[guest post by JVW]
After cakewalking to an Election Day victory with 78% of the vote (so much for all that talk that Joe Crowley’s jilted constituents would stage an insurrection and elect him on the Working Families Party ticket), everyone’s favorite daffy socialist niece, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Bronx by way of
Long Island Westchester County, has embarked upon her own fun remake of Ms. Stalin Goes to Washington. Our favorite Lipstick Lenin, She Guevara (I’ve got a bunch of these), immediately instigated a brouhaha by announcing that she couldn’t immediately move to Washington, DC to start working on setting up her office, since she can’t afford rent there until her Congressional salary kicks in once she is sworn in. This has had the predictable effect of eliciting two rote responses: those of her supporters who argued that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s financial difficulties only burnish her credentials as an ordinary working-class New Yorker, and those of her critics who argued that she is a typical progressive millennial who despite having several months to plan ahead is incapable of caring for herself without relying upon handouts.
But more important than any housing intrigue, the funnest part of watching our Kewpie doll of a legislator take her first public steps outside of the cocoon of leftist adulation is to see her strike back against Democrats that she feels are insufficiently progressive. As noted in the NYT article linked in the previous paragraph, our Macy’s Marxist has riled up some fellow members of the new majority by suggesting that she will continue to support socialist challenges to entrenched Democrat incumbents during the 2020 election cycle, no matter if it endangers seats. She also played coy all summer on whether or not she would support Batty Aunt Nancy’s attempt to return to the Speaker’s Chair, and as of today will only say that they spoke on the phone but that the mama bear didn’t ask the cub for her endorsement. But Congresswoman-elect Ocasio-Cortez did pay a very special visit to former-and-maybe-future-Speaker Pelosi’s Washington office earlier today, joining a sit-in on the leader’s turf to protest what greenies think is inaction on climate change (the headline writer at Salon wants to give her credit for leading the protest). As they say in the old movies, that’s a fine how-do-you-do for the woman who expects you to soon be taking marching orders from her.
And I love it.
As much room as there is to criticize the dopiness and studied ignorance of her political beliefs, you have to hand it to Our Adorable (If Crazy) Niece for declining to play the cynical Washington game where the same old fossils return to their positions of power, the same key NGOs and lobbyists reclaim their positions in the hierarchy, and the same nanny-statism served with a dollop of crony capitalism is offered up as “progressive change.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is here to remind Democrats that a whole lot of them campaigned on socialist policies, and that they will have to be dealt with. After watching eight years of the GOP House trying to navigate between the House Freedom Caucus, the incrementalists, and the time-servers there to feather their own nests, I’m looking forward to the Dems trying to placate all of the knotty branches of their coalition of crazies.
ADDENDUM: My Heavens, I must be going senile. I also meant to write about Our Adorable Temporarily Homeless Niece coming out strongly against the deal that her fellow Democrats, Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo, cut with Amazon in order to get one of the new massive distribution centers built in Queens, though typical of someone has unserious as de Blasio, he’s trying to have his cake and eat it too, lest his staunch leftist credentials be called into question. The Congresswoman-elect rightfully points out that the tax breaks that Cuomo and de Blasio have blessed to land the operation are awfully steep, and that this sort of dealmaking offered to the big guys but not smaller businesses is an ugly sort of crony capitalism regrettably popular with both parties. She also points out that the high-paying jobs coming into Queens and Long Island will further complicate the ability to find affordable housing in the metro area, thereby reminding us of the inevitable clash between economic progress and affordability. Democrats are going to have fun dealing with her over the next few years.