Corporate Dem AOC Freak Out!
Grassroots progressives are a direct challenge to the mutual-protection racket among corporate Dems.
By Norman Soloman
In the last few days, both Politico and the New York Times have reported that freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [AOC] has ruffled the feathers of fellow congressional Democrats. Chief among the reasons for the tension? Ocasio-Cortez’s apparent support for progressive primary challenges against centrist Democrats.
It’s one of the most significant ideas the young New York congresswoman has brought with her to Washington.
That’s because turning the Democratic Party into a truly progressive force will require turning “primary” into a verb. The corporate Democrats who dominate the party’s power structure in Congress should fear losing their seats because they’re out of step with constituents. And Democratic voters should understand that if they want to change the party, the only path to do so is to change the people who represent them. Otherwise, the leverage of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex will continue to hold sway.
In every region of the nation, progressive activists are aiming to normalize what was once a rarity ― credible primary campaigns by genuine progressives against corporate Democrats in Congress. There are certainly plenty to choose from.
These days, with fingers to the wind, incumbents often give lip service to proposals that have wide public support nationwide, such as Medicare for All (70 percent) and higher taxes on the wealthy (76 percent). But big gaps remain between what most congressional Democrats are willing to fight for and what their constituents actually want.
Credible primary challenges ― or even just the threat of them ― can work wonders. Instead of merely asking a member of Congress to do the right thing, activists can convey a much more persuasive message: Do the right thing or we’ll replace you with someone who will.
Holding them accountable
Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats (a group that played a major role in Ocasio-Cortez’s election victory), emphasizes that “safe” Democratic districts shouldn’t stay safe for just any Democrat. The goal is to “hold representatives who throw diverse working-class voters under the bus accountable.”
Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid wrote in a Jan. 6 mass email that “real on-the-ground organizing work” can bring “a new generation of progressive leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into the Democratic Party.” He added: “We believe there are leaders just like Alexandria in every district ― who just need a little bit of encouragement and support.”
While largely ideological, the battle lines are also attitudinal and behavioral. …
- Big Banks Better Be Scared, Here Comes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is slated to join the committee leading the House’s oversight of U.S banks, lenders and financial markets. Ocasio-Cortez has been recommended by Democratic leaders for a spot on the House Financial Services Committee, a Democratic source told The Hill on Tuesday. The full roster of Democrats joining the committee is expected to be released as soon as Tuesday night. Ocasio-Cortez told Hill.TV in November that she has expressed interest in the Financial Services panel to the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which doles out seats on House committees. Politico reported last week that Ocasio-Cortez was ‘poised to win’ a spot on the Financial Services panel.” Link to 14-Minute Video
(Commoner Call cartoons by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source nd free for non-derivative use and link to www.thecommonercall.org )
“Ocasio-Cortez is not a reckless bomb-thrower. Instead, she’s choosing to fight strategically and champion proposals that the Democrats have long been too timid to back despite their virtue and their political plausibility.”
— Zeeshan Aleem, ‘Democrats’ Attacks on AOC Are Silly and Self-Defeating’
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Lambasts US Government Shutdown In First House Speech – Video
The Guardian (1/7/19)
‘It’s not normal to shut down the government when we don’t get what we want,’ says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during her first speech on the house floor. ‘The truth of this shutdown is that it’s actually not about a wall. The truth is, this shutdown is about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms’
While The Corporate Dems Fuss & Fume, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez CANNOT BE CONTAINED
To quote Alan Moore: “None of you understand. I’m not locked up here with YOU. You’re locked up here with ME.”
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
The Young Turks (1/11/19)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already making enemies in the House Democratic Caucus — and some of its members are mounting an operation to bring the anti-establishment, democratic socialist with 2.2 million Twitter followers into the fold.
The effort, described by nearly 20 lawmakers and aides, is part carrot, part stick: Some lawmakers with ties to Ocasio-Cortez are hoping to coax her into using her star power to unite Democrats and turn her fire on Republicans. Others simultaneously warn Ocasio-Cortez is destined for a lonely, ineffectual career in Congress if she continues to treat her own party as the enemy.
‘I’m sure Ms. Cortez means well, but there’s almost an outstanding rule: Don’t attack your own people,’ said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). ‘We just don’t need sniping in our Democratic Caucus.'”
- MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Hails AOC’s Historic #WheresMitch Quest For Republican Leader Mitch McConnell — MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell on Wednesday offered effusive praise for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives. “Donald Trump discovered today that his job does not come with the same privileges that come with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s job,” O’Donnell explained. “Donald Trump doesn’t have floor privileges.” “The president of the United States does not have the same floor privileges that a member of Congress has — a member of the House of Representatives can enter the House chamber at any time and a member of the House of Representatives can also enter the Senate chamber at any time,” he continued. “Donald Trump cannot.” “The president of the United States needs an invitation, and today House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the president because of the government shutdown that he created, she cannot extend an invitation to him to deliver his State of the Union address in the House of Representatives to a joint session of Congress,” O’Donnell noted. “And Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put the blame for the shutdown right where it belongs as of now, and that is in the United States Senate,” he continued. “And she did that by exercising her floor privileges and walking right in to the United States Senate chamber to deliver a letter to Mitch McConnell — telling him to bring the government funding bills that have already passed the House of Representatives to a vote in the United States Senate, where those bills would pass if Mitch McConnell would simply allow a vote.” … Read the Rest and 8-Minute Video
Ocasio-Cortez Schools Scott Walker On Marginal Tax Rates
By Jon Queally
Common Dreams (1/15/19)
In response to a tweet by the former Republican of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Tuesday afternoon offered a tax lesson of her ownand once again showed why she remains a rising star when it comes to messaging progressive ideas, navigating social media, and dismantling right-wing idiocy disguised as wisdom that the GOP has gotten away with for decades.
Intended as a likely swipe against Ocasio-Cortez’s recent “not at all outlandish” proposal to raise the marginal tax rate on the nation’s wealthiest to 70 percent or more—a proposal, by the way, which a new poll out Tuesday shows a majority of Americans support—Walker earlier in the day tweeted out a message in which described how he would explain to 5th graders (in the years “before [Ronald] Reagan”) how “tax rates” work – at least in his Koch Brothers-backed mind.
But right on cue, the congresswoman from New York took Walker’s silly tax policy lesson and gave it right back.
Explaining marginal taxes to a far-right former Governor:
Imagine if you did chores for abuela & she gave you $10. When you got home, you got to keep it, because it’s only $10.
Then we taxed the billionaire in town because he’s making tons of money underpaying the townspeople.
And she wasn’t alone.
“What Walker leaves out of the story,” joked Washington Post political reporter Dave Weigel, “is that the student had already made $9,999,990 on house work that year and the extra $10 pushed him into the top bracket.”
“How is it even possible that you don’t know how marginal tax rates work?” the progressive advocacy group Credo Mobile asked Walker.
And while the Patriotic Millionaires, a group wealthy individuals which advocates for higher taxes on people in their tax bracket, offered to share their resource materials to Walker so that he might better understand how the marginal rate works, their progressive allies at the Tax March also wanted to help.
“Hey Scott Walker, it’s clear that you don’t understand marginal tax rates and we can’t have you mis-informing America’s children,” the group tweeted. “Check out our newest explainer video, it will get you up to speed.” Link below.
(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.)