A sure sign that Bernie Sanders, who for some reason is still a candidate for president of the United States, is yesterday’s man is that Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York has started to practice both social and political distancing from him. AOC’s change of political strategy has nothing to do with the coronavirus. It has a lot to do with the self-evident fact that Bernie is never going to be president and thus AOC is not going to be his Green New Deal Czarina or whatever post in his administration he had planned for her.
The New York Post notes that AOC’s break with Bernie has been a while in coming.
“New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been quietly distancing herself from Sen. Bernie Sanders in an effort to shift the progressive path forward given his likely defeat in the 2020 Democratic primary, according to a new report. The relationship began to break down in early February, when Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, complained via text to AOC’s campaign manager about her performance during a three-day stretch campaigning for the senator in Iowa.”
AOC had become disenchanted with the Sanders campaign when it accepted an endorsement by Joe Rogan, a podcaster who has said some very unkind things about the LGBTQ community. She has also been disenchanted about the Bernie bros who, among other things, are a group of unsocialized young men whose behavior has raised eyebrows, to put the matter mildly,
Politico notes that Occasio-Cortez is also making a break with the Justice Democrats, a group of radicals who were instrumental in her surprise win in 2018 and are now endorsing a slate of ultra-leftists who are primarying more moderate Democratic House members.
Instead, AOC is building her power in a more conventional way, forging alliances with fellow House members, and making nice with people whom hitherto she had dripped with disdain about.
Those people include Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had been AOC’s nemesis last year. According to the National Review, she has called Pelosi “the mama bear of the Democratic Party.” The label is awfully close to the self-description of Sarah Palin as “the mama grizzly.”
Mind, Ocasio-Cortez has not given up on her far-left agenda. She has not dropped the Green New Deal. During the debate in the House on the most recent coronavirus stimulus bill, she bounced and gyrated as she denounced the legislation as something that would increase the wealth gap by giving money to businesses hit by the pandemic.
According to PJ Media, AOC is going after one of her old adversaries, Amazon.com. She called upon people to support workers who are striking one of the Amazon warehouses and Instacart delivery service to not use Amazon to buy stuff.
PJ Media is not pleased. “AOC is so devoted to the commie common good that she wants some of the only people in America who are guaranteed work to voluntarily give that work up for some union talking point.”
It would seem to be unwise to strike for higher wages and safer working conditions in an era where unemployment is likely to get to Great Depression levels. A lot of unemployed people would be willing to take the strikers’ jobs, horrible conditions in the warehouses or no. Some might also suggest that when doctors and nurses are working around the clock, at risk to their lives, to tend to people struck down by the coronavirus pandemic, warehouse workers and delivery drivers might have difficulty drumming up any sympathy.
In the meantime, the former barmaid is working very hard to preserve the job she has as a member of Congress. She has drawn some stiff competition in the primary, whenever that occurs in this time of the coronavirus, and even a Republican opponent for November.
AOC’s recent moves suggest that she intends to stay in the House for the foreseeable future. She won’t try to primary Sen. Chuck Schumer when the Senate Minority Leader comes up for reelection. She won’t try to run for president anytime soon, as some of her supporters have urged her to do now that Bernie has had his last hurrah.
The question arises whether the socialist firebrand, who entered the House bearing the red flag of revolution, can adapt to the culture of wheeling and dealing, taking half a loaf and then going for the rest. On the other hand, Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas, AOC’s conservative counterpart, has softened his mode as a Tea Party zealot and has been seeking power in more conventional ways. So, anything is possible.