Progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has revealed to America the big project she’s working on – and it isn’t writing legislation, boning up on Green New Deal math, or reading the Constitution. Much to the Democratic Party elite’s chagrin, the winsome lass has been busy selecting progressive candidates to endorse and financially support in the 2020 election.
Through her newly formed political action committee, Courage to Change, Ocasio-Cortez announced an all-female list of rabble-rousers to take on the establishment. They target the evil capitalists in the GOP, of course, but they also covet the seats of incumbent Democrats in blue districts – just as their fearless leader did in 2018. The fresh-faced legislator made her way to the Swamp by defeating former Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), a 20-year incumbent.
Will moderate Democrats give up or muzzle the insurgent and take control of the party?
Who Made the Cut?
The chosen ones include a labor and voting rights activist, a few with no name recognition nationally – as of yet – and one or two who have already unsuccessfully attempted to unseat incumbents in blue held areas. AOC isn’t just looking to pack the House of Representatives; she is actively working to eliminate the centrist arm of the party.
Angering the elite in January, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez refused to pay dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) – instead, she created a progressive candidate fundraising organization. Courage to Change has raised $1.4 million to date and will help candidates typically snubbed by Democrats. In her words:
“When community leaders, activists, and working-class candidates try to run for office, organizations like the D.C.C.C. discourage them. One of our primary goals is to reward political courage in Congress and also to help elect a progressive majority in the House of Representatives. These potential progressive leaders are asked: ‘Can you raise $300,000 from your friends and family? If not, don’t bother trying.’”
Loyalty, it seems, is not a word in her vocabulary. And the détente tenuously agreed to with party elders is now on shaky ground. Thus far, AOC has not found people to challenge Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) or Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), but those two certainly don’t fit the progressive mold. Dinosaurs like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are walking a tight rope with no apparent net under AOC’s big top.
Taking on the role of disrupter in her declared party is not without its problems. While a younger demographic may herald her actions, not everyone is on board the alt-left socialist train – and loyal and trustworthy friends are not that easy to come by on the Beltway.
Does AOC have the courage, the mental and emotional stamina for the rough and tumble journey she has embarked on, or will the toll of Twitter and personal attacks derail her progressive campaign? Perhaps her words give us the first inkling of a chink in her armor:
“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. I think my ambition right now is to be a little less lonely in Congress.”
Perhaps she should try mending the bond with her party rather than trying to replace the more moderate members. Should her endeavor fail, she’s bound only for more loneliness as she alienates her fellow Democrats.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.