Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) feels a burning desire to lead. Or perhaps it’s a desire to rule. Whatever her ambition, it apparently got in the way of her ideology this past week when the radical, self-anointed Democratic Socialist was reduced to tears on the House floor following a vote to authorize Israel’s Iron Dome missile shield.
AOC Tears on the House floor after the House passed a $1 billion funding for Israel's Iron Dome pic.twitter.com/pMcMxqQWFG
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) September 23, 2021
Iron Dome works. But the fact that it’s effective against the crude rockets being fired by Palestinian terrorists is apparently upsetting to the anti-Semitic congresswoman. AOC broke down in tears after Iron Dome was reauthorized by a vote of 420-9.
Her explanation for the tears she shed leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
Describing her actions in her letter, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: “Yes, I wept. I wept at the complete lack of care for the human beings that are impacted by these decisions, I wept at an institution choosing a path of maximum volatility and minimum consideration for its own political convenience.”
She added: “To those I have disappointed — I am deeply sorry. To those who believe this reasoning is insufficient or cowardice — I understand.”
The Iron Dome missile defense system has intercepted thousands of rockets that would have hit those “human beings impacted” by the decision to deploy the system. Is AOC saying that Israeli civilians should be as vulnerable to death and destruction from Palestinian rockets as Palestinians are to Israeli counterstrikes?
And the Israeli government is not responsible for choosing a path other than “political convenience” when protecting its citizens from unprovoked terror attacks by a government determined to eliminate the Jewish state.
So if she felt so strongly about Iron Dome and the billion-dollar price tag, why did she risk angering her radical allies and vote present?
“Normally I find AOC a person with moral values … This time though, as a few other times, I must say she should’ve stuck with other “Squad” members,” wrote one person on Twitter. Another said, “AOC primes people to believe she will never compromise, then does.” Meanwhile, an opinion piece accused her vote of being “a tactical mess” and a “worst-of-both-worlds solution,” and suggested that it indicated she could have higher political ambitions.
The rest of The Squad — Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) — all voted against the bill. But this is the kind of vote — especially in New York — that could come back to haunt a Democratic politician looking to run for higher office.
AOC has made no bones about her desire to move up the ladder in Democratic national politics. A run for governor or Senator would fill the bill nicely. She would have to challenge a sitting Senator (Kirsten Gillibrand) in 2024 or incumbent governor (Kathy Hochul) in 2026, if Hochul wins a full term in 2022. Neither would be an easy task.
It would especially be complicated if the Jewish vote was energized to oppose her because of her opposition to an Israeli defense funding bill.