President Donald Trump meets with, from left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
For all her incredibly bad politics, there is one thing that is incredibly exciting to see when it comes to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: The Democratic Establishment is losing their minds over her.
Make no mistake, yesterday’s media onslaught against AOC was nothing short of a coordinated hit meant to put her in her place and humble her. It went over about as well as you’d expect with someone who feels little public shame.
When The Washington Post, CNN, and even Whoopi Goldberg are out with major hits over what was admittedly a very dumb statement, it seems like more than coincidence. This wasn’t a fact check, and it wasn’t reporting on what she said. These hits (and more, like this morning’s from Max Boot [TRIGGER WARNING: Max Boot]) were pointed criticisms of what she said. They were responses. What’s more, they all developed around the same point: She treats facts like Donald Trump does.
(Yes, that is also a point I made yesterday morning, but I swear Pelosi and/or Schumer aren’t sending me marching orders. Yet.)
This is a larger problem for the Democrats. They were happy to sit back and laugh as Republicans fought amongst themselves during the Obama years, but now they find themselves in the middle of their own Tea Party moment – one which they can thank Bernie Sanders for.
Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, is doing what she does best. She is playing the victim of bigotry and sexism. Pelosi and Schumer, being older and whiter than AOC, are falling into a trap they frequently try to use against Republicans. If this becomes a fight over identity politics, they are ill-suited to win.
The word out of Washington is that Pelosi and Schumer – Pelosi, in particular – are furious that AOC, Rashida Tlaib, and the rest of the freshman class are stealing the spotlight and doing dumb things with it. But, there are a growing number of Democratic voters who see Pelosi, Schumer, and the rest of the Democratic leadership as too centrist and not progressive enough, and those voters are siding with Bernie Sanders and AOC and Tlaib.
It’s good to be the party that can sit back and watch this unfold, rather than the party that is suffering from it.