Democrats celebrated in early January when Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were elected to the US Senate. Those elections gave Liberals a majority in the house and senate to go along with the White House.
Since she was elected to Congress late last year, Marjorie Taylor Greene has been obsessed with attracting attention to herself. The attention, though, is nearly all negative.
Some Republican voters love the way Greene carries herself, though. The Georgia Rep. has been raking in cash, taking in $3 million in the first quarter of 2021. And as long as she can do that, she’s going to hold some sway in the party.
Last week, the state of Texas experienced massive power outages due to a winter storm. The leaders of the state, many of them Republicans, didn’t seem to be interested in helping their constituents.
Plaskett and peers such as Haaland, Ocasio-Cortez, and Velazquez are making it clear the Democratic Party is evolving toward a more critical and reparative confrontation with the nation’s history of racism and colonialism that hobbles us to this day.
In June of last year, Facebook videos emerged of Marjorie Taylor Greene making racist comments. A spokesperson for Kevin McCarthy said, “these comments are appalling, and Leader McCarthy has no tolerance for them.” Minority Whip Steve Scalise took it a step further, throwing his support behind Greene’s primary opponent.
Greene was able to win that primary, though, and she easily won election into the House of Representatives. On Wednesday, more viral videos of the Georgia congresswoman came to light.
But instead of punishing Greene, she was placed on the House Education and Labor Committee. This refusal to condemn Greene, says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, shows that the QAnon wing is now controlling the Republican caucus.
The New York congresswoman told MSNBC‘s Chris Hayes:
“It increasingly seems, unfortunately, that in the House Republican caucus, Kevin McCarthy answers to these QAnon members of congress, not the other way around. And that is something that frankly needs to be said — he said he was going to pull representative Marjorie Taylor Greene aside after, you know, her comments to Parkland activists and comments saying that Muslim Americans should not fully and freely serve in the House, that they must be forced to swear on a Bible, et cetera.”
Calling the events of January 6 a coup denies the historical character of U.S. governmental institutions and once again threatens to distort if not entirely disarm the understanding of racial injustice in America that needs to inform racial transformation to achieve a just America.
The COVID-19 pandemic is currently raging throughout the United States. The Trump administration has focused all of its energy on contesting the results of the election and has essentially ignored the virus.
Joe Biden is eager to start tackling the pandemic. The president-elect had a call on Thursday that included 5 GOP Governors. There is little he can do, however, while Donald Trump is still president.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a plan on helping to control the disease until both Biden and vaccines come along. The New York congresswoman thinks the country should be paying people to stay home.
AOC made the suggestion in a Thursday tweet-thread. She began, “To get the virus under control, we need to pay people to stay home.”
To get the virus under control, we need to pay people to stay home.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 19, 2020
The congresswoman continued, “Republicans are mad at this when they literally just voted to do just this in March. The reason they’re opposed to it now is because last time they got a Wall Street bailout and this time all that’s left is helping working people, the disabled, the poor, etc.”
Ocasio Cortez closed her comments, “Funny how you didn’t hear Republicans complain about “spending other people’s money” or ask “how are we going to pay for it?!” when they insisted on creating a $4 trillion leveraged slush fund for their Wall Street buddies in March.”
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 19, 2020
During his recent rallies it seems that Donald Trump has absolutely no idea of who he’s running against. Last week, it really seemed like he was running against Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
And at every one of these rallies, he makes sure to throw in a dig at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. As a freshman congresswoman, AOC doesn’t really wield the same kind of power of a Nancy Pelosi or a Chuck Schumer.
Still, since the day she was elected, Trump and Fox News have never been able to lose their focus on Ocasio-Cortez. During an August rally, the president said, “AOC, that’s a real beauty, isn’t it? She knows as much about the environment — do we have any young children here? — as that young child over there. I think he knows more. And she certainly knows nothing about the economy.”
Trump’s latest trick has been questioning the educational background of the Rep. When he took a shot at her recently, she fired back, “I could say yes, but who cares? Plenty of people without college degrees could run this country better than Trump ever has. As much as GOP cry about “elites,” they’re the ones who constantly mock food service workers, people w/o degrees, etc as dumb. It’s classist & disgusting.”
I could say yes, but who cares? Plenty of people without college degrees could run this country better than Trump ever has.
