DNC head Tom Perez might think that the surprise winner of New York’s 14th Congressional District primary, Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is the “face of the future” of the Democrats, but every time she opens that face, she sticks her foot in her mouth. Ever since her upset victory over 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley, she’s become a liberal media darling; but she’s been making a series of statements that have alienated fellow Democrats, earned her the label of “not ready for prime time” and shown her to possess all the deep knowledge one might expect of a 28-year-old, self-proclaimed socialist.
She accused Israel of being Palestinian occupiers, then when pressed to explain, admitted she didn’t know what she was talking about. She’s also wavered on whether Israel has a right to exist. She declared that "unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs” (actually, only one in 20 Americans have two jobs) and "capitalism has not always existed in the world and will not always exist in the world” (this after bragging about her economics degree.) Aside from ending capitalism, she’s also called for abolishing the immigration enforcement agency ICE and called on activists to “occupy” every ICE office and airport (that will go over well with air travelers.) She’s also endorsing fellow far-left challengers over once-safe Democratic incumbents and making powerful enemies along the party elites.
Now one of the elder statesmen has dared to speak out against the new celebrity socialist: former Senator Joe Lieberman has written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, warning that Ocasio-Cortez is “more Socialist than Democrat,” that she backs massive spending that would bankrupt America and government takeovers of business that would destroy the economy, and her foreign policy views would be equally disastrous. Plus her election would result in more partisan divisiveness at a time when the parties need to work together and Democrats need to prove that they are capable of compromising and leading. Lieberman is urging voters in that district to vote for Crowley, whose name will still appear on the ballot under the Working Families Party.
Crowley insists he’s not actively running, but he has great name recognition, a formidable war chest, plus he’s not an aggressively ignorant young socialist, so he’s got that going for him. Word is he still hasn’t officially called Ocasio-Cortez to concede and endorse her. He probably thinks he’s being a good soldier. But in this case, he might do more to save the party by fighting their own candidate than by laying down and surrendering.
Of course, if Crowley doesn't want New Yorkers to support him, they could always do something really radical to save America: vote for Republican Anthony Pappas.