Politico’s lede says it all: “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had less time to speak at the Democratic National Convention than a former Republican governor, a George W. Bush Cabinet official, and the party’s unsuccessful 2004 nominee.”
The “rising star” of the Democratic Party rated only a bit part, nominating Senator Bernie Sanders for president — something the Biden people only reluctantly agreed to in order to satisfy the demands of party unity.
And that’s significant for the future of the Democrats. After spending two years trashing established Democrats, helping primary challengers unseat some of them, Ocasio-Cortez was lucky even to speak at the party’s national convention. She only got a slot because Sanders requested that she nominate him.
The radicals who back her — who make no secret of the fact that they hate the Democratic Party as much as Republicans — were outraged that their hero(ine) was nearly invisible. She got to speak for exactly one minute. She didn’t mention Biden’s name but praised her godfather, Sanders.
Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman New York lawmaker and democratic socialist who’s become a favorite target for the right, heaped praise on Sanders but kept her highly anticipated remarks fairly tame. During her 60-second speaking slot, Ocasio-Cortez said “millions of people in the United States are looking for deep, systemic solutions” to economic and health care issues. Simply put, she argued, Sanders’ candidacy fought for the establishment of “21st-century social, economic and human rights.”
Is it my imagination or is the word “systemic” getting a workout from the left these days? I wonder if they even know what it means? Probably not, but using it makes you sound important and like you know what you’re talking about.
“AOC is the personification of the future of the party, but the traditional Dems have always struggled to keep up, motivate, and inspire,” said Natalia Salgado, chief of civic engagement at the Center for Popular Democracy. “If they understood what they need to do to turn out our communities, they would have had AOC front and center.”
And if the radicals understood what it took to win elections, they’d hide AOC in a closet and put a gag in her mouth. But that’s not going to happen. Biden needs to appear as if he’s embracing the loonies while keeping them at arm’s length. That sort of political balancing act rarely works well because it gives your opponent an opening.
“Putting AOC in the corner at the #DemocraticConvention will not hide the fact that she’s the co-pilot, along with other liberals, driving the agenda,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Tuesday night. Indeed, some of the radicals recognize Biden’s dilemma and believe unseating Trump should be the primary focus of their efforts.
“Biden was wise to reach out to the Sanders wing of the party immediately after Bernie dropped out to bring the party together and work to build trust as well as the strongest possible united front going forward,” said Evan Weber, co-founder of the youth-driven Sunrise Movement which helped craft the “Green New Deal.” “The DNC bent over backward yesterday to give a platform to Republicans and moderates, they should at least give the same if not more effort to welcome progressives.”
The radicals know they won’t be able to get any of their agenda made law unless they change the guy in the White House. With Republicans faltering in the Senate and appearing to be unable to flip the House in 2020, Trump may be the only thing standing in the way of AOC, Sanders, “The Squad,” and the rest of the left-wing crazies who are salivating at the prospect of being in charge.