Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ramps up the teacher's-pet act
Out of the blue, socialist congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, has started something with outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly, calling on him to apologize for the "he-said, she-said" scrap he had a while back with Florida Democratic congresswoman Frederica Wilson over the sensitivity of an official phone call to a slain serviceman's grieving family. Talk about a baseless argument.
And talk about a useless fight she has nothing to gain from. She's not going to get the apology she wants from Kelly, who is unlikely to have been lying, as Wilson claims, and what's more, she wouldn't benefit politically even if she did. Just taking the side of the clownish posturer Wilson with her many sequined cowboy hats over the ramrod-straight Kelly, who lost a son in Afghanistan, makes Ocasio-Cortez look like a fool. Worse still, picking a new fight with Kelly doesn't even Get Trump, which is ordinarily the aim of such exchanges, given that Kelly may not be parting with Trump on happy terms. The normal Democratic practice is to praise to the high heavens anyone exiting the Trump inner circle via a firing, no matter how reviled he had been by those same Democrats earlier. Omarosa Manigault-Newman and Jeff Sessions can tell us all about that one.
So obviously, Ocasio-Cortez is acting as a pawn for someone with a political grudge, someone who is still seething over the Wilson-Kelly back-and-forth, still howling for an apology. Nice to know. In comes Ocasio-Cortez, and surprise, surprise: she also hasn't exactly been quiet about wanting a lot of things, a lot of committee assignments from her fellow Democrats as she prepares to enter Congress, so as to get herself out front of the pack and rope in some glory. It's also obvious to everyone watching that she's easy to flip and manipulate. Witness her quick rollover in support of House speaker Nancy Pelosi after campaigning to oppose her, apparently on promises of committee assignments.
So who might be carrying the grudge? And who might be dangling out the committee assignments? Start with Wilson. She's made her argument; she's had her fifteen minutes of fame; and she's still in the same miserable position she started in, except that no one is paying attention to her right now. That news cycle came and went. Wilson must be pleased to see Ocasio-Cortez bringing up her pet unwinnable grudge once again. To her, it's still a live issue.
News reports state that Ocasio-Cortez has a hankering for committee seats on the House Ways and Means Committee, which determines taxes; the House Financial Services Committee, which regulates the banking industry; and the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has a say in congressionally mandated green schemes. These are all powerful committees the assignments of which are not ordinarily given to junior newbie legislators. She's made no secret of wanting them anyway.
How likely is Wilson to be as an ally to get her those assignments? Quite possibly a big one. Wilson herself sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which don't seem to intersect. But wait. Wilson also is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, a tight group of far-left legislators of significant influence. Click on the caucus's page, and you will see that they hold committee assignments on all of those committees that Ocasio-Cortez would like a seat on.
Ways and Means has Rep. John Lewis (D-GA-05), Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL-07), and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL-07).
Energy and Commerce has Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL-01), Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-01), and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-09)
Financial Services lists Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA-43), ranking member (and upcoming chair, soon as the Democrats take power in January); Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-05); Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-MO-01); Rep. David Scott (D-GA-13); Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO-05); Rep. Al Green (D-TX-09); Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI-04); Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN-05); Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03); and Rep. Mia Love (R-UT-04) (who will be out in January, having lost her re-election).
That's quite a few on that last list. And Waters is slated to be running the committee.
Waters would have the power to put Ocasio-Cortez on the committee. And how close is Waters to Wilson? Turns out rather close.
Wilson, Clarke, and Waters engaged in a lot of projects together to advocate for Haiti in the wake of its earthquake, according to KeyWiki. The corruption of the response from the U.S., via such groups as the Clinton Foundation, suggested that the whole operation was some kind of money-making scheme, particularly with the presence of Waters, which would make these people cronies. And sure enough, two of them – Clarke and Waters – are on committees coveted by Ocasio-Cortez.
Wilson was also on a Black Caucus jobs campaign in 2011 with Davis, another guy on a committee Ocasio-Cortez wants a seat on.
Wilson and Meeks were also chosen for some Obama jobs conference, and Meeks is on Ways and Means.
These are beloved pet projects of the Caucus, so you can bet that the people involved in them are close allies in a strong network. Now Ocasio-Cortez is out there championing Wilson out of the blue, and one can only suspect that she's singing for her supper to please one of these committee members for a seat onboard.
How soon will it be before Ocasio-Cortez is hailing her black roots owing to her Puerto Rican descent? She did it with her "Jewish roots' the other day." You can almost bet she's a sure thing for it on "black." To the rest of us, it's pretty obvious she'll do anything for a seat assignment.