One of the GOP’s most relentless fixations among the new Democratic figures in the 116th Congress is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young, far-left former bartender from the Bronx who has risen into national prominence as a champion of working people.
But based on an article in the Washington Post, Ocasio-Cortez is unfazed by the attention she is getting. In fact, she delights in it — and in how flat the GOP’s attacks on her have fallen:
Ocasio-Cortez, who has amassed more than 2 million Twitter followers and has emerged as one of her party’s most prominent national figures, seems to relish beating back the attacks.“It’s encouraging because this is my sixth day in Congress and they’re out of all their artillery,” she said in a recent interview. “The nude is supposed to be like the bazooka. You know, like, ‘We’re going to take her down.’ Dude, you’re all out of bullets, you’re all out of bombs, you’re all out of all this stuff. What have you got left?”
The “nude” she is referring to is a picture of a naked woman in the bathtub with a marijuana vaporizer that circulated on right-wing message boards last week, purported to be of Ocasio-Cortez. In fact it wasn’t her — but by the time the hoax stopped spreading, the conservative Daily Caller had picked it up.
That incident was one of several personal attacks on her. Right wing pundit John Cardillo tried to use a picture of her tiny childhood home in Yorktown Heights to prove she didn’t have a “Bronx hood upbringing.” Eddie Scarry of the right-wing Washington Examiner followed her and took pictures of her clothes to try to prove she was faking poverty. Jim Hoft, a right-wing blogger, “exposed” the fact that she went by “Sandy” at school and didn’t clarify why that was a scandal. Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens mocked her for struggling to afford an apartment in D.C. and in her district. Conservatives even spread around a video of her dancing in college that actually made her look cool.
Like clockwork, Ocasio-Cortez has disarmed these silly attacks with her own social media skill. She hit back at Cardillo’s Yorktown Heights sleight, for instance, by tweeting, “Your attempt to strip me of my family, my story, my home, and my identity is exemplary of how scared you are of the power of all four of those things.”
Some conservatives have lamented their more uncouth elements’ ad hominem attacks on Ocasio-Cortez, noting that they really should be mocking her over her socialist agenda. “Stop wasting time on these personal attacks and criticize Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist ideas instead,” wrote Robby Soave in the libertarian magazine Reason. “Explain why they are unaffordable and unworkable.”
The problem — and perhaps the reason why conservatives have preferred to go after her personally — is that not only aren’t her policies “unworkable,” they are popular.
A recent poll showed 59 percent of voters support her idea to tax income over $10 million at 70 percent, a proposal that would actually still be lower than taxes in the 1970s. Huge majorities agree with her on Medicare for All, too — 70 percent of voters, including 52 percent of Republicans, and other countries have clearly demonstrated it’s possible. And her proposal for a “Green New Deal” — which is essentially just a larger version of President Barack Obama’s controversial but highly successful green energy stimulus in 2009 — polls as high as 80 percent with the public.
With numbers like this, it is little wonder that the best “artillery” Republicans had about Ocasio-Cortez was to circulate a fake naked picture of her.