I love a good joke, and I even have a particular fondness for bad ones. Jokes are good. And when a stupid person says something she later regrets and unconvincingly tries to play it off as a joke, that can be amusing too. That’s what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is trying to do right now. After months of being mocked for her apocalyptic predictions about globalwarmingclimatechange, now she’s saying… just kidding!
This is a technique of the GOP, to take dry humor + sarcasm literally and “fact check” it.
Like the “world ending in 12 years” thing, you’d have to have the social intelligence of a sea sponge to think it’s literal.
But the GOP is basically Dwight from The Office so who knows. https://t.co/pmkwrdeAnq
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 12, 2019
Dry humor and sarcasm, huh? That’s weird, because for months she’s been saying stuff like this:
Climate change is here + we’ve got a deadline: 12 years left to cut emissions in half.
A #GreenNewDeal is our plan for a world and a future worth fighting for.
How did we get here?
What is at stake?
And where are we going?
Please watch & share widely ⬇️pic.twitter.com/IMCtS86VXG
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 17, 2019
“Millennials, and Gen z, and all these folks that come after us, are looking up and we’re like ‘the world will end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?'” @AOC #MLKNow #MLK2019 pic.twitter.com/fbUxr2C0tJ
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) January 21, 2019
So if Republicans don’t listen to AOC when she says we only have 12 years left to save the planet, they’re evil and hate children and want everybody to die… and they can’t take a joke?
“12 years left, 12 years left, 12 years left… psyche!”
I call this technique Clown Nose Off, Clown Nose On. I first noticed it with Jon Stewart 15 years ago, when he went on CNN’s Crossfire and supposedly owned Tucker Carlson by being a passive-aggressive jerk. First, Stewart would present an argument and insist on being taken seriously. Then, when he was challenged on it, he’d backpedal: “Hey, what’s the big deal? I’m just a comedian!” Once I noticed Stewart doing that with Carlson, I realized that he did it all the time. It was cheap, it was dishonest, and it made Jon Stewart rich and famous.
At least he had the excuse of being a comedian. AOC is an elected official, and she only makes people laugh unintentionally.
The Dems wanted their own Trump, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fits the bill perfectly: a thin-skinned, loudmouthed New Yorker who tweets a lot, lashes out at every slight to her ego, and has a rather casual relationship with the truth. Because she’s a Democrat, the press does everything in its power to protect her, and because she’s an attractive young woman of color, she sells magazines. So they have a financial and emotional investment in her. They’ll make excuses for her again. They’ll gaslight us like they always do.
And if you don’t fall for it, you’re just a sea sponge anyway.