As much as GOP cry about “elites,” they’re the ones who constantly mock food service workers, people w/o degrees, etc as dumb. It’s classist & disgusting. https://t.co/t4FepwyeGl
President Donald Trump attacked Senator Kamala Harris (Calif.), Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) during a freewheeling interview with Fox Business.
Trump referred to Harris, who was announced this week as Democrat Joe Biden’s running mate in the general election, as “a madwoman.”
“And now, you have — a sort of — a madwoman, I call her, because she was so angry and — such hatred with Justice Kavanaugh,” Trump said of Harris, referring to the grilling she gave Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings. “I mean, I’ve never seen anything like it. She was the angriest of the group and they were all angry. … These are seriously ill people.”
Of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, he had this to say: “AOC was a poor student. I mean, I won’t say where she went to school, it doesn’t matter. This is not even a smart person other than she’s got a good line of stuff. I mean, she goes out and she yaps.” (Ocasio-Cortez graduated cum laude from Boston University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both international relations and economics.)
And of Pelosi, Trump said, “I believe we’re going to take back the House because Nancy Pelosi is stone cold crazy.”
These weren’t the only attacks the president launched this morning against prominent women.
In a tweet earlier this morning, Trump lashed out at Harris, accusing “The Fake News Media” of giving her “a free pass despite her Radical Left failures and very poor run in the Democrat Primary.”
The Fake News Media is giving @KamalaHarris a free pass despite her Radical Left failures and very poor run in the Democrat Primary. There was nobody meaner or more condescending to Slow Joe, not even me, and yet she quickly evaporated down to almost zero in the polls. Bad!
Since she was elected to Congress in 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been a subject of fascination for Republicans. Much of this fascination is based on her youth and her looks.
Add Donald Trump to the crowd of GOP’ers who find the New York Representative quite attractive. During a recent speech in Ohio, the President described AOC as “a real beauty” who “knows nothing.”
Trump landed on the subject of the congresswoman when talking about her support for a Green New Deal. The President was speaking at an appliance factory and was slamming any kind of ecological restrictions.
He told the workers, “AOC, that’s a real beauty, isn’t it? She knows as much about the environment — do we have any young children here? — as that young child over there. I think he knows more. And she certainly knows nothing about the economy.”
"@AOC, that's a real beauty, isn't it? She knows as much about the environment — do we have any young children here — as that young child over there. I think he knows more and she certainly knows nothing about the economy." – President Trump pic.twitter.com/PxxbAFmg9X
When Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to the House floor last Thursday to address the widespread sexism at work in the halls of Congress and deeply embedded in American culture and society, she had to suspect her remarks would garner some media attention.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez harshly criticized Ted Yoho on Thursday after he issued a half-hearted apology to her for using insulting language in a confrontation.
The Democratic congresswoman was responding to the Republican congressman’s defensive comments on the House floor on Wednesday, which many saw as no apology at all.
“I could not allow my nieces, I could not allow the little girls I go home to, I could not allow victims of verbal abuse and worse to see that, to see that excuse and to see our Congress accept it as legitimate and accept it as an apology,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Watch the video:
.@AOC calls out Rep. Yoho: "I could not allow my nieces, I could not allow the little girls I go home to, I could not allow victims of verbal abuse and worse to see that, to see that excuse and to see our Congress accept it as legitimate and accept it as an apology." pic.twitter.com/lmhBtXRbJZ
Ted Yoho apologized to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from the House floor on Wednesday after he called her “disgusting” and used a sexist epithet to describe her.
The Republican congressman issued the apology but he was less than candid about the language he used. He also pivoted to defending his own beliefs and his faith.
“I rise to apologize for the abrupt manner of the conversation I had with my colleague from New York,” Yoho said.
Watch the video:
Rep. Yoho apologizes for "abrupt manner of the conversation I had" with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, but adds "the offensive name-calling words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues and if they were construed that way, I apologize for their misunderstanding." pic.twitter.com/m3NRkFUbsh
President Donald Trump attacked Senator Chuck Schumer on Friday and tried to goad Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez into challenging him. Schumer isn’t up for reelection until 2022.
“Cryin’ Chuck Schumer was on a late night show using a false talking point over & over again. ‘We don’t have enough testing , he would repeat, when he knows we have done a great job on Testing, just like we have on Ventilators and everything else,” Trump tweeted.
