New York Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has shown over and over that she has a tenuous grasp on basic facts about economics and government. That does help explain why she’s a socialist, but be warned: her cluelessness won’t slow her push for a far-left agenda. In fact, she’s already moving on that, aggressively.
Her critics call attention to her various slips and misstatements of fact –- welcome to the world of politics –- and she has responded in part by blaming sexism. My opinion of Ocasio-Cortez is exactly the same as if she were young, clueless, socialist and male. (For the hypothetical male, I imagine someone cast in the image printed on those Che Guevara t-shirts that make socialists look so cool.) The main reason O-C won was that she was young and fresh and idealistic, an image that could have worked just as well for a good-looking latino as it did for a latina. Oh, how I hate identity politics.
Her latest flub involves a reference to the three branches of government. Those of us who did not sleep through government class in high school –- make that middle school –- know that the Constitution established three branches: the executive (headed by the President), the judicial (headed by the Supreme Court), and the legislative (consisting of two elective bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate). This is as basic as it gets. Now that Ocasio-Cortez is actually going to be a part of this, I wonder if she can even find her little square on the organizational chart.
I also wonder if she slept through that little film we all watched about how a bill becomes a law.
Anyway, here’s what she said in an online video to her supporters: “If we work our butts off to make sure that we take back all three chambers of Congress --- uh, rather, all three chambers of government, the Presidency, the Senate and the House...”
When she was confronted on Twitter about her basic lack of knowledge, she responded: “Maybe instead of Republicans drooling over every minute of footage of me in slow-mo, waiting to chop up word slips that I correct in real-tomd [sic], they actually step up enough to make the argument they want to make. That they don’t believe people have a right to health care.”
Okay, let’s talk about health care. The government-run, single-payer health care plan she supports, dubbed “Medicare For All,” has been determined in a study by George Mason University Mercatus Center to cost $32 trillion over 10 years. (And these estimates always run low.) I don’t have an economics degree like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez –- hers is in economics and international relations from Boston University –- but I think this may be so much money that if you laid the dollar bills end to end, they would reach from the Earth to somewhere in a galaxy far, far away.
But on Thursday, during an interview with Jorge Ramos, she said she is “puzzled” as to why people keep asking her how we’re going to pay for socialized medicine: “People often say, like, how are you going to pay for it, and I find the question so puzzling, because how do you pay for something that’s more affordable?”
“How do you pay for cheaper rent?” she asked. “You just pay for it. You’re paying more now!”
Ocasio-Cortez seems to be bit confused. The study by the Mercatus Center did predict that drug prices would fall under such a system. On the other hand, vastly higher demand for drugs and for all medical services would drive up costs astronomically.
Money seems to be an abstract concept for her. Now, here is where having a man comment on her understanding of economics might be viewed –- at least by her –- as sexist, but coming from me, it isn’t. There’s an old Blondie-Dagwood joke (from before my time, I feel compelled to say) that talks about Blondie’s understanding of how to save household money. Blondie goes shopping and comes home with a pretty new hat. Dagwood says, “Blondie!! We can’t afford that!” Blondie says, “Sure we can! This hat was on sale for $5 off, so when I bought it I saved $5. You’ll be glad to know I bought two more and now we’re $15 ahead.” Dagwood slaps his forehead and goes off to make a sandwich.
Now, see? That old wheeze is as sexist as can be, but Ocasio-Cortez is demonstrating just about the same level of knowledge of economics. “You just pay for it”???
Speaking of “just paying for it,” Ocasio-Cortez is facing a logistical problem in getting an apartment in DC and complains that the system doesn’t favor lower-income people. She had to leave her restaurant job and doesn’t start getting her congressional salary until January, so she and he partner are “just kind of squirreling away” and hoping they can manage till then. To get an apartment, which no doubt is fairly pricey in the DC area, she probably has to put up the first and last month’s rent, plus a security deposit, and maybe a pet deposit, and then pay the movers, and after that make a few trips to Target if she needs a few things.
Come on, Alexandria. You just pay for it.
It’ll be tight for a while, but even socialist legislators manage to put away quite a bit of money while they’re in office. Bernie Sanders reportedly has three houses. Ironically, some of the richest people in the world are socialists who donate a lot of their money to activists (like her) who want to spread socialism, which in turn makes the populace (not the leaders) poor. She’s the face of socialism now, and her supporters don’t even care that she’s ignorant of the current system. They want to tear down that system anyway.
I should mention that one thing I appreciate about Gov. Huckabee is that, unlike many on both sides of the aisle, he doesn’t nit-pick the opposition for slips of the tongue on the campaign trail. Having campaigned himself, he knows how easily one can misspeak when exhausted, as when Obama referred to the “57 states,” and he doesn’t want to be unfair in his criticism. Some of Ocasio-Cortez’s slips may have been that kind of thing, but others clearly indicate that whatever she learned in college, it had much more to do with activism than it did with economics or the constitution.
This latest mistake, for instance. It wasn’t a tongue-twister delivered live --- it was in a video she posted. Unless this was a live feed, she could have redone it before posting if she’d known or cared what a huge flub it was.
Again, Ocasio-Cortez plans to act very aggressively to push her socialist agenda. Unbelievably, this newbie is even going after members of Congress within her own party who aren’t sufficiently left-wing or even the right gender/ethnicity. As reported by the Huffington Post, she’s calling on people to join Justice Democrats’ #OurTime campaign to help them identify Democratic House incumbents who are “demographically and ideologically out of touch with their districts.” They don’t have to know much about economics, obviously, but today’s Democrats must be ideologically --- and demographically --- correct. If she’s going to accuse her critics of being sexist, she might want to try sounding a little less racist.
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