Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AP/Jae C. Hong)

Max Boot compares Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Sarah Palin in new op-ed: "This is a cautionary tale"

The author recently declared he was "politically homeless" after leaving President Donald Trump's Republican Party


Nicole Karlis
January 9, 2019 3:05AM (UTC)

Author Max Boot, who recently declared he was "politically homeless" after leaving President Donald Trump's Republican Party, penned an op-ed Tuesday in the Washington Post addressing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) rise to political fame.

The former Republican, who served as a senior foreign policy adviser to the presidential campaigns of John McCain, Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio, said he felt “guilty” for writing the editorial, because – in his words – "‘AOC’ has already gotten more publicity than she deserves." However, he still inked out a couple hundred words criticizing her Democratic Socialist agenda.

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In his opinion piece, Boot wrote:

“Ocasio-Cortez has been particularly inventive, if not especially persuasive, in trying to explain how she would pay for her socialist agenda, including free health care, free college tuition, and jobs. She mystified observers when she said: “Why aren’t we incorporating the cost of all the funeral expenses of those who died because they can’t afford access to health care? That is part of the cost of our system.” That is the kind of word salad you expect from our president. Worse, she earned four Pinocchios when she asserted that the Pentagon had a pool of $21 trillion that was unaccounted for, and that could be used to pay two-thirds of the cost of Medicare-for-all. That the Pentagon has trouble tracking transactions doesn’t mean it has vaults full of cash that can be raided for progressive priorities.”

In fact, Ocasio-Cortez did address her error on Twitter, stating: “Fact-checking is critically important. It’s not always fun. But that’s okay! It pushes me to be better.”

Boot wrote her response “displayed a cavalier attitude toward the truth similar to that of President Trump — who is, to be sure, a far more energetic purveyor of falsehoods.” He compared her comment to one made by Mick Mulvaney about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. “I think those are comments the president made born out of frustration from where we are,” the acting White House chief of staff told CNN's Jake Tapper, "and I’m not too concerned about the details."

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Boot concluded his piece by comparing Ocasio-Cortez to McCain's running-mate on the 2008 GOP ticket, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. He wrote:

“In some ways, Ocasio-Cortez reminds me of Sarah Palin, a comparison neither woman will appreciate. Palin was another talented young communicator who made a big splash in national politics before having her lack of knowledge painfully exposed. Instead of studying up, Palin gave up any pretense of seriousness and has now disappeared from the debate. This is a cautionary tale for Ocasio-Cortez. She is a politician of immense gifts who can have an outsize impact — but only if she masters the intricacies of policy and curbs her fatal attraction to political celebrity and vacuous soundbites. Trump has gone dismayingly far with his reliance on “alternative facts,” but it’s not a formula that his opponents should emulate.”

"Naturally, the same week we kick-start a nat’l convo on marginal tax rates endorsed by Nobel-Prize winning economists, I’m being described as 'vacuous,'" Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to Boot's editorial. "If you’re allowed to characterize female politicians as 'unlikeable,' are we allowed to describe takes like these 'resentful?'"

http://twitter.com/AOC/status/1082638233333321729

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And the newly-elected congresswoman was not alone in her ardent rejection of Boot's opinion, which sparked a lot of discussion on Twitter, seemingly proving to be unpopular across both aisles of the political spectrum.


Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a news writer at Salon. She covers health, science, tech and gender politics. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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