He was referring to an interview Schumer gave to Stephen Colbert on Thursday.
“He lied, gave NY SALT. Run AOC!” Trump urged.
Cryin’ Chuck Schumer was on a late night show using a false talking point over & over again. “We don’t have enough testing ,” he would repeat, when he knows we have done a great job on Testing, just like we have on Ventilators and everything else. He lied, gave NY SALT. Run AOC!
Noted nineteenth-century American writer Henry David Thoreau, opens his 1849 essay “Resistance to Civil Government,” one of the most famous political essays of all time, with the immortal lines:
“I heartily accept the motto,–“That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe,–“That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”
The most patriotic thing an American can do is reject Donald Trump’s sh*t hole “vision” for America. It’s not because Donald Trump proposed it. It’s because his “vision” consistently brought war and political instability every time it was tried by ordinary countries in history who were trying to achieve the exceptionalism that America already has. Exceptionalism doesn’t mean perfection.
The founding fathers realized that. It’s why the Constitution includes the right to seek redress of grievances from the government.
Anyone who is an immigrant and has engaged in the political process of their chosen country has heard someone tell them to “go back to wherever it is you came from.” Typically, the people who say this envision a country that is racially uniform, practices the same religion and has a monolithic voice. It even eats meatloaf every Monday, and does its laundry on Tuesdays. Of course, that country never did exist, but that doesn’t stop cons like Donald Trump from promising a “return” to that country.
In the end, people of this mentality will tell any immigrant, regardless of their skin color, to go back to where they came from if they propose actually making the American dream possible. I know it, because I’m a Jewish, white immigrant and people have said it to me. Between you and me, they are such snowflakes!
I understand the privilege aspect of my identity. My skin color gives me privileges that are denied to American citizens who have more pigment in their skin than I do. This troubles me. We saw how ugly privilege makes us when Donald Trump said of four American citizens that they should “go back to where they came from.”
I also live in the world of the immigrant. Anyone who knows I wasn’t born here and reads my articles or discusses politics with me will often say, if you don’t like it why don’t you go back to where you came from,
I don’t owe them answers just as the Squad doesn’t owe Donald Trump an explanation. They do owe it to their district to represent their wishes and fight for their rights.
And no, I’m not going anywhere. I have a right to call out corruption. I have a right to call Trump a stupid, racist and misogynistic gas bag. The Constitution says so. I listen to the Constitution, not Donald Trump.
As someone wise pointed out, when I walk down the street, I can “pass” as a “real” American. I’m also someone with a platform. That means I have to use my voice responsibly in defense of people who are often targeted and blamed for the world’s problems. I also have an obligation to call out the personal failings of Donald Trump and his supporters.
I’m not here to detract from the fact that immigrants who are people of color get treated especially badly by those for whom assimilation really means accept being treated worse than we would treat animals and shut up.
I am here to unequivocally condemn Donald Trump and the sh*t hole vision he has for this country. But I’m also here to say that we don’t solve anything by asking why white people aren’t put in cages when the objective is to condemn putting any human being in a cage.
The America we want, the one that is multicultural, multi-racial and democratic is still an aspiration. But we won’t get there by discouraging participation in the work of solving our problems and of improving life for everyone who lives here.
Unlike most people who adopted America as their home, I have a platform to defend the America that really is great. It’s the America in which everyone has the right to free speech and redress of grievances under the Constitution.
There are no qualifiers restricting those rights to Mayflower Americans, Americans who were born here or even recently naturalized American citizens. Those rights belong to every person who lives in America.
So when Mr. Trump resorts to the ancient trope of telling critics to “go back where they came from,” if that really is his logic, he (and his Slovenian born third wife) should go with it.
If Melania is so unhappy with an America that elected Barack Obama, no one is stopping her from going back to Slovenia where the majority decide what, if any, civil rights the minorities in their population are allowed to have. Back in 2015, Slovenians rejected marriage equality by referendum. They’d probably like Trump’s way of seeing things on other minorities. In America, though, marriage equality is a right because the Constitution says so. It’s not a privilege to be bestowed on same sex couples only if the majority population votes for it.
Both appear to be unhappy with the America most of us embrace. They are rich, (thanks to the America they think isn’t that great) and could live very well in Russia, Saudi Arabia or anywhere else they may wish to live.
