Why was the Green New Deal yanked from Ocasio-Cortez's website?
The story behind the comedic and unsuccessful rollout of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal demonstrates a congressional office in utter chaos with no one — or everyone — in charge.
The document appeared on Ocasio-Cortez's webpage on February 7 and by nightfall had been unceremoniously deleted. This was after a day of mockery and outrage at some of the more unrealistic, even silly proposals the document detailed.
The "explanations" offered by her staff ran the gamut from the document being a "draft" to charges by one of her main advisers that Republicans had planted the document to make her look stupid.
Seriously? After a few weeks in the public eye, it should be obvious that Ocasio-Cortez doesn't need the GOP to look stupid.
The communications staff has so far not responded to an inquiry about the now-missing blog post.
But on Saturday morning, chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti tweeted that the FAQ page was indeed posted by the Ocasio-Cortez staff but was done so in error. He called the page "an early draft of a FAQ that was clearly unfinished and that doesn't represent the GND resolution got published to the website by mistake (idea was to wait for launch, monitor q's, and rewrite that FAQ before publishing)."
What is Mr. Chakrabarti doing still working for the congressman? That level of stupidity and incompetence would have cost any other chief of staff on the Hill his job. Chakrabarti is listed as one of the founders of the Justice Democrats organization, who played a key role in electing Ocasio-Cortez. His Hill administrative experience is apparently lacking.
Then there's an Ocasio-Cortez policy adviser, Robert Hockett, who told Tucker Carlson that the document was a GOP dirty trick:
Robert Hockett, professor of law and finance at Cornell University, appearing on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," called the contents of the now-missing blog post "some kind of document that somebody other than us has been circulating."
Hockett said Ocasio-Cortez does not endorse the idea of paying people "unwilling to work" and does not want to ban airplane travel.
He said Ocasio-Cortez "tweeted it out to laugh at it."
He added, "It seems apparently some Republicans have put it out there."
Ghosts in the machine, or something.
Ocasio-Cortez herself joined the conspiracy theory:
When your #GreenNewDeal legislation is so strong that the GOP has to resort to circulating false versions, but the real one nets 70 House cosponsors on Day 1 and all Dem presidential candidates sign on anyway https://t.co/BbHIn8cu0f— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 8, 2019
The "false version" was a send-up by David Burge ("Iowahawk") and hardly a Republican plant.
The document says that people "unwilling to work" should be paid, despite denials from Ocasio-Cortez and her staff. This led to more mass confusion when Hockett was forced to admit that the document did, indeed, make that claim:
Carlson asked Hockett at the outset of the interview: "Why would we ever pay people who are 'unwilling to work'?"
In a head-turning moment heard around the Internet, Hockett replied flatly, "Uh, we never would, right? And AOC has never said anything like that, right? I think you're referring to some sort of document — I think some doctored document that somebody other than us has been circulating."
To send out a senior adviser who didn't have details of the document down cold bespeaks a level of incompetence rarely found, even on Capitol Hill.
One side of Ocasio-Cortez's office doesn't know what the other side is doing. Some advisers have apparently assumed authority they don't have. Others are in the dark.
Go ahead and pop some popcorn, sit back, relax, and strap it down. Watching Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her ditzy staff over the next two years will be better than any sitcom on TV.