulled into Petrograd’s Finland Station.
If Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t understand how tax subsidies work, how can she be trusted to plan the federal takeover of the health care, energy and transportation sectors of our economy? Think she and her allies have any idea how to, as her now infamous talking points put it, upgrade or replace “every building in America” … or replace “every combustible-engine vehicle” … or connect every corner of America with high-speed rail … or replace all fossil-fuel energy with alternative energy sources — all in 10 years’ time? Apparently, they think we just have to find all the magic pots of cash the government is hiding.
Amazon left New York because Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow democratic socialists created a hostile environment in the city. And if Ocasio-Cortez has her way, Democrats are going to do to the rest of America what they just did to New York.
So, how on the money(if at all) are they about her connections to reality regarding American policy? Why do they continually attack her? What does this mean for the Republicans? What does this mean for the Democrats?