Most of America rejected Trump’s sh*t hole “vision” for America that literally takes the worse moments of world history and the worse political models and wraps them up into one Trumpy horror picture show.
But now, I ask myself and everyone who shares my sentiments regarding the Trumps, have we solved anything? Has telling people who point to things we could improve on to “go back to where they came from” given a single mother a better paying job or, if needed, the skills to make doing that job possible? Is college more affordable? Is healthcare more accessible? Have we stopped climate change, the epidemic of gun violence or the corruption that the Trumps exploit every day?
Are we any closer to seeing Donald Trump’s tax returns? Are we any closer to stopping the war Russia wages on our democracy every day? Are we any closer to getting Republicans to either grow spines or get out so that someone with a spine can replace them?
Americans want answers to these and many more questions. Americans want government to solve these problems and many more. Whether those Americans were born here or somewhere else, citizens or residents, every one of us has a Constitutional right to demand the government that works for us, do its job. Mr. Trump still doesn’t understand that as president of the United States, he is employed by every one of us. We’re the ones who get to make demands and judge his performance. He doesn’t have a right to say that
Americans who oppose his policies have to leave. That may be how it works in the countries he admires; that’s not how it works in America.
We don’t have to agree with the Squad on anything else, but we owe it to them and to America to defend their right to speak out and work to represent the hopes and aspirations of the people in their districts. We also owe it to the America that is based on ideas – not bloodlines.
By Trump’s belief system, when Europe sent us Donald and Melania Trump, it’s very clear it didn’t send us its best people. It sent us people with the problems of narcissism, racism, misogyny, greed, laziness and corruption.
It sent us people who hate America because it is a country of ideas. They want a country of bloodlines. The Trumps think they have a right to reduce us to the very thing that makes other countries ordinary. By Trump’s logic, Germany is his country. Trump’s country caused two world wars and Melania’s country was on the sidelines of the worst genocide in Europe since World War II. She knew what ideas made that genocide possible and she brought them with her when she immigrated to America.
Loving America means wanting it to do better than Germany did under Hitler and Slovenia did when it was part of the former Yugoslavia.
It doesn’t mean telling Americans to “go back to where they came from” no matter where they came from or how recently.
Those of us who look like we can “pass” as “real Americans” owe our country better than silence when Donald Trump reaches into his bag of racist tropes to attack any member of Congress, indeed any citizen or resident.
In fact, we owe what so many demand of all Muslims when one Muslim commits a terrorist act.
We must condemn white supremacy and those who advocate it. We must stand up with the people they target. We must condemn misogyny and those who defend it. We owe it to ourselves, to the America that is great, to stand with those who they target.
We must condemn those who hate the fact that our diversity is our strength. And we must stand together in opposition to their sh*t hole “vision” for America that replaces exceptionalism with an ordinary failing state.
In a tweet last March, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to the elitist assaults on her that attempt to diminish and discredit her intellect and governing abilities based on her working-class roots and identity:
“I find it revealing when people mock where I come from, & say they’re going to ‘send me back to waitressing,’ as if that’s bad or shameful. It’s as though they think being a member of Congress makes you intrinsically ‘better’ than a waitress.”
Ocasio-Cortez here addresses a much larger tendency in U.S. culture, one which, as a culture and society, we talk about much less than, say, we do racism or sexism. Don’t get me wrong, the practices and ideologies that devalue and attribute inferiority to people on the basis of skin color and sex are alive and all-too-well in U.S. life, deeply ingrained in both our institutions and, frankly, in the minds of many.
But we do talk about it as a culture, even if not enough and not in the most productive ways. And these practices and ideologies are subject to scrutiny and redress in the legislative arena, even if that legislation is highly contested and thus far grossly insufficient to remedy and combat the deeply-rooted prejudices, indeed hatred, informing social and economic practices of discriminating against women and people of color.
And a good number of Americans, whether or not they fully walk the walk, agree that racism and sexism have no place in a society that aspires to an egalitarian ideal.
Much less questioned is the practice of devaluing people, economically and culturally, based on what, occupationally speaking, they do in the world. Few challenge whether the burger-flipper at McDonald’s deserves as much pay—is worth as much—as the CEO, whether the school custodian deserves as much as the principal, whether the postal carrier or grocery store clerk deserves as much as a lawyer or doctor, and so on. Because of our nation’s dominant belief in meritocracy, these inequities make sense, even though McDonald’s could not produce wealth without the burger-flippers and the school could not run without the custodian.
