News & Politics

AOC Pounces after Misunderstood Mussolini Tweet by Sen. John Cornyn

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas at the El Paso County Coliseum, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

In an obvious dig at Democratic socialists, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Sunday quoted the Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in a tweet:

“’We were the first to assert that the more complicated the forms assumed by civilization, the more restricted the freedom of the individual must become.’ Benito Mussolini,” Cornyn tweeted.

The quote demonstrates how Mussolini, who ruled Italy between 1922 and 1943, adopted the socialist idea of a strong, centralized state controlling major parts of society and restricting individual freedoms. His policies led to government control of three-quarters of Italian businesses by 1935.

The tweet was quickly “ratioed” by thousands of Democrats who thought Sen. Cornyn — a moderate Republican — was quoting the fascist dictator favorably. 

Mussolini’s totalitarian-authoritarian dictatorship outlawed all other parties and organized armed squads known as Black Shirts to terrorize political opponents. Virtually no politician in 2019 America would ever quote the infamous fascist favorably.

Yet a lot of Democrats seem to think he did:

Cornyn felt the need to clarify later in the day:

The senator also wondered if he’d overestimated the intelligence of the average Democrat on Twitter:

Enter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez!

I find it hard to believe that AOC is actually dumb enough to think that Cornyn was treating Mussolini’s quote like a Hallmark card. More likely, she recognized that a lot of Democrats believe it, and since Cornyn is up for reelection in 2020, she didn’t want to let the opportunity to paint the Republican as a fascist go to waste.