It appears that the hudna between NY Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President-elect Joe Biden has ended, according to AOC’s NY Times interview on Saturday (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Biden’s Win, House Losses, and What’s Next for the Left) in which she warned that Biden’s relationship with progressives in the democratic party would depend on his behavior.
The Congresswoman told the Times in no uncertain terms it would be a shame if she were forced to hurt the Democratic party: “I’ve been unseating Democrats for two years,” she said. “I have been defeating [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee]-run campaigns for two years. That’s how I got to Congress. That’s how we elected Ayanna Pressley. That’s how Jamaal Bowman won. That’s how Cori Bush won. And so we know about extreme vulnerabilities in how Democrats run campaigns.”
This protégé of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – she worked as an organizer for Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign – stressed that “progressive policies do not hurt candidates. Every single candidate that co-sponsored Medicare for All in a swing district kept their seat. We also know that co-sponsoring the Green New Deal was not a sinker. Mike Levin was an original co-sponsor of the legislation, and he kept his seat.”
Therefore, AOC insists that the party be honest about “actually digging into why they lost,” referring to the drop of at least 6 House seats in an election that gave them the White House. She is as aggressive as they come on this one, because, as she put it, “there was already finger-pointing that this was progressives’ fault and that this was the fault of the Movement for Black Lives.”
The Congresswoman is also mad at her party for spending a fortune on 20th-century media such as television and radio, and not enough on social media and old-fashioned neighborhood canvassing: “I’ve looked through a lot of these campaigns that lost, and the fact of the matter is if you’re not spending $200,000 on Facebook with fund-raising, persuasion, volunteer recruitment, get-out-the-vote the week before the election, you are not firing on all cylinders. And not a single one of these campaigns were firing on all cylinders.”
“Our party isn’t even online, not in a real way that exhibits competence. And so, yeah, they were vulnerable to these messages, because they weren’t even on the mediums where these messages were most potent. Sure, you can point to the message, but they were also sitting ducks. They were sitting ducks,” she said.
“We need to do a lot of anti-racist, deep canvassing in this country,” she insisted. “Because if we keep losing white shares and just allowing Facebook to radicalize more and more elements of white voters and the white electorate, there’s no amount of people of color and young people that you can turn out to offset that.”