And these economic valuations carry with them social and cultural valuations of people as well. On the whole, U.S. culture looks down on the working class, attributing inferior intellectual ability and simply less importance to working-class people.
Obviously, sexism and racism play a role here too. Women’s work and women workers have historically been devalued because women have been seen as physically and intellectually inferior; and people of color, obviously, have been labeled as intellectually inferior and often less than human and thus undeserving.
Ocasio-Cortez, though, is taking on this less-talked about form of supremacist or hierarchical thinking, which at times is referred to as “classism,” an “ism” of which she is often the victim in her congressional seat.
Donald Trump, for example, recently attacked the Green New Deal she proposed as “the craziest thing.” But look at how he presented it, linking it to her previous employment: “The Green New Deal, done by a young bartender, 29 years old. A young bartender, wonderful young woman.”
He doesn’t assess the Green New Deal on its merits. And he certainly doesn’t assess Ocasio-Cortez on the content of her character and intellect, which is formidable.
Rather, he dismisses the ideas based on her working-class identity and history, as do others.
She is just a waitress, just a bartender. Therefore, her ideas must have no worth because “those people” are less intellectually able.
Addressing this discrimination, this hatred, really, is important for challenging the anti-egalitarian elements of U.S. culture.
I’m brought back to Kurt Vonnegut’s classic 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five, as Vonnegut really puts his finger on this damaging ideological hate—and self-hatred—animating U.S. politics and culture. His character Howard Campbell, an American who has become a Nazi propagandist, writes a monograph about American culture, in which he diagnoses the hatred of those who make less money—a hatred that is also internalized. The monograph reads:
America is the wealthiest nation on earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, “It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.” It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand—glued to a popsicle stick and flying from the cash register.
For all the talk about socialism and the Green New Deal, though, what really drives Ocasio-Cortez, what is really at the root of her thinking, is her recognition of the need to achieve democracy in America in the most fundamental of ways and in ways, at least in my experience, most Americans rarely think about.
To perhaps an unprecedented degree in the United States, we are witnessing an increasingly serious debate playing out about the relative merits of capitalism and socialism.
By Gabriella Borter
(Reuters) – U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Friday she was “very encouraged” by the Senate vote this week on the “Green New Deal,” the sweeping climate policy resolution she introduced last month, even though the Senate defeated it.
The non-binding resolution, which proposes to eliminate U.S. greenhouse gas emissions within a decade, lost 57-0 in the Senate, with 43 Democrats voting “present.”
“You had the Republicans voting ‘no’ and you had virtually the entire Democratic caucus voting ‘present,’ even those in tough states,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Friday. “That is an extraordinary amount of unity within the Senate to actually vote in that cohesive of a bloc, so I’m very encouraged.”
The Green New Deal, unveiled last month by Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Senator Edward Markey, marks the first formal attempt by lawmakers to define potential legislation to create government-led investments in clean energy and infrastructure to transition the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels.
The plan’s name is an homage to the New Deal of the 1930s, a series of government-led programs and projects that President Franklin Roosevelt implemented to aid Americans during the Great Depression.
A rising political star and leader of the progressive left, Ocasio-Cortez defeated a longtime Democratic lawmaker in a 2018 primary to become the youngest woman in Congress at age 29, representing New York’s 14th district in the House.
Her bold stance on climate policy and her strong social media presence have launched her to celebrity status among progressives nationwide.
Republicans have criticized the Green New Deal since its inception for being too radical, and have used the plan and Ocasio-Cortez herself, as rallying points to demonize the Democratic Party.
“The Green New Deal is a wonderful illustration of just how extreme the Democrats have become,” Republican Senator Ted Cruz tweeted on Tuesday, calling it “a radical socialist proposal.”
The Trump administration does not believe action on climate change is necessary and has instead focused on increasing production of oil, gas and coal on federal and private lands.
At a Trump rally in Michigan on Thursday, crowds chanted “AOC sucks!” according to television coverage of the event.
Ocasio-Cortez shrugged off Republicans’ insults on Friday at a town hall hosted by MSNBC in her district in The Bronx.
“I didn’t expect them to make total fools of themselves,” she said of her critics.
(Reporting by Gabriella Borter; editing by Bill Tarrant and G Crosse)