Hypocrite: AOC Says Charter Schools for Mine But Not for Thine

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., campaigns for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on the campus of Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

New York City’s Democratic Socialist Party wants to eliminate charter schools, but that didn’t stop party member Congresscritter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from boasting about getting her goddaughter into one. The New York Post’s Jon Levine uncovered a 2017 Facebook video of the then-larval congresswoman boasting, “My goddaughter, I got her into a charter school like maybe a block or two down,” while walking along Hunts Point Avenue in the Bronx.

Her party, meanwhile, argues that “Charter schools act as tools for privatizing education and weakening the power of unionized teachers.” Of course, this is the same party platform that claims public school classrooms can be “sites for indoctrination into nationalist and individualist ideologies, and the production of compliant workers.” Compliant or individualist: You only get to choose one. AOC’s party promises to “End the creation of new charter schools, ban the expansion of existing charter schools, and transform existing charter schools into public schools.” Nevertheless, on January 26 the city’s Democratic Socialist party blessed AOC with its endorsement for her reelection.

From the video, it isn’t clear which charter school Ocasio-Cortez’s goddaughter attends (and it wouldn’t be right to report it), or what AOC did exactly to get her into it (which would be proper to report).

Of greater importance to that other party Ocasio-Cortez represents, the Democrats, the first-term congresscritter is working furiously to recreate the party in her socialist image. On Friday she announced the formation of her own political action committee called “Courage to Change,” which seeks to install a “progressive majority” in Congress. Courage to Change opened by endorsing six congressional candidates and one for the Senate. The six house candidates are all seeking to take seats already held by slightly-less radical Democrats, which won’t exactly endear her to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

AOC tweeted that her slate of candidates will “push support for issues like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, racial justice, & more.” I’m not sure how we’re supposed to pay for the reparations promised by “racial justice” after AOC’s Democratic Socialists bankrupt the government with Medicare for All and bankrupt the private sector with the Green New Deal, but other people’s money is never an issue until it runs out — amirite?

In a well-timed interview with the NYT’s Catie Edmondson on Friday, Ocasio-Cortez gave what might be her real reason for her attempted putsch: She feels lonely. “While I think sometimes a lot of people see this as a huge amassing of influence or power or money or what have you, my personal experience does not feel that way — it can feel very lonely,” she told Edmondson. “I think my ambition right now is to be a little less lonely in Congress.” What’s a poor collectivist to do when there aren’t enough people to collectivize?

The Democratic establishment won’t take this lying down, of course. In a Sunday editorial, the New York Post predicted that “AOC’s war on fellow Democrats likely to eliminate her House seat.” New York is set to lose a congressional district in this year’s redistricting, and the Democratic Powers That Be are hardly going to eliminate the seat of a loyal party member when there’s a young upstart in dire need of slapping down.

In addition to starting her own PAC to defeat incumbent Democrats and replace them with mini-AOCs, the editors note that Ocasio-Cortez is also in “hot water for refusing to pay dues to her caucus’ fundraising arm.” Well, why should she now that she has her own fundraising arm and her own vision for who should lead the party?

AOC seems to be playing a long game here, and might not care whether or not her congressional seat ceases to exist in 2022. More important than a 1-in-435 congressional seat, AOC is a national brand. That brand has attracted plenty of young Trotskyites with a willingness to burn down the old DNC and recreate it in their nightmare socialist vision for the party and the country.

I suspect Ocasio-Cortez to wield a lot more influence as a power broker than as a malcontent backbencher. Young Dems have a real appetite for her message.

In the Great Democratic Civil War, it’s youth and fury versus age and experience. I don’t know who wins in the short run, although the safe bet is usually on age and experience.

But in the longer run, youth has time on its side that age no longer enjoys.