Sandy O's Credibility Problem

The radical left just loves Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  That much can’t be denied.  Actress Lena Heady, most widely recognized as Cersei Lannister on HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, went so far as to say that Sandy O “should run the world.”

That’s nothing short of crazy.  But why do liberals go so crazy over Sandy O? 

CNN’s Chris Cillizza thinks he’s found a concise answer to that question, explained in his article, “129 seconds that perfectly explain why liberals go wild for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”  He refers to her fiery tirade aimed at Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy (R) after he mocked her Green New Deal proposal on the House floor. 

The tirade, like much of what we’ve come to expect of Sandy O’s rhetoric, was little than sound and fury that signifies nothing even remotely approaching coherent thought.  She suggests that if don’t take the Green New Deal seriously in order to, ostensibly, tackle the threat of global warming, we’ll continue to have water problems in Flint, Michigan, or air quality issues in the South Bronx. 

Of course, Lansing is just 70 miles away from Flint, but has somehow managed to escape the devastation that global warming has wrought in its neighboring city, I guess.  Likewise, just across the Harlem River from the South Bronx lies the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  Despite being just three miles or so away as the crow flies, global warming’s effects on the air quality hasn’t prevented it from remaining “the wealthiest, toniest neighborhood in the entire city.”

To imagine that the problems of Flint and the South Bronx have even the slightest correlation to global warming requires a belief that global warming is extremely selective in deciding which locales to ravage.  And that’s utterly ridiculous.

But like the Green New Deal, this isn’t about climate change.  It’s about the reshaping of our economy by granting the federal government the power to redistribute wealth from the Upper East Side to the South Bronx.

And indeed, leftist radicals go crazy for that stuff.  The problem is, America isn’t made up of leftist radicals. 

If you demand proof of that, allow me to direct you to the recent Senate vote on Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, which was defeated by a slim margin of 57-0. 

What this tells us is that Senate Democrats are only too happy to tout radical environmental reforms on the stump, but even they refused to vote in favor of this incoherent socialist proposal that includes provisions for the government to “guarantee” a “job with a family-sustaining wage,” “paid vacations,” “retirement security,” and to “provide all people of the United States” with “health care,” “affordable housing,” and “economic security.”  What any of that stuff has to do with global warming is anyone’s guess.

Her passionate response to Duffy’s mockery comes as no surprise.  After all, she fancies herself “the boss.”  Addressing criticism of the Green New Deal in February, she told her audience, “[s]o, people are like, ‘Oh, it’s unrealistic. Oh, it’s vague.”  She continues, “and I’m like, ‘[Y]ou try.  You do it.  Cuz you’re not.  Cuz you’re not.  So, until you do it, I’m the boss.  How about that?”

She was the leading voice arguing for the Green New Deal’s necessity, saying that the “world is gonna end in 12 years” if we don’t do something right now.  She introduced it as a serious solution to the problem she described. 

And in spite of all of that, she now insists that she was also leading voice arguing for its defeat in the Senate.  Why did not one single Democrat senator vote in favor of the Green New Deal?  “Because I encouraged them to vote present, along w/ others,” she tweeted

Even in defeat, she expects the world to continue indulging this fantasy that she’s “the boss.”

For some, that’s entertaining fantasy, told with passion and charisma.  And I think that’s what Chris Cillizza means in suggesting that such passionate spectacles are a perfect example of why “liberals go crazy over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”

But what he misses is that it also contains another perfect example of why no one else takes anything she says seriously.

The introductory “key part” of her 129-second speech, according to Cillizza, contains the following:

When we talk about concern for the environment as an elitist concern, one year ago I was waitressing in a taco shop in downtown Manhattan. I just got health insurance for the first time a month ago.  This is not an elitist issue.

This is a woman with a degree in economics and international relations from Boston University, who graduated in 2011.  When one considers that only a third of Americans have a four-year college degree, it’s safe to say that she’s been a fairly privileged position since then when it came to finding gainful employment. 

Yet seven years after having graduated, she was waitressing in taco shop.

Now, nothing against waitresses in taco shops.  But it’s safe to say that a woman in her late twenties serving tacos wouldn’t be the first person you might ask for financial advice, much less give her your wallet to spend your money how she thinks is wisest. 

But the fact that she’s failed to find financial success prior to taxpayers giving her a cozy six-figure salary isn’t the worst of this.  She said that she “just got health insurance for the first time a month ago.”

She’s almost certainly lying about having never had health insurance at any point in her life.  But let’s presume she meant in her adult life, as in after college.

First of all, as a worker earning income, wasn’t she required by ObamaCare’s individual mandate to have health insurance?  Furthermore, aren’t all the affordable new options created by ObamaCare the reason that we couldn’t repeal it without millions of people dying, or some such?  So, despite a law saying she has to have health insurance, and a massive piece of federal legislation designed to make it affordable for people like her, she still could not manage her own healthcare risk.

This is not really normal, by the way.  According to the CDC, only 12.8% of adults aged 18-65 were uninsured in 2017.

Consider the following.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grew up in Westchester County, one of the wealthiest counties with some of the finest schools in New York state.  She went to college at Boston University and earned a degree.  Yet in spite of all of those advantages, she still managed to fail miserably at caring for herself throughout her adult life until taxpayers gave her an ample salary and health insurance.  She got to Congress, and immediately introduces her Green New Deal, meant to reshape the American economy and way of life.  Not one single member of her own party voted in favor of it.

Absolutely nothing about that story suggests that she should be “the boss” of anything, much less “running the world” as some simple Hollywood types suggest.  And while radical leftists will continue to “go crazy over” her passionately inane tirades, she’s got a massive credibility problem with any Americans outside that demographic.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.

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